The Power of the Mind
If you are following me on social media then you will know that I was recently lucky enough to spend a week skiing in the Italian Alps. It wasn’t my first trip but being someone who learnt to ski at a more mature age this trip was special. I skied some slopes I never thought I would...and why... all because my mind had told me so.
On this occasion, nature wasn’t on our side for the first few days & the conditions were less than perfect. In short, the consequence of which was that on day 2 one of the pistes I am pretty comfortable skiing was closed (due to avalanche risk) & the only option to get down the mountain was a much tougher, steeper & more challenging slope.
Forced out of my comfort zone, down I went.
Ok, so it wasn’t always pretty & I have a few temporary ski scars in recognition but I made it (safely I might add) & from there some confidence bloomed.
Up we went again & the second time I was much better. I learnt that a little speed (ironically) helped with technique & control & the story I had been telling myself about my ability level was simply not true.
Taking control of your mind & your thoughts is tough, but like anything it is possible with practice. I am not suggesting we all take up skiing & push ourselves down a mountain but using mindfulness meditation to become aware of what was a fear/worry created wholly by my mind proved to make all the difference for me in this case.
Our minds can be our biggest ally or worst enemy – it’s up to each of us to decide which we want to train it to be. A beautiful servant or dominant master.
Identifying & acknowledging unhelpful thoughts in the moment means we can make a choice about how we respond to them and what we do as a result.
In this case, the adverse conditions were a driving force behind the initial change in perspective, however, equally I could have taken off my skis & walked down (as some others did). I chose to take a breath, trust myself & made a decision to override my initial response.
I skied many more new & more difficult slopes over the rest of the week so from that one step came progress, improvement & growth, of which I am really proud, especially because it enabled me to see some of the most beautiful views imaginable.
The moral of my little tale - be mindful of the stories you tell yourself, they might be holding you back.