Monday, November 1, 2010


My beloved motorcycle, Lucy, turned 100,000 on her odometer shortly before I turned 50 this year. We’re in good shape for a couple of middle-aged broads! Our fluids have started to burn up a little quicker than they used to, but we still have that spark and enough fire under our asses to keep cranking it and moving forward.
I’ve been enjoying my love affair with Lucy for ten blissful years, now. We just click. She’s provided me with endless joy, season after season, and few unexpected troubles along the way. A couple of flat tires were about the only inconveniences I’ve had. Funny thing is, they all happened in very convenient places.
I’ve been in love with all of my motorcycles throughout the past two decades, but with Lucy, I found true love. Over the course of those 100,000 miles, I fell in love with me. I started seeing the aspects of every road trip as a metaphor and began approaching the unplanned experiences of life similar to the way I handle unexpected occurrences on the road.
Here’s what I’m talking about.
While riding through western Wisconsin on a sunny and 84 degree mid-October day, I rolled through a small town, indecisive about which road to take next. I circled through town twice, each time passing an intriguing rustic road. It had that kind of dead end feel about it however, it also followed a river and had the enticing name of Water Street. With each pass, I felt an intensifying pull striving to overpower the voice of my head, nudging me toward taking that road of uncertainty. Putting my mind on the passenger’s seat, I followed the call of my heart, turned around, and headed straight down Water Street.
I found myself absolutely elated as I traveled, enraptured by the radiant fall landscape, meandering along the river. My senses were bursting as I took in the colors and smells, felt the crispy leaves as they brushed my face and heard them crunch beneath my rotating tires. I blissfully bustled along the narrow enchanting road, ecstatic and beaming. The old worn and weathered asphalt, blatant with evidence of consecutive wet seasons and harsh winters, suddenly turned to gravel without warning. Adjusting my speed, I quickly pondered my options. I could have turned around and gone back to the predictable, well traveled highway or, taken the challenge of the gravel. I took the rough unpaved, single lane option which led me over a small senescent bridge, back onto pavement and put me right on the county road I had hoped to eventually hook up with.
The gravel roads I encounter are no longer met with despair, but with inquiry. I acknowledge them as messengers, often signaling me to slow down or examine the obstructions which may be holding me back in my “off the road” life. Sometimes they just show up as an opportunity to take on a challenge and practice being open to the possibilities of where that unfavorable road may take me.
I probably would have missed many fabulous experiences had I ignored the nudge to go ahead and take those roads of uncertainty. Although there’s something both exciting and scary about what lies ahead, when I ride, I choose to focus on exciting and that’s exactly what the experience becomes.
When I take a ride, I have loose plans−no specified route−the security of a detailed map buried somewhere in my saddle bags, and an acceptance that I will get lost or confused a time or few. I set out on my ride filled with uncertainty and excitement, knowing there will be much discovered on the journey. I use motorcycling as an opportunity to practice trusting my inner guidance to get me through the challenges that arise on the road. That inspiration is always there and always one step ahead of me. When I tune in and listen to it, it takes me back home, every time.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Throwing Myself At Life

Riding a motorcycle gives me the feeling that I’m in charge of my destiny. In choosing the roads that are in harmony with the true essence of my Self, I can operate uninfluenced by the opinions, concerns, and desires of others. I choose to put myself in the driver’s seat because I want to be immersed in the entire experience, relish the gratification of finding that sweet spot; harmony of mind, body, and soul on the open road.
Motorcycling is truly a sensuous experience for me. The smooth and safe operation of the bike are primarily based on feeling the synchronization between my body, my bike and my surroundings, all the while processing a constant stream stimuli. The majority of the decisions I make while riding are based on what I sense around and within myself.
Making that connection between the clutch, throttle, and the twists of my wrists is analogous to many of the pertinent Life decisions I make. Both are based on sensing what’s going on around and within me. There’s no mistaking when I’ve made the perfect connection. My entire being feels it. Understanding how and when all the necessary components work together, and at what point they work in perfect harmony, has come with practice and a lot of trial and error. With any amount of dissonance, my momentum is interrupted, my ride becomes unstable, and my power starts to weaken, or flat out dies.
I love riding at the speed I’m comfortable with. Sometimes I’m riding the edge and scaring the shit out of myself, but I know to better my Self, I have to push the envelope once in a while. Sure, there have been surprises, some of them not so fun. When I face the obstructions and uncertainties of life the way I do on a motorcycle ride, I keep moving onward, usually a little slower, but forward nevertheless. Precisely the reason I ride a motorcycle that doesn’t have reverse!
I used to look forward to the straight-a-ways because I loaded my mind with fears about curves. The more I practiced taking on the curves, the better I became at handling the challenges I face in my day to day existence. I started living my life when I loosened the grip on my motorcycle and let go of the possible dangers. Instead, I began focusing on enjoying the unpredictability of the ride and ended up discovering Life around the corner.
Paying attention to my riding style gives me clear picture of my Self. I like the euphoria of the twists, turns and unpredictable moments. I enjoy going full bore, within my comfort zone. I find throwing myself at curves invigorating, and satisfying my desire to explore intriguing and unfamiliar roads pure ecstasy. Confident in the knowledge, skills, and experience I have to keep myself upright and moving forward, I put the brakes on my own fears and those other people may throw at me.
I’m not holding back, settling for less, or “good enough.” I’m riding this life to advance, enhance, and flourish−attracting into my experience anyone or anything that is in tune with me. I have the power to do so right in my own hands, and so do you.
Karen Allen
Encouraging motorcyclists to put more power into their ride.

