Expat Magazine

Stay on the Mountain

By Thebangtoddowenwaldorf @BangLiving

Be thankful that you aren’t on Mount Everest right now. Self improvement being the goal, I enjoy books that challenge my perception. It’s like coffee for my brain. In just two days I gobbled up the harrowing tale, Into Thin Air. It is about the 1996 Everest disaster that claimed eight climber’s lives. It was a page turner that put me right onto the mountain, which was a place that my mind told me that I didn’t want to be.

Climbing.com has plenty of guides for the novice climber, although at first it appears only for the experienced. The site has heaps of techniques to help master balance, flexibility, and skill, which any level of climber can benefit. One of the tutorials discusses using yoga to clear the mind. It’s not the mountain that you should fear, but what goes on in your head. Doubt can kill and loss of clarity up top, both mentally and physically, can lead to trouble. 

That doesn’t just apply to climbing, folks. When our minds are sharp they can shape and form our lives in magnificent ways. Great battles have been won; monuments built; kingdoms ruled. All super neat things if that’s what you’re into, but just like a bayonet can take down your body, your thoughts can take down your inner clarity. Too much thinking can get in the way and like a tool it should be controlled. However, taking a mental sabbatical isn’t as easy as it sounds. It seems that even when we are relaxing our minds stay at work.

I have a tool that might help. Acknowledge thinking. I’m not referring to the milk that you forgot to buy  or the 

Stay on the mountain
pimple that’s on your nose but the actual process of thinking. Consider the task that you are performing, just like you are reading this article. Thinking is an activity and allowing ourselves to regard it for what it is puts us in control of it. Only after acknowledging are we able to turn it off, but it takes practice.

Give it a shot. Look away from the monitor for a moment and relax your mind. It won’t be long before something pops in there. Acknowledge what is happening. Enjoy the fraction of a moment of freedom. It happens quickly and sometimes I miss it. It feels fresh and then it is gone and I want more.

What is important to us isn’t revealed with our minds but by silencing it. The mind is the tool used to achieve our inner desires. The tricky part is figuring out what those are. Artists and athletes have an edge on the rest of us, their minds don’t tell their legs to push or fingers to grip. By silencing our thoughts we are able to stay on our own mountains and climb.

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