ROCK CLIMBING IS MORE THAN ONE THING
Rock climbing is incredibly stupid, incredibly challenging, dangerous, fun and uncertain. It is not one thing, it is all of these things, simultaneously. How can that be? We live in a world of definition - things are labelled as useful or useless, good or bad, positive or negative.
When we really get involved in our passions things become a lot more fuzzy and sometimes we see that things are not one or the other, they are one and the other. All we have to do is choose which one dominates our focus. This is the essence of positive thinking and it is the essence of what makes climbing fun instead of terrifying. So when I think about the positive lessons that I took from climbing and applied to life here is what I came up with:
It’s Monday morning now. When I sit in the office chair, body aching and spirit soaring. The lesson here? Pain helps me - it helps me to appreciate comfort - even the simple comfort of sitting in an office. Contrast is necessary for enjoyment. I can’t be joyful or comfortable all of the time or it would lose it’s meaning. So as I train my body throughout the winter I pay attention to what hurts. When I judge my pain as weaknesses I feel angry at myself and at life. I realised during the winter that the positive labels - seeing pain as a useful signal - helps me to choose, rather than ‘be forced’ to work on myself. The gradual mastery of rock climbing must come from the love of it, to continue to enjoy where you are in your skill level. This is always easy in the beginning, when we have no attachment to our progress, but this changes, over time.
SUMMARY: COMFORT VS ADVENTURE
Unfortunately so many of us have lost touch with that, our sense of wonder and adventure and become stuck in a world of comfort, fear of missing out, obligation, peer pressure or guilt. Or maybe its patterns of behaviour that fuel laziness, hopelessness… It can happen at any time - Comfort is an enticing and soft beast, a slow killer but passion is also a killer. Remember that although it’s nice to be comfy, it is easy, and when we are only prepared to do what is easy, to feel what's easy,life becomes very hard. So choose life!
My addiction to adrenaline has taught me is that life is a dangerous adventure and I can choose to focus on the danger or to focus on the adventure, with awareness of the danger. There are tools I can use to help this process:
Neil Morbey is a meditation teacher, group facilitator and inspiration guide for Positively-Mindful.com