Free Cycles—Support the Bike. {Cause}

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Since fall of 2008, I’ve had the blessed opportunity to call Missoula, Montana my home.

Over the following years, I’ve had the privilege of immersing myself within its fast-paced community of bicycle enthusiasts and have gotten to know just a few of its unsung heroes who’ve really helped inspire and shape this prolific trend, hidden within the rocky mountains of northwestern Montana.

One man in particular stands out amongst the rest of this two-wheeled tribe and his name is Bob Giordano.

Currently, his community bike shop, Free Cycles is at risk of losing valuable ground, literally.

20 years of sweat, rigor, vision and tears has spawned a massive, counter-culture movement and the man behind this widely popular, grassroots effort is asking for our support.

“Bob Giordano, Executive Director and founder of Free Cycles and MIST, has been an active citizen of Missoula since 1994. Beginning his higher education at North Carolina State University with a Business Management major and Environmental Ethics minor, Bob was “always intrigued by the West.” Once he discovered the mountains and submerged himself in the rivers of Montana, he could not go back to his beloved Blue Ridge Mountains.

After learning and teaching about bicycles and healthy city design for the past twenty years, Bob is striving to create a more sustainable way of life for people and our relationships with the Earth.

Other passions include enjoying music around a fire, promoting clay, spending time with friends and family, carrying a wok on long-distance bike trips or spontaneously planning his next adventure.”

Source: http://www.freecycles.org/who-we-are/

“It’s a long ride. 89 miles from here and the first 18 are uphill. It’s going to be a good day.”

~ Bob Giordano, Executive Director

“Free Cycles formed in 1996 to reduce air pollution by re-purposing unused bicycles. Over time, three core programs have emerged: Open Shop, Build A Bike, and BikeWell Education.”

While their programs are free and available to anyone, much of their time and energy is spent working with vulnerable and at-risk populations.

Build-a-Bike is exactly what it sounds like. Using a massive amount of donated parts and frames, a person can build a bike for little to no monetary cost.

Open Shop has brought 200,000 people from diverse backgrounds through their doors to fix and build bicycles. 18,000 free bikes have been earned, built, and ridden away by people seeking a pedaling lifestyle.

BikeWell classes have provided 5,000 participants with safety and maintenance skills.

Free Cycle’s mission seeks to create a healthy community through a wide range of strategies.

Ultimately, the goal of Free Cycles is to help Missoula, Montana transition to a more sustainable transportation system while simultaneously setting a strong example for other places. Through their programs they hope to help individuals they work with become active stewards of the community with an emphasis on social and environmental justice. They work towards this mission through education, empowerment, and engagement.

Goals:

  • Their education programs strive to give people the knowledge to maintain their bicycle independently, use it safely and eventually share their skills with others.
  • By increasing the accessibility of human powered transportation, they seek to directly empower individuals from all walks of life with the ability to move themselves.
  • Their projects focus on community engagement to facilitate a sense of collective responsibility, a strong sense of place and human connectivity.

Gaining the entire 28,000 sq. ft. building (they currently rent 1/3rd of the space) will allow for both a strengthening of core programs and the expansion of three additional programs: a fabrication center, transforming scrap bikes into adaptive mobility, a bicycle lending library and a Transportation Learning Center.

“Let’s celebrate 20 years of people power, honor the passion of collective community spirit, heighten awareness and unite for a cause in which we truly believe!”

Your contribution will help Free Cycles spread their wings! Support the Bike

“We learn how to build the world while we learn how to build a bicycle.” ~ Unknown

Free Cycles Provides:

  • A free bicycle for every child
  • A free bicycle for every adult willing to volunteer and learn
  • Freedom of movement for all people through adaptive bikes
  • Recycling of broken bikes into workable forms of transportation and art
  • Training and empowering of citizens to enact life-saving road designs

“After 20 years, our roots have grown deep into the Missoula community. Our property is now for sale. Help us buy our home! We can expand services and further the progress of bicycles and community helping to build a sustainable world. Our goal is to raise 1.1 million and buy the entire 2 acres. Raising $330,000 allows us to make a down payment and take out a loan. Our current incomes can cover the payments! We would keep fundraising and pay off the loan over the next few years. Every dollar donated is critical and every dollar is well spent in securing a long term future for Free Cycles Missoula.

