I love being reminded of my smallness in the world. Knowing that all beings are one and connected on this shared Earth—nature does this for me. She reminds me that this moment, right now, is ours and the next one may not be.
Tracy and I pushed the edges of our comfort zones a few weeks ago, when we took our Drop Below the Surface Retreat curriculum and gently layered it onto the energy of the Rippin’ Chix backcountry ski touring camp in British Columbia.
Here is what will stay with me:
- I can do hard things!
- Feeling vulnerable is scary at first; then, I pause to see my courage and resilience.
- Pushing myself past my fears is necessary to see my truths, and surrounding myself with the women who were by my side made the experience so fulfilling.
- Being a beginner is hard and is good for me! Having a beginner’s mindset invites wonder and opens me up to new ways of seeing and being in the world.
- When I am skiing in the trees, look for the spaces in between.
- Time stands still when I completely let go… when I stop resisting, close my eyes, and trust!
Here is what I noticed in my mind, body, and spirit on those mountains:
I know that I am in a space that is not entirely mine. I can visit, take in the beauty, traverse miles on a serpentine path up mountains, be in every moment, allow gravity to guide me in snow that is knee-high and untouched by any other being, make my own trail, allow gravity to pull me fast, control the speed if I want, experience the fear, and giggle after tumbling with head over skis and landing in the softest bubble of a down comforter. The wind reminds me that I’m new, a beginner, temporary and vincible. The commanding cliffs holding onto cornices of overhanging snow remind me that I’m not in charge and that I am taking risks, the trees that hug me early on the climb let go, knowing I will be back, the space between them is a blank canvas to carve my journey, my way, my path. The sun is close and we can almost touch it once we summit after climbing 10 miles and 2,200 feet up our mountain. The sound of the snow swishing by my boots and legs makes a consistent hum on the way down. I feel scared, impermanent, lucky, tired, awestruck, like a beginner, anticipatory, cautious, daring, brave, and strong. My pack carries essentials, tangibles such as life saving protective gear. My soul and spirit carry hope, love, and wonder. I. AM. HERE. NOW. I have lost track of time and it doesn’t matter.
I wonder about those I love, where all of this snow goes, what happens if…
I KNOW I’m in the midst of growth, in ways invisible to the eye. The women alongside me are at once quiet, then not, as we share this challenge, the badassness of being here, having said “yes” to something that is hard and scares us. I want my daughters to experience this; it reminds me of how proud they were when they crossed their first finish lines at Girls on the Run. I feel fortunate to be in this moment now, doing this. Doing hard things invites us to spaces where creativity and potential live. I want to write about this and process the power. I’m curious how I can find the words that do justice to this experience, and I know the words won’t fully describe because that’s the thing about it… it’s indescribable. I’ve done my best to put words to what will stay with me…