fear x courage

embracing fear to cultivate courage

In response to a question I am frequently asked, “You ride a motorcycle in New York City?” all I can offer is a shrug, unable to provide a reasonable explanation for a choice that seems on the surface at least, anything but reasonable. It is a question I have asked myself many times, every time I mount my bike it seems to contradict the very essence of our survival instincts.

A newborn, completely innocent and free from cultural indoctrination has only two fears: loud noises and falling. Their nervous system has not yet developed and doesn’t know how to handle sensory input. As we age and gather more experiences, though, we also acquire more fears. Fear stems from a memory that reminds you of a past experience that resulted in something unpleasant. 
We rarely fear things we haven’t experienced previously.

 Whether they are grooves in our neuroplasticity or our shadow demons, if we allow these patterns of behavior to control us, we fall victim to memories that no longer serve us.

Our journey is being more involved with life
Yet less attached to it

– ram dass

The more we allow the habitual reaction of fear to control us, the more we limit ourselves to new experiences. What then compels us to recognize danger and step forward despite it? The exhilaration that comes with facing fear is not a fleeting thing. Instead, something inexplicable happens the moment you step beyond your fear and embrace the unknown. A confidence awakens as you enter a higher awareness of your body, your mind, and the world around you.

Riding on two wheels, being exposed to the harshness of reality requires a certain mindset. Having a tremendous respect for the machine and not letting your ego take control is essential. 
At a certain moment, the sensation of thrill overcomes the fear. Something unexplainable awakens inside. Suddenly you realize why this machine has some of the most loyal devotees. 

This is why every time you meet someone on a bike you wave. 
Not to say hello, but to acknowledge this shared experience.

Courage is being able to move on and accept fear but not let it control you. Realize that the richness of your experiences either expands or reduces in proportion to your courage. By moving outside of our comfort zones we expand our perception of reality, broaden the spectrum of our experiences and give rise to infinite possibilities.