Please spread this to your networks: Support the Bike

See www.freecycles.org for more information about our work and to read about our vision.

Please send this to your networks to be involved with this campaign. Thanks and all support is greatly appreciated!”

The Vision (YouTube): Cycles of Change

Donate: Support the Bike

Source: https://www.crowdrise.com/supportthebike; http://www.freecycles.org/; http://www.strans.org/  

Soul-searching love—my quest to find you.

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Every day I awaken to the reality that you’re still not here—yet you’re always present in mind.

I now know that indeed, you exist and I’m sure I’ve stolen your glance, just as you’ve stolen mine.

Regardless, here I lay, wondering when we'll ever be lying here together—that final transition, into forever.

It’s in my arms, where I wish for you to be.

The fragrance of your hazel hair and uniquely sensual scent that drew me to you from thousands of miles away.

The winds carried us aloft and set us down, ever so gently many, many times over these long and arduous years, yet neither of us ever landed in the same place together or at least not at the same time.

Years distance us in age, yet I feel like you’re my twin.

Our souls collided so long ago, do you still remember that fated union?

Millenia has passed since, as has the dawning age of many civilizations and departed seas.

We’ve fallen in separation and risen as one.

Time and time again, I reflect on that picture of you etched into my mind and heart—the only thing I have left to remind myself of just how truly remarkable you are.

It’s that inner reflection I crave so deeply—my valiant efforts are to keep that intact.

The first time I stared so deeply into your eyes, I saw it—beyond the shadow of a doubt.

That you’re a starseed, from somewhere else too.

Maybe that’s where we originally met—in some faraway galaxy spiraling outward like our own.

A different sun and many other moons, yet your energy signature—I recognized in just one breath.

Our hearts beat to the same rhythm and we both quake for the other—our desires salivating our yearning to continue exploring, seeking out every cave and meadow, where we once danced in ceremony and to our own matrimony.

Young and old, while the Universe was still young, we choreographed a map of the constellations so we might never lose our way back to one another’s soul—our wayward journey home.

I’ve been your illustrious teacher and you’ve been my steadfast sail and vessel.

In the absence of the other, we’ve treaded water until we could no longer feel our own muscles failing us, now numb yet euphoric—that feeling one experiences right before they pass.

I’ve heard your whispers from great distances while awaiting patiently atop many mountain passes in hopes that the winds would drift your soul’s wandering spirit my way.

The trade winds have spoken.

Time has stood still.

Not that any other would have noticed, but you did—you turned your head and looked right through me; your piercing gaze penetrated my soul.

It only took a moment, one look and I knew, I knew!

Your words, your wisdom—I thirst to lick every drop from your sweat-soaked soul, temptuous mind and shimmering body.

Just hearing your laughter, my knees falter and when I see you smiling—radiating, like you’re still brand new…a tear rises to the surface; filled with the emotional longing of that long ago scribed text when we first carved our love for each other into that age-old granite slab.

Alas, we both know better—not that it’s anyone’s secret.

We’ve both experienced hardship and trial so that we might arrive here now at this place in time where this life’s first meet has finally been forged.

Reckless abandon, shame and guilt plagued our hearts and blinded our spirits.

Every sworn off experience has honed this reunion, birthed from daunting courage, sacrifice and relenting hope.

Had we not faced such diversity, we’d have surely passed one another by.

Because, to me, the only woman worth being with is one who’s survived her trauma and has risen from literal bloodshed.

The turmoil became maddening and the self-worth within sank to the bottom of our seas while we persistently endured each forsaken moment of unimaginable attrition.

Nonetheless, our faithful inner moonlight still shone—casting its shadow unto the tides while we were listlessly pulled closer, then further away and finally closer again before finally shoring.

