WHY DO I RIDE? (Careful, this may be deep) This digs deep into the lyrics, song titles and meaning behind the playlist I recently created for a class at Urban BODY Fusion.   Why do you Ride? 

ADRENALINE: Isn’t Life Such a Thrill

"BECAUSE…. In Life, we all face obstacles both big and small, but it can seem impossible to master them all. We strive for “Some Happy Nights”, but our “Demons” come out and challenge us to these fights. We are faced with a challenge from within. “Survival” mode activates and we let the fight begin. It may seem we are chasing “A Light That Never Comes”, as these days fly by and bring us “Closer To The Edge”. We “Hold On” and brace the constant “Chop and Change”, for this “Summertime Sadness” just adds power to the already digging dredge. Life is but a “Beautiful War” and if we “Slow It Down” enough to notice, we’re merely rising like “The Phoenix” through each day full of all kinds of critics. We awaken each day, ready and armed for our fight searching for something from within.... maybe it's the Light. We are Alive, and I say, It’s “Time To Get Ill”, after all, Isn’t Life Such a Thrill." – Dana Urban

Time To Get Ill Beastie Boys
Escape 30 Seconds To Mars
Beautiful War Kings Of Leon
Summertime Sadness Lana Del Rey 
Demons Imagine Dragons
Some Happy Nights (Fun. vs. C2C) Mighty Mike
Closer To The Edge 30 Seconds To Mars
Hold On Alabama Shakes
Chop And Change (Soundtrack Version) The Black Keys
My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark (Light Em Up) Fall Out Boy
Survival Muse
Adrenaline Shinedown
The Phoenix Fall Out Boy
Slow It Down Goo Goo 

We Ride to "ESCAPE", we ride to feel ALIVE, we ride so that we may continue to THRIVE!  We Ride to Listen and we Ride to Feel, but sometimes we ride with hopes that our minds will just be still!
“Everyday, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life,  I am not going to waste it.   I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings.   I am going to have kind thoughts towards others,  I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” – Dalai Lama

I had the opportunity to drive across one of our beautiful bridges last week and couldn't help but notice the sun sparkling on the glassy, still waters.  The Gulf was as calm as the sky was blue.  This is a beauty we often take for granted in our everyday lives, but if we stop for moment and notice our surroundings, we become more aware of just how blessed we truly are and how beautiful the world can be.  As I gazed out onto the water, I noticed a ripple in the perfectly smooth water.  As I looked closer to notice the imperfection in the water which had just appeared to be a sheet of glass, I saw two dolphins playing and chasing one another- another beautiful sight.  Our lives are going to ripple from time to time, for this is life, but if we focus more on the good, our attitudes change and our minds start to calm.  We should all awake daily with gratitude, expressing our thanks for all the good we have in our life.  It's simple, easy to do, will change our outlook and our livelihood.  Start your day by giving thanks and watch yourself grow into a more positive, happier person.  Achieve things you never thought possible.  Tap into your true purpose in life and spread the joy, infecting others with your positive outlook, and start to notice the change in how you feel.

Clear your mind of the things that challenge, worry and annoy you.  Shift your focus to the blessings in your life and express thanks.  Our blessings can be simple things like electricity, food on the table, water, or a roof over our head, or more complex like children, a loving spouse, family and friends.  What about you personally?  Do you have a working, able body?  Then you are blessed.  Exercise that able body and be thankful for your health each day.  Yes, some of us may have hiccups or ripples with our health and fitness, but if you're able, you must at least give it your all.  

View the 7 Steps to Effective Gratitude 

Feed that thought of gratefulness and watch your spirits rise.  Notice the beauty around you everyday and lend a helping hand when you can.  If you're quick to judge someone else, stop for a moment and realize you don't know their situation and have no business judging anyone but yourself.  A change in your attitude with a more positive outlook will change the way you view other people, giving them the fair chance we all deserve.  

Start by taking a minute of your morning each day to think of at least 5 things you are thankful for that day.  This could be shelter, people who have done something nice for you, your job, a hot morning shower, or just the fact that you're able to get out of bed and start another blessed day.  Try to fit in an exercise routine into your schedule.  You will boost your mood, energy and sense of gratefulness.  Exercise is proven to be good for your mood.

As you go through your day, you are bound to hit a ripple or two.  For each ripple, choose a blessing, again shifting your
focus to something good in your life and allow it to outweigh the bad.  We have many things to be thankful for if we just take a moment to reflect.  If you tend to anger easily, slow down, take a deep breath and be thankful for something else.  You will notice your attitude start to change and your mind start to calm.

View a challenge as an opportunity.  Be grateful for the challenge and hit it head on, with passion and confidence.  We often are quick to complain about our challenges which just waste time and energy.  By taking the challenge, we are one step closer to fulfilling our purpose with a positive attitude and continue to move forward.

We all experience loss and heartache and this is one of the hardest things to overcome in this thing we call life.  Count the many blessings you've experienced because of the person you've lost and be thankful for the role they played in your life.  If it's heartache you've experienced, your challenge is to overcome the pain with time and maintain a positive outlook.  You will realize over time that the experience has only helped you to grow stronger and closer to your true purpose in life.  This is a great time to pay closer attention to the other important people in your life and express your love and appreciation for them as they are here for you now.

Last, but certainly not least,
concentrate on the things you DO have and not what you don't.  You do have control over your thoughts and how to direct them.  A positive attitude of gratitude brings on a certain kind of energy that will quickly change the way you look at your life and the world around you.  When you focus on gratitude, you shift your energy mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, so  infuse the mind, body and spirit and experience the Power of Gratitude.

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