During extended stretches of cycling in Tibet I was often wracked with shooting pain across my knees. They’ve seen a lot of abuse over many daring decades and this final chapter really pushed their mechanical limits. Since the cycling needed to continue for weeks – I started watching the pain and noticed my varied reactions. The biggest shift always occurred when I became somewhat distracted. These distractions took many forms – an unexpected yak in my path – a farmer hauling her impressive harvest towards home on her back – villages full of smiling faces after offering them nothing more than a jovial greeting – bursting into spontaneous songs about trucks passing me by – and pausing in awe to peer over the clifftops we’ve just ascended.
It struck me that pain is manageable when it oscillates between chapters of pure joy. There is a lovely balance that can be achieved and once reached, we realise that perhaps we need the challenges of life to fully enjoy the true sweetness of JOY. So, do you know your triggers for joy? Can you sink into them fully? Are you waiting for them to take you by surprise or can you create them on your own? After all, impermanence is our reality – its all fleeting, both the highs and the lows.
When we experience pain its good to remind ourselves that this is an opportunity to see that we can be OK in the discomfort. Especially since we know that a new chapter of levity is just down the road.