Friday, June 11, 2010



I’ve had several enlightening experiences within the past month relating to connections with my personal Tribes.

Connecting with a tribe, with other human beings in a way that changes me for the better, is like hitting fresh asphalt after enduring miles on a gravel road. Within the tribe, all judgment ceases, time is illusionary, and the soul comes alive, seeing far more than the eyes and sensing what the mind cannot put into words—pure, unconditional love.

Within the tribe, no one is concerned about my make or model. No one is truly concerned with where I’ve been, though interested. They’re just glad I’m here, right now, championing my desires for where I want to go next.

It doesn’t matter where I’ve been. The Tribe wants to know who I’ve become because of it, and where I intend to go in spite of it. They want to hear how I have strengthened myself because of the tears and hardships I’ve endured. They want to know where I’m going, my intended destination, and are willing to help me get there with the people they have come to know and the wisdom they’ve obtained through their own personal experiences, explorations, and adventures.

I have found Tribes to be of a much higher rank than knowledge. Knowledge gained over the years may be power, however, I can’t possibly know it all, no one can. With a Tribe and tenacious resourcefulness, I am damn certain that I have the ability to find what I need, or someone who knows what I need to know, in the moment I need to know it.
When I started riding 20 years ago, female motorcyclists weren’t as prevalent as they are today. Semi-drivers honked at me constantly and derelicts would be drooling out the window of their pickup trucks. The surprised looks, gaping stares, honking, has all dwindled over the past two decades. Even though the aging process may be playing a role, seeing women on bikes has become more commonplace. The Tribe has grown and so has the intensity of sovereignty emanating from it.

Female motorcyclists are a dynamic Tribe possessing a fierce drive for independence. They have chosen to place themselves in the driver’s seat of life, because they know that the power to ride it the way they desire lies in their own hands. Like all Tribes, they know that when they choose to bring their soul to the table, they make a difference because they’re doing something that really matters. It doesn’t really matter what they do or where they go, they just want to be making a contribution to the tribe. We have an innate need for connecting with like-minded individuals. We want to feel that we have a special place in this world, that we fit in somewhere with some bodies, who will support our thoughts, words and deeds.

Get out this week and connect with one of your Tribes and watch your spirit soar. You may even find your Life taking off in a direction you never even imagined.

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Dr. Seuss

Monday, April 26, 2010

Discovering True Love

I feel a soul connection with my motorcycle. The second I touch it, I feel an instant bond, like we’re hard wired for life. I hit the start switch and am instantly one with my bike. The pulsing of her engine and the beat of my heart, coupled with the rhythm of the Earth—all dancing to the song of my soul, the world seemingly stopping as I enter into an almost surreal realm of existence—unite in sacred rhythm. All I feel is pure joy—no expectations, no demands, no judgments—I’m just going for a ride. My energy becomes completely fused with the bike, as if one entity the entire time we are together, in complete harmony with one another’s melody and that of everything surrounding us, dancing as one. Our moves aren’t orchestrated, they just flow and they work beautifully together, as I travel down the road completely immersed in the moment.

I have a lot of fun on that motorcycle. She takes me to all kinds of new places without hesitation or breakdown as we explore new landscapes together. We push beyond our comfort zone a little bit here and there just to watch the magic unfold. There’s no separation between me and that machine, we travel seemingly welded and working in sync with one another, the perfection unmatched—pure nirvana. When we’re apart, due to life’s circumstances and responsibilities, I feel a void within my soul along with a yearning to be in that state of total connection—effortless bliss—exactly what I imagine true love to be.

