I love when the universe delivers additional confirmation of my beliefs. I believe we are here to share our unique gifts and to connect with other beings doing the same. I believe that the connections we make help to support the impact we make during our lifetime. I believe that love is bigger than we can fathom.
This past weekend I had my soul lifted (just in the nick of time) and my fire lit (figuratively that is) and after pondering like I do, I realized some things.
I am not alone. I have many tribes to which I belong. They sustain me, encourage me and challenge me to be the best version of myself.
When I wonder if I’ve had an impact, I only have to meet with my motorcycling tribe and marvel at the connections. When I started the journey in the motorcycling world nearly 17 years ago, I had no idea what a thrilling ride it would be. I have met wildly wonderful people, seen wildly marvelous parts of the country and gotten to travel places I normally wouldn’t or couldn’t have. But that’s how I was changed which is cool, but not nearly as exciting as the other side.
I have taught people who have taught others who have become teachers of others all across this country. If I were a pebble and you threw me in a pond, the ripples would go on endlessly. And I’d get wet. It’s hard to get my head around how far out the influence of one of us can go.
Now you think I am talking about motorcycle safety but that has only been the conduit for a greater thrill: seeing people gain confidence, inspiration and self-love. I have gathered in my damaged brain, a collection of stories and memories of lives I’ve influenced. I don’t say that without tremendous humility and honor, believe. I have no idea how I got to share some of these things, to share these experiences. Let me give you some examples.
Many of the stories are as simple as a change in confidence.. People discovering tha they can accomplish something that seemed impossible, something that they dreamed about for a long time and finally jumped in. Though the story is simple, it makes me tear up sometimes when I think of how many mornings on the second day of range exercises, students showed up thinking it would be the day they failed. I would find that people, particularly women (we are culturalized not to take risks like riding big, powerful machines) on their second day of riding, would start having doubts about their skill. And how many times I would remind them that they showed up for this. While we were up and teaching and learning at 8:00 in the morning on a weekend, there were thousands of people still in bed that will wake up one day and wish they would have taken the risk, taken the chance. So day 2 of riding might not be perfect, but it was further along than those people in bed. I believe we have to show up! And get dirty and feel fear and feel passion, excitement, adventurous…feel it all!
I had a young woman in one class who had just lost her newly-wed husband. She had made a pact with herself to accomplish three big things in the year after in order to not give up on life completely. She wanted to jump out of a plane.. She did.. She wanted to go scuba diving.. She learned.. Day two of class she was struggling but I knew she was just doubting herself. She told me she didn’t think she could do it. I talked her down, pointed out how far she had come. She finished the class and passed. Afterwards she thanked me for saving her life. You see, motorcycling was the third thing she had on her list and she shared that on day two she didn’t think she would do it. She was on the edge of an abyss that was dark and hopeless. She saved her own life, but wow! To be a small influence.
Then there was the hard-core Marine sharpshooter who burst into tears after passing the course. He shared that his entire life he was told how stupid he was. He went into the service because he didn’t think he could do anything else. But now, in his 40s, he passed a motorcycling class. He had decided that he would go back to school now. I think the entire class cried with him, myself included. Those were only a few of the stories I have, and there were just as many that I never heard either. When I think about these stories, I find myself asking, “Why me” but I know why. It is because I love life and love connecting and accidently or on purpose that leads to becoming involved in other peoples’ stories. I show up. On my bad days I try and remember that, I’m not perfect, I’ve made some really poor choices but, I showed up for life. That knowledge makes me feel like I got some of it right. It’s not always neat or pretty, but it’s real.
So this was just going to be a short blog because I hadn’t posted in a while. I guess I had some stuff that needed to come out. What started off as an emotional reunion with like minds, ended up releasing my inner pebble.
Tomorrow is a new day. I’ll show up, but I’d better go figure out what I’m going to wear! Live fully, love hard, laugh harder. Show up!