Choose the Path

Posted on January 3rd, 2019


I am deeply blessed to be spending New Years with my family in Utah, skiing, snowshoeing, and having a fabulous time! I feel nourished by being immersed in the quiet presence of pine and aspen trees, majestic snow capped mountains, and immense blue skies. Being deeply absorbed in Winter stillness is the perfect condition to reflect upon my life and the new year.

Today I had an epiphany when I was skiing. For years I’ve been trying to ski the moguls, also known as “the bumps”. After a day or so on the slopes, I feel warmed up enough to tackle the bumps hoping to make some progress on what feels to be a lifelong challenge. Today Liz, my sister in law, and I arrived on the top of “Peeler”, a good mogul field with intermediate bumps-the perfect place to practice! Full of good intention, I started down the mountain and within 30 seconds I was all over the place, my legs splayed, one leg in the gully, the other on top of the mogul, the next big mogul looming way too quickly in my face, pushing me into survival mode, doing anything possible to keep from a major face plant. I managed to pull it together and by the time I got to the bottom, where the moguls were easier to handle, I was able to do a few in rhythm which gave me enough encouragement to return again up the mountain. This has been my experience for years. I keep returning up the mountain to figure out the key to “the bumps” so that I can have a smooth path in rhythm all the way down the mountain. While riding the chair lift back up the mountain, I do what I often do, watch the expert skiers as they dance through the moguls, their turns carving in tune with the mountain. I look for some pointers, some keys to the mystery. I strain my ears to listen to the ski instructors as they give tips to their “mogul” students. From the lift I can only hear snippits of their instructions, and this time I heard basically the same thing at least 4 times. “From the top of mountain, choose your line down.” I’ve heard this instruction before but I realize that usually I only really focus on just what is just in front of me –  the first 2 or 3 moguls and I never look at the whole path down the slope. So this time when I got to the top of  mountain and looked down the sea of moguls, I chose an entire path down the mountain and with confidence pushed off. To my great surprise I actually made it halfway down the mountain without slipping dangerously out of control. It was amazing. It really worked. I skied “Peeler” all afternoon, picking up and integrating more tips and progressed until the final run when I felt in rhythm with the moguls for almost the entire run. Success! The key – “Choose your line down”.

In our lives we are so preoccupied with the issues of the moment. We get tangled up with the problems of any given day, distracted and taken off course. We feel like we don’t have the time to pause and look at the bigger picture. Wintertime and New Years, in particular, gives us this opportunity to take a moment and reflect, look down the mountain at the year and chart a course.

Interestingly, on New Years Eve I came across the question “What am I choosing?” and immediately started writing in my journal. I was inspired by this question instead of similar options…What am I inviting in? What am I cultivating? Many paths are possible and it is through my choice, my unique direction of thoughts and actions that my individual path unfolds. It is really all up to me, my choice, my agency. It all begins with the direction of my thoughts and actions. In the moment of choice, I release other options. I let go of attachment to other possibilities. I clear the path of distraction. The key – when I choose with clarity and visualize the future, “choose my line down”, my path will fully manifest with ease.

The other question I really have been enjoying is “What am I missing?”  I invite you to do some reflection and writing on these questions to cast the trajectory of your life in 2019.

radiant spirit!