Navigating the ups and down

Friday December 13, 2019

I started to reply to a recent blog and soon realised that the response was a blog in itself.

Acknowledging difficult days, sticky situations, turbulent times, exasperating emotions etc. is a great start and like all journeys, they start with a single step.

As a long distance walker, let me compare thee to a summer day - I jest, let me instead liken our journey to that of an actual walk. How do you navigate the ups and downs, because for sure, there will be ups and downs, unless of course you chose a canal path to follow. Nothing wrong with canal paths, but my bet is you will still encounter obstacles of sorts, if not exactly ups & downs. So how best to navigate them?

Preserving your energy and taking it steady and surely on the uphill climbs is a good start. Pausing to catch your breath if you need to and perhaps even stopping for a thirst quencher may be required. Speedily racing to the top in one go is not necessarily the best way to get there unless you are in peak condition and have spent some time training to do so (during which you would have had to take it more slowly, so you can't get away from the theory!).

Knowing and accepting the climb can't be rushed is a good approach.

You cease ascending and reach the top, you are appreciating the view, seeing the landscape from a different perspective, enjoying the clear blue skies and cooling breeze. The climb is behind you and has led you to this moment. It meets with expectation, exceeds it even, or not, perhaps it disappoints.

You walk a while along a ridge, or it may be an immediate descent. Can you let yourself go and simply enjoy the soft mossy cushioning underfoot? No guarantees that this will be so, it could well be rocky terrain requiring much concentration and careful footwork to avoid a fall.

I'm not necessarily talking peaks and troughs, some climbs are gentle, a rolling landscape, and can be taken at a leisurely pace and require little exertion. Not all views at the top are the hoped for clear blue skies, some are completely overcast obscuring the longed for view entirely.

Accepting the twists and turns without knowing what the road ahead looks like, is a good place to be on this journey however far in to it we are. A bigger, faster engine may help on the uphill climb, but who knows if it will conk out with the pressure when it reaches the top? Slick body work might look good, but it's what is underneath the bonnet that really counts is it not?

Looking after both - mind and body - will serve us all better in the long run. Some would say there is a third essential element to introduce, the breath. The third leg of the stool without which, you have no seat. Mind, body, breath.

A Moodscope member.

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