In this first of two-parts, we explore four of seven ways to cultivate empowerment. Excerpted from Women, Motorcycles and the Road to Empowerment. The messages are universal, so if motorcycles are not your “thing”, substitute whatever works for you.
Infinite personal power resides within each of us. The Oxford Dictionary states “empowerment makes someone “stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.” Accessing our power and allowing it free expression to guide our lives is a life-long journey.
We all recognize power differently and vary in our perception of how much power we have. It could take the same amount of power for one person to travel the world as it does for another to summon the courage to begin a new job. Regardless of where we stand, using our power brings us happiness and fulfillment, and a sense of accomplishment, meaning and purpose.
Not everyone rides a motorcycle on their journey. There are many other ways to become aware of who you really are and experience all life has to offer. Some people paint, write, play music, go on retreats, meditate, travel, volunteer their time or coach sports.
For me, it is the motorcycle. It appeals to our basic nature, satisfies primal needs and brings out our strengths by providing the following ingredients, which are essential to the survival of our souls:
Adventure. Riding calls to the unique, wild nature within each of us. Eventually, we answer that call, and then wonder why we didn’t respond sooner. It brings us to who we are and our connection to all other living things, including the collective wisdom and unlimited power of the universe.
Connection with Spirit. Nothing stills my mind like a motorcycle ride as I embrace the peace of the present moment, where my power and creativity reside. Riding encompasses all my senses, including the sixth one. Riding is great for clearing my mind of clutter and leaving worries and fears behind.
Any rider will tell you riding outside of urban areas is a spiritual experience. Traverse the mountains, cross the plains, pass through a forest or alongside the ocean and you can’t miss the connection to the universe. All your senses are engaged. Your eyes take in the grandeur and beauty. Your ears note the wind as it rushes by, the crashing breakers or the silence. You smell the freshly cut hay, the redwood forests, lilacs in the spring. You feel temperature changes as you alter elevation or latitude, or approach water. You taste the salt air and the clover.
All that pales in comparison with how riding engages your spirit. You’re enveloped in feelings of peace, euphoria and joy, all rolled into one. It brings you into the now, where nothing except the present moment matters.
Freedom. Motorcycling represents freedom for many men and women. New riders get a taste of this as soon as they learn to ride and move even those first few feet under power. But initially, a rider is absorbed in learning how to operate the machine safely. Still, with proficiency, the feeling of freedom will grow.
Our life paths have no shortages of twists and turns, which is why the motorcycle is ideal to carry us symbolically to where we are going. It’s flexible, versatile and when properly tuned, has more power than we’ll ever need to carry both us and our loads, whether physical, emotional or spiritual. The motorcycle is up to a challenge, change and variety. And we alone control our vehicle.
Confidence. Most of the women who participated in this book said they see other woman riders as the embodiment of power. Their body language exudes confidence, strength, fearlessness, independence and love of life. They have the courage to be who they are and not bow to stereotypes or be stopped by being told they’re too short, too weak or too feminine, or they’ll never learn.
They’re skilled, proficient, determined. They have set their minds to accomplish something and then have done it. They are role models: interesting, fun-loving, full of moxie.
To read more, including stories and collective wisdom from a diverse group of women, purchase signed copies of Women, Motorcycles and the Road to Empowerment through my website. You can also order a print or kindle copy directly from Amazon.com. Links for other retailers and ebooks here.
Women, Motorcycles and the Road to Empowerment
Copyright © 2011 by Liz Jansen. All Rights Reserved.
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Orangeville, Ontario, Canada