Thank God we both made it here today because I almost drowned—ever so nearly giving up; giving into my own insanity and unsightly despair.

I’d lost total faith and swam through the darkness of the shadow realm for too long, it now seems—nearly unbearable to even fathom.

Every once in awhile, I could feel your soft, silken and pale skin brush up against my calloused and broken body.

You were always there, in some way, shape or form.

Guiding me, whispering sweet nothings into my ear.

Resting your bosom against my own.

Sweet, magical, mysterious lover of mine who still eludes me—please know that I’ve not given up, not one breath has been in vain.

Knowing you’re alive and here on this Earth plane too, offers me the assurance to proceed—to see this all through to its bittersweet end.

We may not meet quite soon enough, but I surely hope we will.

My heart aches and pains and might shatter into a thousand pieces but if it does, I’ll toss a few fragments into the winds while standing at the altar of the highest mountain top.

Some will drift beyond the bay and out into the swift ocean currents while they ebb and flow from the swaying moon’s pull.

I’ll bury a part of myself in the damp, pitch soil where I know time will germinate this love before finally escaping the darkness and into the light of day.

Aren’t we so fortunate, to have discovered this kind of true, unbridled love?

I miss you terribly each day and I have no idea where this will all lead but I’m assured that all is never really lost.

Please know this: I’ve waited an eternity for something just like this, knowing that all of creation has its own plan and that we’re intrinsically a part of that equation too.

When you and I are done serving our time as awakening warriors, maybe we can once again stare into one another’s magnificent cobalt-fired and moonlit eyes to remember the Universes we each used to imagine—awakened with our brazen love.

Until then, you’re nearly always in mind and know that you’ll forever harbor safe haven and space within the deepest crevasses of my heart, mind and soul.

The Romantic Soul’s Journey.

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Soul romance is about diving a little deeper into someone’s spirit each time we interact.

It’s a journey; a vision quest.

No two souls are exactly alike.

Which creates space for spontaneity and challenge.

Embrace and understanding, even indifference.

To peer into someone’s soul just a little more is to open the window into our own.

Dear Beloved,

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It’s my ego that gets in the way of conveying how I truly feel.

Because it’s my ego that feels like I should defend the good and morally sound nature of others—even if they’re guilty in the eyes of many.

I however, have nothing to offer or defend of my own good or abhorrent nature.

Standing at the altar of my own personal freedom and persecution, I choose whether to execute or pardon.

Why do I long for you so?

What is it about you that’s so different from the rest?

I’m saddened often, that I have to miss you—that we do not get to share our moments together, in the flesh.

Where have you gone and where did I go?

Sometimes, I get lost on the trail of isolation that no man walketh but me.

When will we dance once more?

Underneath that brilliant, pale-white light…

Do you remember when, we used to laugh and play…when we were best friends?

I’ll let you go now, I’ll let go of your hand no matter how much it pains.

Why, oh why do I feel this way?

I hope that someday I’ll figure out how to simply love absent the adjustment of my mind telling me which conditions are ripe and why I should deny.

Yes, I’ll admit my own denial and next it will be rage.

Not the kind you, my dear might have unfortunately gotten used to.

It’s the kind of inner storm I never wish for you to see in me.

What goes on within, I cannot explain.

The wires, somewhere along the way got confused, beaten into me—this brain-washed brain.

If only you knew or maybe you can relate…

How much torment we inevitably suffer before that final heartbreak.

Destined for loneliness.

Hardened by trial.

I swear on the life of my dearest loved ones, that only a gentle hand and soft voice will prevail.

So much has been learned from failure and grief.

One day maybe, you and I—possibly in the next life will commensurate.

Until then, I envelope my own heart ache and wish while looking up at the same stars that maybe a miracle, a moment bursts forth into this reality and we are again united in faith.

My anti-depressant for tackling tough days.

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My anti-depressant for life now is: cry like a baby when I'm suddenly down, have my temper tantrum when I've been swept up in my storm, call myself names like my father once did, shake it off (because no one is here to lift me back up), get a hold of myself (I'm a man after all), maybe cry a little more (because no one can hear me and I feel safe letting go)—then I get back up and remind myself of what my calling is; my unique purpose here in this life truly is.

