The Mountain Effect (lessons from the mountains & other such stories)
I begin my ascent and immediately feel the air getting thinner and my lungs getting smaller.
"Every step is worth it, though." A reminder that’s become etched in my brain.
As my breath is still dancing in my throat, I silently scream. I'd prefer to skip my way up to the top, but then, I'd most assuredly keel over.
I try and keep up.
"Seriously, how is she so mobile?" I wonder, panting. I start to feel the elevation gain in my bones, and then finally hit a stride.
It’s just me and the wilderness.
It’s more clear out hear: the air sings, chunks of granite catch my hand, and the coffee-colored trail glides beneath my feet (and let’s not forget about the marigold-stained bruise I just collected on my shin).
As of late, with each hike, adventure, or drive, I’ve been listening a little bit more. Learning through meaning, finding the lessons… finding myself. My hiking story usually begins that way-- out of breath, out of alignment, with a few new bruises. But by the time I head back, I know that's what my soul needed. The break in routine. The lack of structure. The absence of noise.
As I continue my climb, I notice a shift:
There’s a new awareness. Transformations are happening. My spirit is moving.
I like to call that the mountain effect.
Today, I've got some soul lessons on my heart-- and I want to bring them to light and give them a voice. And to share with you how the mountains have effected me. Let's get started, shall we?
1. HIKE YOUR OWN HIKE.
Growth and movement, no matter how slow, is still growth and movement.
Sing your accomplishments and mistakes outloud-- we all have them.
Check in with yourself, redirect your footing as needed, and stay in your own lane.
Go at your own pace. Sing your own song. Hike your own hike.
2. THERE’S ROOM FOR EVERYONE.
In a world built on scarcity and fear, sometimes it feels impossible that we have options.
Options to take risks, options to do what we love, options for a better life.
Ya know what I notice after a long hike, or a drive to the top of the pass? I notice no one.
As I’ve began to try live with an abundant mindset, I’ve noticed there is room for all of us to make it to the top.
No one’s successes or failures can dim my own successes or failures.
Keep inviting people along with you-- for success, for growth, and for company.
3. MISE EN PLACE.
Unfamiliar with the term?
Where' are all my foodies out there?! I’m lookin’ at'chu!
In the culinary world, mise en place is a French term that refers to having everything is place-- ingredients, tools, and that “get your shit together” mindset.
The mountains need some of that “mise en place” too.
Sometimes it’s down to the minute (or elevation), whether we packed the right gear, enough snacks and water, or if we’ll be able to escape the storm.
The mountains aren’t as forgiving as they look from a distance. Always, always come prepared.
4. DRINK UP.
Most of my hikes involve a tremendous amount of thirst (have I mentioned I’m not the best hiker?). :)
When I first start the trek, I need water so bad I can barely breathe.
Then, I hit a stride, a pace, and my body starts to shift with the mountains.
My life is kinda like that, too.
When I start a new project or venture, I have this thirst, this desire to push through the hard part and make it. Sometimes I lose this desire, but I try to remember why I started.
Challenge yourself, keep climbing, try new things, let your life overflow with experiences, and stay thirsty, my friends.
I don’t know about you, but there's a night and day shift that happens to me from the start or a climb to the end.
Don’t forget about the climb. The hustle. The rest.
Don’t forget what it feels like to fill your life with new opportunities.
Seek wonder, and that’s what you’ll find.
6. PROBLEM SOLVING.
When I leave my life for the trails, I stop fixating on my problems.
I’m moving forward, refocusing, and readjusting my mindset.
Free of crowds and quotas, I begin to let the mountains clue me in on life’s important messages.
Every step is an exercise in problem solving- so keep going.
That view, with all it’s valleys, peaks, and switch backs, deserve to be celebrated.
YOU MADE IT.
You are capable of hard things and you are someone that figures things out.
And above all, you and your journey are meant to be celebrated.