At the stables last week, I told a fellow volunteer that I couldn’t decide if I should bring my bike on the road this summer. I have osteoporosis and arthritis; falling down could result in a serious fracture.
“If I’m gonna break something, I’d rather do it falling off a horse,” I said. “I don’t want a bike mishap to get in the way of learning to canter.”
Guess what happened when I rode my bike to my first riding lesson on Milo (the biggest horse in the barn)? You guessed it—I fell down!
What you couldn’t have guessed is that I fell off before I even got on my bike. As I was putting my foot over the crossbar, the weight of my bike basket, my riding boots and a water bottle, tipped me sideways. Crash! Down I went.
And up I bounced. Falling down wasn’t nearly as bad—and a lot funnier—than I thought.
Do you bounce?
We all fall off things sooner or later—bikes, corporate ladders, pedestals, relationships, mountains. The question isn’t whether we fall, or when, or even how bad it hurts.
The question is how bounceable we are.
Bouncing back after a fall is easier when we lighten up. The tighter our hold, the more it hurts! It’s hard and painful to get up when we’re heavy, tense, and constricted. But when we’re light, relaxed and accepting, we bounce like balls.
I’ve found that acceptance is one of the best ways to lighten up. If I want to ride my bike and get on a horse, I accept that I’ll probably fall and possibly break something. I’m willing to take the risk.
Even though I could get hurt, I don’t get scared or tense. Instead, I relax into my choice.
Come what may, I’m exactly where I want to be. Even when I find myself unexpectedly lying on my back, staring at the sky and wondering where the stars came from.
Another way to bounce back is to stay away from people, places and things that hold you down. Sometimes that means refusing to listen to your own negative self-talk.
In When Life is Depressing: 7 Ways to Find a Peaceful Mind & a Joyful Spirit I share tips for dealing with bad vibes from within and without.