Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Enjoying the whole walk

I love climbing hills and mountains. I love the fresh air, and the views which change every time I pause for breath and look around. I also love the feeling of moving and stretching my body, and even that great feeling when I take my boots off afterwards! I do it for fun. The view from the top can be wonderful, but it’s a small part of the experience and it’s the whole thing I enjoy.

But it is equally possible to treat climbing a mountain as hard work, by focusing on the effort required, or forgetting about the experience of climbing and fixing solely on the goal of getting to the top. Why would we do it like that?

It is so easy to approach life like a series of goals to be achieved. A list to be ticked off. If we have things that we want to change in our lives we can end up approaching our self-help tools like that too. Like a summit to be reached rather than a walk to be enjoyed.

The trouble with fixing on the summit is that we are only there for 5 minutes. Sometimes we don’t even enjoy that because we are focused on getting to the end of the walk – usually a road, pretty uninteresting!

It is always our choice where we look for joy, and if we look for it in the whole experience we will find a lot more of it than if we focus solely on the end result. I clearly remember the impression it made on me when someone reminded me that the end result of life is actually death!

What would it be like to approach the changes that we want to make in our lives like a fun walk, and to really enjoy the whole experience; the ups and the downs, and the views along the way?

“Don’t do anything that isn’t play.” Marshall B Rosenberg, Non Violent Communication