I have recently come home from a series of travels. To New York City, to Chicago, and most recently, to a town near Banff, Alberta, where I spent a week hiking in the mountains. The latter was an incredible experience. Not just because I saw amazing vistas, stumbled upon fantastic wildlife, and spent time with my boyfriend and my father, but I faced a fear that I rarely come into contact with: a fear of heights. It’s not a fear that I come face to face with on a frequent basis, because I’m okay as long as I have something to orient me or give me balance, and a sense of security. I’m fine, for example, indoor rock climbing, and I can lie on the glass floor of the CN Tower no problem. I’ve walked along Capilano bridge quite happily, ridden the gondola in Whistler mountain, and flown countless times, while gazing thoughtfully at the view below. Being on the top of a mountain, however, where the terrain turns to scrambly shale, and the trees disappear, and you are suddenly surrounded by nothing but mountain tops and air, well, I start to lose it. Almost. On this trip I managed to keep going and climb some very high mountains, only because I had three excellent coaches – my dad, my boyfriend, and myself. The positive self-talk was out in full force, to keep me from completely panicking, and to help gain control of my mind – and heart. This experience made me realize how much I’ve learned in the past couple of months, not just about positive self talk, but also about breathing practices and ways of controlling anxiety. It’s a pretty great feeling to realize that you can face a fear, and keep it under control, even when what your body really wants to do is just totally freak out.
This is one of many experiences I had this summer that I wish to reflect on now. I’ve eaten some fantastic food, I’ve explored some fascinating cities, and I’ve been shown real generosity from friends and family as I celebrated my 30th birthday. It’s been somewhat of a whirlwind, and now I want to slow down – a little, at least – to reflect on each of these experiences, and consider what I’ve learned, and what they mean to me. It needs a bit of processing, a shuffling of the interpretations of experiences around in my mind. Because as I’ve preached many times, if we let these experiences blow past us without special attention, we miss the real magnitude of what’s happening.
I’ve learned a few lessons from my travels, and from turning 30. I also have a few goals for the year ahead. I hope to share them with you.
I must admit, I’ve considered shutting down the blog, based on how often I blog now. I’ve wondered if it’s worth it to keep the blog up and running. I think I’ll leave it up a little longer.