The wisdom of mountains

I am not a very good blogger.  I can go for weeks, sometimes close to months, without writing for a contemplated life.  During these times, I feel like I place a heavy silence onto everything that I have so wholeheartedly poured myself into.  

The thing is, I become silent when I am so deep in my own thoughts and feelings that I just don’t know what to do with them.  I have been processing and shifting through so much lately.  The grounding that I have always known has been pulled out from under my feet.  I have been letting go of many things and  reconciling where and who I was to where and who I am now.  In doing so, a new form of grief has emerged.

I know what all the ingredients are to my self-care routine.  One of them is writing.  But in matters of chaos you can become self-destructive.  So to put a stop to this, I have sat myself down to write.  Because I must share with you how I have found new layers of inner strength.  I feel like both my writing, and what is a contemplated life, will shift.  It’s like my reflection on writing those words on the first anniversary of my sister’s death - I never intended to share them with anyone, and so they have a heightened vulnerability and rawness.  But don’t be fooled - everything I have written here has elements of vulnerability and rawness.  Some pieces are just more obvious than others.  This is one of those.

When we grieve, we hold heaviness.  Part of why I started a contemplated life was to remind myself of all the beauty that still remains, and how we can integrate the memories of those we love and miss into our every day so that they continue to stay alive.  I have always committed myself to writing honestly and hopefully.  I know that my writing may be seen as too exposing for some - but have those people truly felt?  This world is full of both beauty and pain.  My words have been, more than anything, a reminder to myself that I must feel.  There is healing in understanding this.

Yet despite the passage of time, despite my writing, and despite allowing space for healing, the heaviness of grief and change became unbearable.  It has been a month since I have come back from a wellness retreat.  I was at a tipping point before I left.  I am not sure what would have become of me had I not gone.  

I have been telling everybody about the experience of my retreat, except you.  I  woke up each morning to the magnificence of the sun rising behind snow capped mountains.  The wisdom of those mountains taught me that I can be strong and resilient but also exposed.  To let my thoughts pass through my mind just as the clouds move across the mountains.  There is no other way to stand tall.  

I climbed those mountains too.  And in climbing them, they taught me something else.  That I can climb mountains.  And though sometimes, I had to stop and breathe and feel, I kept going.  I found the strength to do so.  I was not lost.

I know that I will always take myself back to those moments and I will remember what the mountains taught me about finding my inner strength.  I will always look at them for validation.  I conquered you.  But most of all I will remember the peace in the mountain tops and the letting go of my heaviness as I put one foot in front of the other.

In her book ‘Walking and Falling,’ Laurie Anderson writes that as you are walking, you don’t always realise it, but you fall slightly, and then catch yourself from falling.  I can now see how I was catching myself from falling as I climbed.  It’s a beautiful way to look at it.  And at the end of the day, it really just comes back to self-compassion and self-love.  If we don’t take care of ourselves, how can we be truly alive in this one precious life?  We will all have our tipping points along our journey.  These tipping points have so much to teach us, if we allow ourselves to bear the truth of what they are saying.  Imagine what you might find?