I don't listen to my headphones when I am riding my bicycle because I don't trust anyone else on that road. I need to employ 100% of all senses at all times to keep myself safe. (Except for maybe taste, because that would just be weird.) If I did listen to headphones on my commute downtown today, they would play The Shins's Oh Inverted World. At 8am, the sky was soft, blue, and far away- obscured about two thirds of the way (or so) by the fluffiest clouds.
It is supposed to storm this afternoon.
I work at a pretty standard job to make my money. The people I share space and time with are good people. Most of them have a spouse or a family or a dog and some kind of long-term investment. All of them are older than me by at least 6 years. I have inferred that, in your 20's, 6 years is a lot.
I ride my bike to work for a lot of reasons. These reasons are always changing and range from doing my part to save the environment to sticking it to the cabbies that think traffic laws do not apply to them. (Though, as a cyclist, I find myself adopting the same mentality.) Today, I am biking for the freedom and the exercise. It is easier to cope with sitting at a desk most of the day if I got some sunshine or braved the elements for 40 minutes or so.
Riding my bike raises a lot of questions and inspires a lot of comments at work. My helmet is painted with rainbow, wavy lines and made by a company called Nutcase, I am usually wearing combat boots, and, since I have run out of contact lenses, I have been wearing a pair of Walgreens sunglasses over my regular glasses. (I meant to get transition lenses, but I decided on a free credit for contacts instead.) I used to get upset when people would watch me saunter down the polished, rose marble lobby of the third largest building on Chicago's skyline and scan my badge at the golden turnstiles to get to work right at 8:30.
One of the six impediments to success in yoga (stated in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, but introduced to me in Rod Stryker's The Four Desires ) is surrounding ourselves in the "company of common people." Rod explains this perfectly by saying that this does not mean that yogis need to put themselves above all others. What constitutes as "common" in this case is people that give in to the fear of acting upon their true nature. These are people that are plagued by the inability to follow their heart. (Or they just haven't been shown how, which is the web I have been trying to work out for the past three months or so.)
It is our duty- yoga or no yoga- to surround ourselves with people that challenge us and allow us to be our best and truest selves. Instead of scorning people for watching me rush to work, I embrace them and I am proud for expressing myself in that moment. Maybe this work will inspire someone else to do the same.
This post has inspired me to create a new tag. Every time my work yields effortless improvement, I am living extraordinarily; one moment at a time.