bike love

“Dude, you’re in love?” a friend asked me. I could tell from his nonverbal cues that saying I was “in love” was something pretty serious and perhaps he was also saying much more, like it’s way too soon for “love.” He had read my blog posts as have other friends and family and I have gotten mixed reviews about this whole thing. But I know what matters and that is how I feel in my heart about this, not my mind with it’s fears and limitations, but my heart. And the only way I can get in tune with my heart is through quiet reflection, deep breaths and meditation. When I let the mind go, as I do all day at work and when getting tasks done, I can get all stressed about the things going on, including Katelyn and I. I have learned that I need to take the time to center myself and get in tune with my heart through meditation. After meditation I feel a sense of clarity and understanding and definitely a release of anything that had me stressed. That is when I can make decisions of the heart – during these periods of clarity. Are you taking time to find clarity?

So am I am in love? Let me first say that we should always be living in a state of love. We forget that. I forgot that. What I mean is that we love life and all that it encompasses – the people in it, the situations, the world around us and even ourselves. It is a state of gratitude and understanding of all the beauty around us. The beauty in a sunrise and sunset. The beauty in the snowfall. The beauty of the human condition. The beauty of cycling or whatever your “thing” is. A state of gratitude and love. It is in this place where great ideas come from and great peace flows from. Have you found that place of gratitude? Romantic love is something different.

We get scared to tell someone that we love them. It is a vulnerable feeling and we have been taught that being vulnerable is weak, when in reality it takes much courage to be vulnerable and say what you are really feeling, from feelings about a work project to feelings of love. I used to think that I had to wait until the right moment to say those three words. Like there would be something that clicked, something that happened – usually I was just making sure that she would return the sentiment if I said it. There is almost no worse feeling than telling someone you love them and them not hearing the statement laced with so much emotion returned back to you. And that is where it all stems from – us holding back from saying what we really want to. It is the fear of rejection.

Taking the time to know myself and then more importantly, love myself including all my flaws has brought me to a place where I am not untouched by the fear of rejection but I no longer make decisions based on it. I simply do not give it any power over me. In fact, if I am feeling that fear welling up inside, I know I am on the right track and I need to do what it is I am scared of, which brings me to Katelyn.

She scares me. Not physically, but mentally, even spiritually. I know if I continue down this road with her she will challenge me to grow, to be real, to love authentically and make compromises that have to be made in any relationship. She’s no pushover. She will challenge me and if I allow it, she will take me further on this journey than if I continued on by myself. I know this because I sense it – sometimes, especially when I get in tune with my heart, I just know something. And this I know about her, about us.

It is my ego, the Eric of my limited mind that is scared. If I let him stay in charge I would end up by myself, maybe even a hermit. The ego lives off fear and doesn’t want to be challenged in any way. There is no growth there. I need to let the heart rule and put the mind in its place. I need my mind, my ego to keep me alive and make logical decisions but to stay out of the way of major life decisions – they are scary and bring up fears and the ego runs from that. The heart welcomes it. Who is running your life?

So back to Katelyn. I had to go through a dark night of the soul to get here. But I made it. And when I finally made it out of that valley of darkness I told myself that I would live authentically, no matter what, until the day I leave this earth. That includes any relationship, especially the romantic kind. I say this because all relationships are divine appointments of growth, but the romantic kind are where we really go crazy and all of our gremlins, past fears and whatnot surface. More or less if we are going to turn into an idiot, a romantic relationship is where it will happen. And that is where I find myself now. But I do not feel like an idiot. Oh my ego is trembling in the corner, but I am feeling quite good. I do have to take time for meditation though, time to be quiet and still and to reflect and find clarity or else I have freak out moments where my mind says things like, “what the fuck are you doing?” “this is crazy.” “this will never work” “you will just get hurt again.” Without my quiet time I may start to believe that bullshit. But today, I am choosing to go with what my heart is telling me. And what is it telling me?

It is telling me that I have found someone that fits, that can be a partner in this journey and many things that warm my heart and simply have no words that can be uttered. If this isn’t love, then I will never find it. We can’t really describe what love is or what components must be there to have this thing called love. It is more of a feeling, an emotion. And when you know, you know. And since I decided to live authentically, I cannot hide what I am feeling. There is no growth in hiding but there are health detriments to holding emotions inside. So without needing to hear it back from her, because I have all I need inside of me and I love myself and am not looking for completion because I AM complete, I say yes. I do love and am in love with Katelyn. And because of that I am going to do all I can to pursue this relationship. The words smitten, enamored, captivated, enchanted, crazy and head over heels all come to mind. I am doing my best to balance my emotional heart and rational mind on this as to not go crazy in either realm. I do know that she makes me smile, warms my heart in a very physical way and inspires me to live the life of adventure that I have craved since childhood. And why hold it in and waste time being scared? I love her. There is a chance I may get hurt. There’s a chance this may not work out. There is also a chance I could walk outside and get struck by a meteorite. I will not make decisions based on fears that are nothing more than illusions projected on the screen of my mind.

So on that note, here is a slideshow from my trip to Seattle. Oh and we were shooting with Katelyn’s full frame Canon. Since my senior pictures, which were hideous, I have never had someone take pictures of just me. I am very self conscious on the other side of the camera and feel much more comfortable doing the shooting. So here I am feeling vulnerable.¬†This is what happens when two photographers fall in love – lots of images. Enjoy.

After this I will start writing about where I am headed next. Wanderlust has me. I am taking steps to live a life that will fulfill me and my need for adventure. Lots of things are happening.

Feed Your Monkey!



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Vashon Island Bicycle Adventure
New Look for Adventure Monkey

Eric Benjamin

Owner/Operator of Adventure Monkey