A Guide to Climbing, Experiencing & Cherishing the Waterslide
- Climb to the top and teeter on the edge.
- Then, go down.
- Cherish this.
Or, is this too simple? When we get to the top of our metaphorical waterslides, we realize a few things: First, it is much higher than we ever imagined, panic sets in, and the kids behind us begin to roar. We, however, are not always so ready to release our primal toe grip.
Now, the thing about overthinking is that nothing extraordinary ever comes from it. The places we can think our ways into and out of are amazing and even more so that ultimately we never go anywhere.
Then, there are those times we find ourselves at the bottom of our waterslide. In part, we know we must have climbed the steep steps to the top. We must have felt something of ourselves for having climbed so high, must have relished in the knowing of the ride to come. But then, we realize that we scarcely remember the climb or the way down. It happens. And in the end, we are where we are.
How does this happen? The footage reel of the climb is stolen by Depression. Yep, D hitches a ride on our already heavy-laden backs and robs us of experience, replaces in us fear that–fed constantly–begins to consume us. We see others that are perky and cheerful, and we want what they have. Thus, feeding the fear, we lose site of gratitude.
Year after year we torment ourselves trying to break the cycle with the next great thing. We become runners and more social. We listen to motivational talks and soak up everything self-help, life-affirming and life-changing. We go back to school, change careers and jump in and out of all the wrong relationships. In time, the novelty from each attempt fades, and as the law of attraction forces us to admit, we are focused so squarely on the negative that we continue to notice it everywhere. In effect, all that we do seems to be less than enough, but life happens when we are busy comparing. Life happens when we are busy making plans. Life happens when we are busy.
So, how do we become unbusy? How do we remember the climb or at best realize our presence during the climb? Mindfulness. It starts with eliminating the asinine practice of mult-tasking. All my life I’ve prided myself on being a great multi-tasker. I’ve stated it as one of my best qualities, touted it in job interviews and thought if everyone just multitasked like me, we would be all good. My, how I was wrong!
It is when we eliminate excess and concentrate on one thing that we gain awareness, presence and gratitude; and here’s the kicker: we become more productive. Ironically, my personal catalyst in becoming unbusy was busying myself with yoga. Yoga pulled me up out of the clenches of forgetfulness.
My mat is a trusty old friend, worn and weathered, and no matter how much I clean it, it’s coated with the essence of me. Blood, sweat and tears. I’ve practiced on this particular mat for 3 years now. Through yoga I gained strength and courage to stand on my own two feet, literally. I also gained visibility to see the steps–steep as they may be–,the tactile grip to feel the steps and the awareness of knowing that each moment is the best moment of life. Truly better to do more of what you love than to miserably work your way through life ‘shoulding’ all over yourself.
“Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.” –Tina Fey