After all this, I get back to work—even if the tears are still flowing.

Nothing really holds me down anymore like it used to. I'm remembering what resilience is, even amidst my storms and self-deceptive battles.

The only tricky part about it all, is learning to differentiate what the mind might elude to as love and what love really is—the difference between boundaries and exponential expansion.

It emanates from the heart and anytime unresolved thoughts start trickling in, I know I've separated from that eternal connection.

If I'm suffering, I'm not loving myself—I'm running and hiding from it, despite the torment I might feel; believing that love should be so painful because to earn love as a child, it had to be painful, you know, to appease my parent's suffering and abuse whether emotional, mental or physical.

Yes, there's pain present in love as well but not to the point where we'd seek to tarnish ourselves or banish it from us all together.

It's painful, because it’s welling up in my chest-cavity instead of flowing freely through me.

I'll often times close the door and peek out the tiny master key hole wondering if anyone knows I've barricaded myself in again.

"Do not disturb me—P.S. Leave me the f*ck alone."

No one ever listens—they still knock, despite me pretending I'm not home.

Eventually, I'll ever-so quietly slip the key in the hole, turn it ever-so gently and attempt to open the door without making it creak.

It always does, no one's ever fooled by my show of inadequacy or victimhood-stance.

It's a tough sell, attempting to convince myself that I don't deserve love or relationship.

There's a difference between timing and not deserving what's inalienably a part of each of us.

I'm reminded that it starts and ends with me, every time.

No one's coming to save me or soothe my woes.

I'm a warrior and warriors rise to the occasion.

I've learned to release so I might fight this invisible battle another day, when it has crept into my spirit and longing nature.

When I'm seeking that outward validation, I'm cornering myself.

I've trapped myself in a cave and am being smoked out, unable to breathe or see out.

It floors me and that's where, amidst the salty tears and pathetic gestures to end this, my resurrection occurs.

I'm forgiven for being human—I forgive myself and remind me that I'm still just a little boy who was wounded ever-so long ago.

My duty is to clean up my act so I might be of some useful service to others.

I cry often, so that I don't become bitter from what would otherwise cripple any good sense I've learned to embrace about myself.

I'm a survivor and on some days, that's enough—just to be here breathing; alive and present.

It’s times like this, that I realize I’m indeed, growing—some days, like a bean-sprout and others, like a lotus.

Awaken Children of the Rainbow.

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I believe that those of us, who've become a part of a budding space-age society should leave this planet eventually—whether it be our generation or the next to follow, along with creating Utopian bio-sphere societies that float and meander in the clouds, here on Earth; drifting peacefully above our heaven we call Gaia.

Let the indigenous peoples of this planet remain and live in perpetual harmony with all life here as it was intended by Creator. Let us not encroach upon Nature any longer.

We're observers—here to learn our lessons and wander beyond, throughout the cosmos at yes, quantum speeds; at the pace of light itself; tunneling through worm holes and in-between dimensions.

Let this birthing space race cleanse this planet of its madness and peril—restoring it to what it once was.

The light age has arrived and transmutation of matter instantaneously, has been solved.

Tesla was the embodiment of which our greatest technologies to-date were bestowed upon and it's time that his inventions are shared with the world, not hidden from. No starvation, no wars, no more catalysts for the destruction of a dying planet.

It's time to rise and set sail for distant horizons, planets and galaxies too. It's time to meet our galactic family who've been dancing amongst the stars for eons, observing us all along.

It's a choice, whether we invite them to assist us or if we'd rather battle it out to the bitter end—allowing the human predicament to kill and mame instead of cure.

The "100th monkey" principle still applies: this is a revolution in consciousness, not out here on center-stage, where brother is pitted against brother and bloodshed prevails.

Our truths exist within and once we learn to heal our minds, unity-consciousness can again be met—in cooperation with an infinitely loving and ever-expanding Universe.

