Going Down Stairs

by Liz Jansen

going down stairs

In my dream, I was going down stairs from the upper to ground level in an open concept home. Wooden beams supported the peaked ceiling and the entire wall, from peak to ground was glass, allowing the light to stream in. I stood at the top, looking down into space. This was not the typical staircase—with steps. It was like the bleachers in a gymnasium when they’re all tucked away and I was standing at the top, knowing I had to get down.

From somewhere, a voice encouraged me to take the step; that all would be well. Trust was barely a thread stronger than terror as I falteringly stepped forward into the abyss with my right foot. As if by magic, the step appeared below me, but only the next one. Each step was just as hard, required the same step of faith, and appeared when I needed it. But I had to take the step first.

No one could have prepared me for how life altering the past year has been. The physical crash was merely the catalyst. At first I assumed I’d take 6-8 months to recover, get a new bike and be on my way again. I even called it a detour.

I’ve come to realize it’s no detour. It’s just not what I planned. This is the Road I’m supposed to be on with lessons I need to learn. Like letting go of old ways that once worked but now need to make way for the new. Or releasing (perceived) control of the outcome. Patience. Waiting. Listening. Learning to ask for help. Engaging with the power and strength of community.

Just looking at that list still creates anxiety.

In the ‘old days’ I’d set a goal and then make sure I accomplished it. That learned behavior makes for great results but it takes its toll physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Now I see there are easier, more scenic roads that will take me to my destination with a lot less angst, and more peace of heart and mind.

The Wheels to Wisdom via Ancient Spirituality Quest I set out on more than a year ago is still very much alive. The route I’ve taken looks very different than the one I planned. What I’d hoped to learn by traveling the Americas I’ve started to learn from home. How it’s transpired is just very different.

Perhaps going down the ‘stairs’ in my dream is indicative of the need to travel deeper into my unconscious and discover what’s there. To listen to my internal guidance system.

This weekend I’ll head out for 5-6 weeks, combining motorcycle travel and Energy Medicine Courses. The first half of October will be in the beautiful Hudson Valley of New York. Then it’s back home for a day before heading out to Joshua Tree, California. I’ve done a bit of traveling since getting my bike in July, but there’s a lot of pent up desire to get out on the open road so I’m excited about it. For many reasons.

I still don’t know where the Road is leading although I sense the general direction, subject to change of course. My job is to keep moving forward, even if the action called for at the time is non-action. My mission is to take one step at a time, knowing it’s leading me in the right direction.

I’d love to hear from you. Comment below. Or follow me on Facebook or Twitter where I help you see that by mastering motorcycling, you can master anything!


photo credit: Going down? (Azrieli Tower’s staircases) via photopin (license)

Posted in Leadership, Liz's Stories, Personal Growth Tagged with: , ,
8 comments on “Going Down Stairs
  1. Visions are not to be taken lightly but often I find that the roads they lead me down, though calming, just serve to bewilder me in this wilderness of the Universe we all live in. I admire you from afar. Last December I stepped off of my Harley Deluxe when I noticed the sparks cascading off of the right engine guard. It was night time and raining softly. A doe on the side of the road appeared on a straight stretch and I set up a drift to the left. My friend decided to lay down when the wet paint stripe it hit.

    When I stepped off, the sensations following where like a dream. I think the bike had slowed to 40 or so by then. My right tibia shattered. My right lung punctured. I lay there in the still night on the pavement. No pain at all. Just calm, peaceful, and quiet. The moon was high up and I saw it through the clouds. The bike had shut itself off of course.

    I don’t know why I was so calm. I have been a professional pilot and have operated near the limits of the machinery I drive and fly out of an urge to push the envelope. I knew my leg had shattered, but it didn’t bother me. I thought, perhaps this is not such a bad night to pass away.

    A school teacher found me. She got help. My leg had developed compartment syndrome so they had no time at all really to wait for me to get ready. It’s bleeding inside your limb. When the water blisters appear, as on my limb, there is a 15 minute window of time to save the leg. The pressure MUST be relieved immediately. They opened it will a scalpel on both sides from ankle up to knee.

