What is Losing?

[This post belongs in a series of 7 entries written to build community and receive donations to support the Climate Ride, a 320 mile cycling pilgrimage I made in October, 2011.  Several entries focus on and celebrate the particular efforts of each of the 4 NGOs I designated to receive funds I raised for the ride.]

  

“Tut, Tut, it looks like rain.”

– ChristopherRobin, Winnie-the-Pooh

 

“View all problems as challenges. Don’t run from them, condemn yourself or bear your burden in saintly silence.  You have a problem?  Great.  More grist for the mill.  Rejoice, dive in and investigate.”


– Ven. Henepola Gunaratana, Mindfulness in Plain English

 

Last week, in the final throes the fundraising countdown, I mused about winning.  I’ve enjoyed conversations with several of you this week about ‘fessing-up to my competitive nature.  AND…as an aspiring non-dualist, it got me thinking a lot about losing.  What is losing?

 

I’m seeing that, for me, losing happens when I shut down.  Do you know the sort of “shutting down,” I’m talking about?  There are 3 times I feel it most: when I’m afraid, when I “know” something (HA!), and (this is a tough one) when I’m feeling self-conscious.  Yep, alone or in combination, these are the perfect ingredients for me to shut down…and in such a moment, I have EVERYTHING to lose.

 

On Monday I learned, along with my fellow Climate Riders, that rain is in next week’s forecast…for at least 3 of the 5 days.  “Oh, Nooooooooo,” the voice reverberated though my head.  It was fear kicking-in and I began to shut down.  …THEN, I remembered how just the day before, I’d spent the morning cycling in the rain.  I re-visited the experience in my mind: I was dry beneath my windbreaker; the redwood trees above leant extra shelter from the falling drops; my brakes responded perfectly, and my friends and I arrived safely at our destination.  Truth be told, many moments of the ride were beautifully pleasant!  Hmmmm….

 

Riding between raindrops, Hwy 1

Before climate change began, it was fairly safe to presume September and early October were rain-free times in Northern California.  And while rain isn’t exactly a problem, I tend to believe that climate change is.  I could be wrong, so I will hold the question openly, trying to notice when my fear or righteous indignation kick-in.  I will try instead, for these next 5 days to un-self-consciously, sing in the rain and practice the instructions offered above by the Venerable Gunaratana, “Rejoice, dive in and investigate.”

 

I believe that responding to climate change is a GROUP activity.  I know most of you agree because the support you’ve shown me in my fundraising these past months has been incredible.  You’ve already done so much, and I encourage you to ride along next week.  Let’s rejoice, dive in and investigate this beautiful, messy, amazing world of ours together!  Reportedly, cell and wireless service is spotty at BEST along our coastal route, but should the cell gods and goddesses smile, check my Google Plus posts.  Don’t worry!  If a techno-phob like me can do it, you can too.

Bien Viaje!

 

Alright, I’m off…but, wait!  You’re still caught in winners/losers suspense, huh?  I came in 2nd and won a trip to Glacier National Park!  How fun is that??  Thanks for all your support!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.