Useful Lessons on Slipping and Climbing, Jenny Price
Sedona, AZ —Red Rock Country—May 2012—photos by Me
Could you climb that?
If you could, would you?
Why would you want to?
What would lead you to take the first step?
What would you do to prepare for the journey?
What would your climb really represent?
Every day you wake up, this mountain is in front of you. Your mountain today may look different than mine. But it’s there. And it’s huge. It’s majestic. It’s beautifully rich with wonder.
Every day you wake up, and nothing is in front of you. You aren’t awake enough to see it. It’s there…and you don’t care to climb. You’ve already tried all that. It’s just easier to sit at the bottom and look up. And wonder…what if? You ignore the mountains. Even their beauty and majesty. You have learned to tune them out.
The choice is yours – which mountains you acknowledge. Which ones you actually choose to climb – or not climb.
And then there’s the rivers running through your life. Do you notice these? Do you see the passing of time, and the flow of life, running by you? Are you wading in the river, taking the risk, or sitting cozy and dry on the sidelines?
Observing. Taking it in. But not quite ready to get your feet wet.
When you do step in the water, the rocks are slippery. Your footing might just be insecure. Uncertain. Lacking stability. And…step anyways.
When I was sitting by this river, just a few weeks ago, watching others play, soaking my feet in the freezing water, I saw several people slip. I saw a fairly heavy-set woman bust right down on her butt. I literally said, “OUCH” for her. And, she got right up, and kept going to the swim hole, to ride the slippery rock slide back into the water she just fell beside. I watched a young man, with his wife and little girl. Hooting and hollering. Celebrating and taking pictures of every bit of their experience. They jumped in to play. And they all slipped - eventually.
When you climb in the water, you are going to slip. What are your options when you do?
1. Pretend you didn’t. Quick. No one’s looking. Just jump up and act like nothing ever happened. Deny your slippage.
2. Stay there on your tailbone that you just busted and wallow in the pain. Stay stuck. Focus on the unbelievable pain, and let it keep you from moving.
3. Laugh at yourself. And say, “At least I tried.” Enjoy the process. Even the “oops” moments. Learn from them.
4. Get up. Slip again. Get up again. Slip again. And keep slipping until you get to your mountain top. Persist. The pay off is beautiful.
5. Blame it on the water – on the way the rock was designed. Blame the fall on “it”. Play victim. Choose blame so you won’t have to step any further.
After spending time at the river, I saw my options.
I could play it safe. Deny my dreams. Wallow in what was, what is, what will be. I could slip and stay on the ground.
Or, I could play it risky. Jump in even deeper. Get right up, knowing there will be other falls. And move anyways.
There will be more mountains. More valleys. More forests. More adventures. More climbs. More rivers. More to wade through. More to swim in.
What will you do when the next one comes? Will you see it? Is it already in you? Deep in your heart? What option will you choose?
What mountain is right in front of you right now? When was the last time you slipped, and it even hurt, but you got up anyways? I can’t wait to hear YOUR story.
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