My soul is constantly yearning for the joy of discovery and my motorcycle satisfies that desire. That bike may be the only true love I have right now, trusting that this road I’m traveling is leading me to a landscape larger than the one I, or anyone else can see.
So, start living like there’s no tomorrow because, really, there never is.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Unlocking Possibility

Mind, body, and soul are in a constant process of evolution. While the mind and body slowly deteriorate with age, the soul’s desire for expansion and growth increase with it.
You are here to experience joy and your soul’s job is to push you in the direction of that joy, always. What may appear to us as pain, misfortune, sadness, etc., is really just a stepping stone necessary to get you past where you are or were, to where you really desire to be—where you belong. It really comes down to having the balls to cross the line when the desire out weighs the illusions of comfort and security.
That’s your soul’s way of screaming, “Can you hear me now?”

Drowning out or ignoring the call is a slow and miserable death. Every time you ignore the call and surrender to mediocrity, security, the norm—status quo--you’re killing off an aspect of your Self. Muffling or shutting out the call promotes premature aging and addictions, pulling you further away from your heart’s truest desires and from who you truly are and want to be. For years I found myself covering it up, shutting it up, choking it off, locking it out—my mind trying to preserve what it knew as safety and security—locking all known doors to freedom, afraid of what that might look like. Thinking everything out there was potentially bad and would never be any better than what I once had. I allowed others to dictate my every move only to find me, in the silence, screaming at myself. I sure appeared messy at first, but letting it all go sure as hell opened doors that would have forever remained closed off to opportunities offering the utmost blissful life experiences.

I spent a lot of time and energy desperately attempting to shut that calling up, lock it out, and keep it away, allowing my conditioned mind to control me, overcome me, and have me believe I was doomed for the worst life had to offer. I let the voices of others dictate my life instead of taking charge of it for my Self. I allowed them to make me responsible for the way they felt—hurt, miffed, or uncomfortable—regarding my choices/desires; demons trying to steal my soul because they believe people outside of themselves are responsible for their happiness and (illusion of) security. I wasn’t placed on this Earth to crucify myself for the sake of another/others. I’m certain I am here to resurrect my Self and fully live life as that Self—the person I truly am—fully experiencing life and truly living it.

The soul longs for a connection to like-minded spirits— kindred spirits—those who reflect and magnify our true essence and lead us to experience and radiate pure love. When we separate ourselves from those connections, the soul yearns for it and seeks it out, desiring nothing more for the Self than to shine purely as itself. It seeks to lead you to the best circumstances and people to make that magic happen for you. Sometimes you just have tell your mind to shut up and listen.

I’ve run the circuit of locking myself into the past, holding onto what felt right and perfect and good, afraid to let it go for fear there will be nothing better. In the process I shut out what could be. Instead of opening the windows and doors to invite possibility, I locked it out.

Forget about the way you thought it should look and open yourself up to seeing it the way that it could be. You may experience an entire world you never even thought possible. You may even like it.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


To me, there are two types of truth. A scientific, provable truth like, if you touch a hot stove, you’ll burn your hand. Then there’s truth sense, felt only by each individual, not measurable by any rational, concrete means—just an inner knowing, an energy force—a sense so knowing to the essential self, and so strong, it just takes over mind—all conditioning, programming, coercion. Mind says a lot of shit. I’ve learned to tell mind to get out of my way so I can follow that force—what I feel to be truth, and just let mind take a back seat. I haven’t mastered it, though I’m getting better. Mind is just doing what it was designed to do. Protect me from whatever it has learned to be bad, dangerous, or immoral.

What I perceive to be truth is not what the majority perceive it to be. Never has. For as long as I can remember, I hid my own truth, let the status quo win over my heart. I buried my “voice” for 45 years, afraid of ridicule, not fitting in, not doing what made others happy, not being approved of for the choices I made. Truth, my truth, makes me tick. For me, it’s a tingling of the skin, rushing through every cell of my body saying, “Yes, this is me!” I know when it’s ticking. It’s undeniable and I have insatiable energy. And I know when I get that ugly, shitty feeling in my gut and my throat starts to constrict, there’s an attempt being made to squelch my truth by my mind, or others’ minds.

I used to place a lot of emphasis on doing what made other people happy, not stirring the pot. I’m through. The emphasis is now on the importance of my truth. If someone doesn’t like what I say, do, or feel, that’s OK. I have spent way too much time trying to make other people happy because of what they felt to be truth.

I have always been an extremely intuitive person. I had premonitions and visions as a kid that freaked people out, especially my mom. I became afraid of them. It took me a long time to recover that—to let it be again, own it, and trust it. Truth to me is when the body/heart/soul says “fuck you” to the mind, jumps on the road, and cranks the throttle. The result—pure, unmistakable joy!

There’s truth of the mind and truth of the heart. We need both to survive. I prefer to place greater emphasis on the truth of the heart, which I believe has its own mind, even if no one else does.