Make Wider Turns

By Brynne Duty


Sometimes a chance encounter can lead to a deeper learning. I was walking through my neighborhood when I heard a parent telling a young child who had just taken a gentle tumble off a bike, "I think you are turning too sharply. See if you can make wider turns." On the next pass, the child did just that and laughed as the bike stayed upright.

Something about that exchange stuck with me for the rest of my walk. I realized it was because it struck a chord in the place in me that can get grippy and stuck, especially when I am really focused on getting something "right." Some days, "getting it right" is just code for holding it together, of aiming to exert some control when I feel overwhelmed. The funny thing is that more often than not, when I am able to recognize that is happening and let go a bit, i.e. make a wider turn, I actually feel better. As one  of my wise teachers likes to say, "control is my favorite illusion." This teaching was passed down to her from her teacher, and the very fact that is continues to be passed from student to student is a reflection on how resonant it is with us. We really are only in control of how we react to circumstance and stimuli, not the circumstances and stimuli themselves. 


So what do you say? Shall we try to make some wider turns together? We're in if you are - see you on the bike of life and on the mat.