Let what no longer serves decay and be given back, for it was always, only ever borrowed.

Awaken, warriors of the rainbow.

~ Thayne Ulschmid

Healing a heavy heart.

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Whenever the inexplicable rush of painful, heartfelt emotions arise from within, I seek out the space where I might allow it to then express itself naturally as soon as possible.

In the past, I would insist on harboring such thoughts and allow these energies to persist. I’d replay these emotions over and over again.

This however, was not a healthy choice for me to make overall.

I was experiencing a pain and pleasure relationship with unsettled energies which I was refusing to transmute and release. This ultimately led to not only my own suffering, but contributed to the cording of others as well—a vicious and unnecessary cycle of harvesting energy to get by and fleeting attempt to flourish with little success or lasting benefit.

Today, I will say without shame, that I thoroughly appreciate the space in the privacy of my own room or out in Nature where I can let these emotions flow completely uninhibited. It’s difficult for me to simply let them coalesce within the confines of my heart center or any other area within my body for that matter.

So what is my solution that has taken all of thirty-plus years to figure out?

I sob.

Yep.

I cry like a little baby.

I let it out, every whaling and guttural feeling that is churning within and causing torment to my heart, mind and spirit. This, I’ll assure you is not exactly a pretty sight but it’s the only way I’ve learned to overcome depression, past suicidal tendencies or thoughts, rejection and anger which has welled up within from some life experience or unexplainable part of myself which simply and deservedly needed expression.

If we can learn to acknowledge that this pain or torment exists within us, we’ve not only become aware of it, we can now allow it to rise through us until tears are shed or wales and cries burst forth from deep within.

It’s a tragedy that anyone should ever feel as though they are not free to express themselves naturally—like that of a child. Does this make me any less of a man? Maybe in the eyes of those who are incapable of expressing their true nature. This will likely cause discomfort to anyone for that matter who is possibly ashamed of behaving naturally or has repressed their feelings for so long that it’s been long forgotten—the intricate transmutation of energy we might liken to alchemy.

Someday, we will hopefully see the dawn of an era where everyone’s emotions are cradled, supported, acknowledged and witnessed absent judgement or ridicule.

Letting go of that inner voice which has remained with me since childhood, the one who would otherwise criticize or condone such behavior has also been a revelation. Learning to simply hold space for the emotion to rise and liberate itself has done tremendous wonders to my psyche, confidence and overall self-esteem.

I can finally, for the first time in my life say that, “I accept myself.” I don’t judge my feelings the way I used to, nor do I try to deflate them with my ego’s petty and fearful voice.

Our hearts may whisper, but they reverberate like a tectonic shift in our Earth’s crust. Fault lines will roar and slip if we but let them and then all will return to its calm and serene nature.

No one is hurt or blamed in the process either. Any faults I may have found in another are dissipated and I am able to clearly see again—their best as well as my own. We’re all flawed and perfectly unique in the same token.

Additionally, I have embraced the notion that there needs no explanation or justification for energy-release. It may not come on during the most convenient of times and will often rumble when least expected.

From my perspective, a loving, authentic man, as just one example, learns to become completely comfortable in his ability to transmute energy in a healthy fashion such as this. We have so much to contribute to this awakening period of our destinies. Transmuting energy cannot or should not be understated.

A grieving heart leads to a grieving and defeated mind. We can once again empower ourselves and shed grief and despair if we but learn to allow.

Allow that surge of Kundalini energy to serpentine it’s way up and down our spine—spiraling outward from each vortice’s center. How wonderful an image that is, don’t you think?

I was placed here as a healing vessel to contribute to this Earth plane’s spiritual and material development (evolution). Our primary job here is to help and to serve. We are the most effective if we are as much healed ourselves as we are attempting to heal others.

If you’re struggling to let go of such pain dwelling within your heart, imagine yourself as that infant or child who, as the saying goes, can simply and unapologetically, “let it flow then let it go.”

Here’s to healing hearts and minds while we remember what our ultimate, planetary calling is here once again.

Namaste.