I veered a hard left into parking spot #13 and stopped my Honda Civic seven inches from the chrome exhaust pipe of my motorcycle. After a thousand times, I knew the exact point. My 2004 Suzuki SV650 was my first almost-new motorcycle I bought since first getting my Class 6 licence at sixteen. “I’ll never be without a bike, ever again,” I said after I bought it. I sat in silence and looked at my royal blue bike.
Sell your bike.
What!? No! My bike!?
I’ve learned that this polite, all-knowing voice comes from my heart. It doesn’t argue. It doesn’t play games. It’s quiet. It’s simple. And if I am open and listening, I hear the single whisper.
It makes sense to trust that voice. My heart speaks for my true self, speaks with absolute certainty and has never failed me. What’s not to trust?
But I still fight it.
“Sell my bike? C'mon Heart, you've gone too far. I’ve invested hard-earned money in that bike. I have wonderful memories of day trips on that bike. I deserve that bike. I’ll never find another bike like it,” I said. “Oh, and I just bought new riding boots and pants too.”
Ride it then.
And just like that, my increasingly heated debate, like a wooden match being dragged cross a strike patch, stopped. Before my dud match was replaced with a fiery new attempt, I thought of my Guiding Principles #1 Go Slow and #2 Say Yes.
“Do it or let it go, I know, I know. Ah! Okay, wait, I don’t have to sell it right this second, I can just sit with this new thought, right,” I said.
I also know what happens if I ignore the voice -- things get difficult. Fast. Like the large pipe above my bike that has begun to leak, forcing me to park my bike elsewhere. Like the non-returnable helmet I tried on in the store, recently bought and found it caused head pain on the first ride.
That sort of thing.
Over the next few days I was open to all thoughts related to motorbikes.
I thought of how little I had been riding this summer -- I've done all my "must-do" one-day rides. Repeatedly. And how "I love riding my bike" had slowly turned into "My bike is just sitting there, I should ride it." I wanted to do multi-day rides but since my ten-year-old rottweiler, Monty, can't join me, we'd been exploring twisty roads together in my Honda Civic instead. I had been thinking, "well, I could save my bike for the day when he'll no longer be my co-pilot, maybe two, four or six years from now."
I thought of the amazing day I rented a motorbike on a recent holiday in Ireland, riding on twisty, coastal roads.
A rented motorcycle. One day fulfilled me. One.
I had recently found a dirt bike rental company in El Salvador – my next trip in January 2013. I’ve bookmarked websites for bike rentals in Bhutan, Laos and New Zealand. I know of a place I can rent a similar bike to mine in Vancouver too.
Just because I don’t own a motorcycle does not mean I cannot ride a motorcycle. Maybe that financial investment is meant for a different purpose right now?
Has my bike become an excuse for not doing something else?
Heart? I think you’re onto something here.
Yes, why not let the bike go? Because I'm scared. I'm scared that I’ll never find a perfect bike again. I’m attached to this bike. It's loaded with emotions. It feels irreplaceable.
But if I think back, my Suzuki easily came across my path when I needed it. The perfect bike showed up.
Let it go.
And here’s the thing I'm practicing about letting go. It starts in the mind and once I’ve done it – and the processing time has been getting shorter and shorter – I get very excited.
Yes, sell my bike! It’s like my mind needed a week to swirl around, argue and think, only to meet-up where my heart was all along.
While I don’t know the full reasons why I’m #2 Saying Yes -- a freaked out Yes, but a Yes -- I do know that #8 Letting Go and Trusting always leads to a really, cool, new path.
Postscript: The bike sold in August and three months later, my rottweiler, Monty, was diagnosed with bone cancer... having $5000 in the bank allowed me to embark on veterinary care without stress. Heart? You were right again.
© 2012 Michelle Sevigny. www.michellesevigny.com. Reprint permission granted with full copyright intact.
Photo by Don G.