    I kept my leg. I am now posting from a coffee shop that I crutched to. My bike only suffered a slightly bent engine guard. I am glad that I installed the big foot pads for the passenger as the bike just skidded on the tires, engine guard, back foot rest mount, and rider. The bike could have been ridden away.

    For some reason I am proud of that. Is that wrong? You inspired me to start a blog and my friend, a veteran reporter, urged me to as well. I did.

    I am very much on a spiritual journey, and it seems to me that we have something in common; We are both human. I filled in my website blog address. I hope you have a chance to read a madman biker’s thoughts.

    Be well.

    • lizjansen says:

      That’s an amazing story Dennis. Thanks for sharing it. You didn’t envision where that road, or your steps would take you either. I empathize with you, and we definitely travel a similar road. I loved your Slow Alligators post – haven’t had a chance to read others. I’m glad you’re writing—it will be interesting to see what appears on the pages.

      All the best to you!
      Liz

      • Anyone can predict the future if they just stick to the phrase, “The Sun will rise tommorow.”

        Five years ago I started on a journey away from two bottles of 100 proof liquor a day, and 372 pounds. I stopped drinking alcohol and got my five year recognition chip for it while in the hospital with mediipumps in my leg cavity relieving the fluids.

        The local paper did a story about my old body. I lost 17 pounds a month for 13 months. I officially lost 52% of my starting body weight. I felt like I was walking in Moon gravity – I lost the weight but the muscle to carry it did not go away. My own family didn’t recognize me. Many people I knew well introduced themselves to me as though I was a stranger, because my appearance after losing 200 pounds in a year changed radically.

        For some reason I let it hurt my feelings that people I knew well didn’t know who I was, but then I learned how to hide inside society. I became anonymous. I still have a hard time looking at my own image and not seeing the obese male I used to be.

        I was in the Veterans Homeless program and struggled with harsh memories. Guess what? They insisted I tell my story, so I did. Military medical records confirmed my recollections. Now today, after going through all that, I am on SSDI, and Veterans Compensation at 100%. My needs are all met, but I do struggle. It’s called PTSD.

        https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB4QFjAAahUKEwjp6qSG3qHIAhXRM4gKHUbHAPQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fregisterguard.com%2Frg%2Flife%2Flifestyles%2F33294902-74%2Fptsd-patient-dennis-parker-battles-for-vha-care.html.csp&usg=AFQjCNHRSXuOFxYqqM0oG5XvgxmaoZQ_9Q&sig2=i9uqY45Yg750hAVtqU_8GQ

        • lizjansen says:

          What a journey and transformation you’ve had Dennis! Thanks for sharing it. I can’t imagine what you’ve been through. Recovering from the crash almost seems tame in comparison. But psychologically and spiritually it must be a challenge. You have amazing strength.

          Congratulations on your success with the Veterans Department. That must be a relief.

          Best,
          Liz

  2. Doug Armstrong says:

    Hi Liz, it sounds like an enjoyable trip. Now you have us all “California Dreamin”. Safe travels.

    • lizjansen says:

      Thanks Doug. I’m keeping an eye out for the hurricane Joachim. Don’t want to bump into him, especially because I’m camping. 🙂

  3. Christopher Beacock says:

    Liz.

    I just wanted to say, I hope this trip to Hudson Valley, NY. and your upcoming trip to Joshua Tree, CA. are a very positive and eventful journeys for you. I wish you nothing but good wishes on your quest.
    I also hope that you and your new bike, return in better condition than your last adventure.

    Please keep in touch,
    Christopher 🙂

    • lizjansen says:

      Thanks very much Chris. Appreciate your kindness.

      It’s been awesome already. It’s not so much about how the bike returns as how I return. Guaranteed I’ll be in better ‘condition’ than when I left. 🙂
      Liz

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