Take A Moment

I like visiting Leo Babauta’s blog, particularly when it’s been a long arduous week and I’m feeling a bit scattered and looking to relax and do some reading. Leo writes about cultivating simplicity in your life.
This morning a passage in his latest post caught my eye:

7. Treat an activity like a sacred ritual. This is the part I forget the most, but I’ve been getting better at remembering. Here’s the idea: every single thing we do can be done as an afterthought, like something you’re just getting through to get to something more important … or it can be elevated to something sacred, like performing sacred rites. Washing your hands? Take a moment to realize how much of a miracle this act is (many people don’t have water for basic hygiene), take a breath, and truly pay attention as you go through this sacred hand-washing ritual. Do your dishes the same way: every dish a miracle, every sensation elevated to a new importance, every drop of water a gem worth paying attention to. This applies to every activity: writing, responding to an email, listening to a friend, playing with your child, taking a shower, going for a walk, paying bills. Worthy of your full attention, worthy of joy and appreciation.

Earlier in Leo’s post he suggests eating and wearing the exact same thing every day, 2 of his 7 rules for simplicity.
I don’t know if I could follow such a strict regime.
My usual breakfast lately has been egg whites and steel cut oats with berries, which I love, but I don’t think I could eat that every day for 6 months straight. Once in a while it’s nice to have a few buttery French crepes stuffed with berries, yogurt, and maple syrup, or a Montreal style bagel slathered in cream cheese with some bacon on the side.

I won’t get all preachy, but will just say take these sorts of lifestyle prescription posts with a grain of salt.
What works for someone else, well, you know.
If Leo were to stumble upon this post I’d say check out Laird Hamilton’s words of wisdom, for instance point #10, which incidentally works great for me:

10. I have friends who eat healthier than anybody, but it takes them all day. And if they don’t have their sprouted bread, they go into a seizure. I can eat a Big Mac. I’m not going to love it, but it won’t put me into toxic shock. It’s like if a car is too high-performance, then it’s sensitive to any kind of fuel. I like being more like a truck. If a little diesel gets in there, maybe a little water, it’ll cough and burp a bit, but it’s gonna get through it and keep running.

Why I Ride

This summer I discovered motorcycle riding. It’s so much damn fun! I’m not sure why I waited so long to get a bike. I love it.

Last week I was at a party chatting with someone who asked me what’s becoming a recurring question of late, “why do you ride a motorcycle, isn’t that dangerous?”

“Sure, it can be”, I say.
“I suppose if you’re not aware of what’s going on around you, namely those absent-minded drivers who cut you off because they’re too distracted texting or chatting on their phones or something else, you’re in a heap of trouble.  Sometimes you feel like you’re invisible. People are generally oblivious to cyclists —motorized or otherwise— rolling around in their SUV living rooms.”

But here’s a better reason from the pages of Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance:

“You see things on a motorcycle in a way that is completely different from any other. In a car you’re always in a compartment, and because you’re used to it you don’t realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You’re a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame.
On a cycle the frame is gone. You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming. That concrete whizzing by five inches below your foot is the real thing, the same stuff you walk on, it’s right there, so blurred you can’t focus on it, yet you can put your foot down and touch it anytime, and the whole thing, the whole experience, is never removed from immediate consciousness.” —Robert M. Pirsig

Riding a motorcycle is such fun I almost can’t even put into words the whole experience and what it feels like to find a twisty road and open up the throttle and just go. Pure exhilaration. If you ride a bike you know exactly what I’m talking about.