This morning, as I was cooking breakfast…oatmeal pancakes with bananas, I had a thought that after a day spent in flannel pj’s under the covers, napping and nursing a cold, I felt like I was on the other side of it. Pouring a glass of orange juice that my son insisted I drink to assist in moving the yukkiness on its way, a memory from more than 30 years ago, flashed across the mental movie screen. Outward Bound; January 1981, via Dartmouth College. Ten days spent in the wilds of Maine and New Hampshire; camping, hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, freezing my tush and other assorted body parts off. I had the time of my life and brought home valuable life lessons that serve me to this day. One is that I never want to do THAT again. Another is something an instructor told us that I can hear as if he is saying it now. I have written about it before, but it absolutely bears repeating, Not sure if he called it this, but I do….MAKE A POSITIVE CHANGE. All along the journey, he would tell us: ” If your socks are wet, change them. If you are hot, take off a layer of clothes. If you are cold, add a layer. If you are hungry, eat. If you are tired, sleep.” Simple as that. No kvetching and complaining, expecting that circumstances will meet our desires all the time. Sometimes they will, sometimes they won’t. What I have discovered is that a simple shift in perception (which is a definition of a miracle, according to A Course In Miracles) might bring about a much needed change in what is going on around me. When I change how I look at things, the things I look at, change. Yesterday, that meant re-framing the need to stay in bed, when I had (in my recovering TYPE A brain) ‘so much to do…errands to run…cleaning….laundry…deadlines to meet’. Instead, I read, wrote, napped. How sad that I needed to remind myself that I had ‘earned’ a rest, having been keeping a hectic schedule with full time job, book promo events, writing assignments, housekeeping responsibilities, the gym…and oh yeah…a social life. If I wanted to be able to continue to do that, I needed to ease back…and so I did.
Back to the orange juice reference… there really IS, what my friend Peter Moses calls a ‘think link’ here. On one of the last days of the Outward Bound Course, we ran up a hill. At the top, our reward, besides a much needed collapse and recover time, was a huge pot of freshly made, ice cold orange juice. Served with a ladle into my cup, I gazed at it as if was manna from Heaven. Feeling the sweat pouring down my body, heart racing from the exertion, wanting to collapse on the snowy ground, I gratefully gulped the liquid gold. Orange juice had never, and not since, tasted so good! It was a potent reminder that nourishment comes in all forms and often at the pinnacle of performance, as a reward for a job well done. Not that I rested on my laurels 30 years ago, nor am I doing it now, but I am still learning; work in progress that I am, that if I am to continue, as sings Kate Bush ‘keep running up that hill’, I need not to wait until it becomes necessary to rest, as it did yesterday. Better, it seems to slow down and pace myself to get up the incline, little by little. I raise my glass in toast to a new day!
http://youtu.be/wp43OdtAAkM Running Up That Hill Kate Bush