I was running an epic trail race in the Rocky Mountain foothills and couldn't get you off my mind. The thoughts and feelings I had along the ups and downs of the course were noteworthy. They resembled what it sometimes feels like in the 'elevation changes' of our lives. It went something like this...
An uneasy feeling came over me before I left the house that morning. I knew I hadn't prepared enough for the race, so it was going to be tough.
My thoughts were already going uphill and I hadn't even reached the start line.
Easy Does It
Luckily, mindfulness kicked in and as a result, I was able to recognize my unsettled head space before I went on my way.
It was a beautiful spring day and the course was gorgeous. At that point, there wasn't much I could do about not having more miles and mountains under my belt. Under the circumstances, I had to make a choice; would I let my mind manage me, or was I going to manage my mind?
Our mindset is always up to us.
I chose a double-dip of patience and gratitude. It goes without saying that patience for the challenging climbs was absolutely necessary. And I would clearly need some gratitude for the magnificent descents.
Find a Mindset Strategy That Works
I cooperated with gravity going up the mountain by letting go of all mental resistance stirring in my head. My mission was to put one foot in front of the other until I got to the top. Any negative self-talk or complaining would only slow me down.
Obviously, letting go of the thinking that doesn't serve you, or that weighs you down like gravity, is key when you're going 'uphill'.
- Does that ever happen to you? Does your mind ever shift into fret-mode when you're facing something difficult in your business or personal life, therefore you end up making a challenging experience harder than it needs to be?
- What happens when you let the weight of 'gravity' guide you to rethink your mindset?
I also let gravity guide me going downhill by being mindful to enjoy the ride. If I had been thinking of the past, or too far ahead, I might have missed out on the joy.
The more consciously aware we are of how it feels when we are authentically happy, the more apt we are to repeat the thoughts, feelings and behaviors that got us there.
This thinking strategy applies to all kinds of life situations like the work we do and how we do it, to how we engage with others.
Truth be told, there were a couple of moments on the downslopes when I slipped into mental resistance, which I found both surprising and interesting.
Half-way down the mountain, smack in the middle of descent nirvana, I started nibbling on stress-tots until I realized what was happening and threw them out. I needed intentional gratitude for the simple gift of being there.
- Does that ever happen to you? Does your mind ever circle back to the stress/complaint/negativity trough in the middle of your celebration, success or peace of mind?
- How do you feed your mental appetite with useful sustenance so you can truly enjoy the moment without short-changing yourself?
Create the Good
Needless to say, we can't predict all of the ups and downs along the elevation map of our lives. But we can pay attention to the heaviness in any situation, and make mindset adjustments that let gravity bring out the good.
I'm thankful I was paying attention to my mental process so I could choose to manage it instead of it manipulating me. That would have resulted in an entirely different experience - one that would have no doubt suffered for the absence of joy.
With highest regard,
P.S. Would someone you know benefit from this insight? Feel free to share it