Svalbard – Skiing in the Arctic islands
I had an amazing trip ski guiding in Svalbard, Norway. Svalbard is an island chain way up north on the Arctic circle. We rode on a 72′ ice breaker sail boat called the Sky Dancer through the Arctic fjords. What a life changing trip it was! We picked a new destination each day, accessed the mountains via a motorized raft, skied with guns in case of a Polar bear attack, and in general had a blast!
Here is the opportunities for learning that I embraced on this trip.
1. Opening my heart
2. Letting go of Ego
3. Connecting with others
4. Positive mindset
Opening My Heart
This is a theme I am adopting from Micheal Singer’s – The Untethered Soul. The idea is that in any moment all we have to do is to Open Our Hearts and let whatever is present to move through us!
What keeps us stuck is when we close our hearts! It is not the pain of a situation that hurts but rather the act of closing. It is not the event itself, it is our reaction to it. When we close, it gets stuck inside us. Even if something is positive and feels great, if we hang onto it and try to hold it, we lose the present moment. We get stuck in yearning for it to stay or come again. The Open Heart allows it all to exist and move through.
Every circumstance is an opportunity. If I feel frustration or pain it is due to pain that is stuck from the past, old behaviors or patterns of being. Thus if I open in that moment and allow for it to move through, then I release anything stuck from the past. Therefore, the next time you feel stuck or negative emotion, this is your opportunity. Thank whomever or whatever has brought this on, now you can heal!
In Ayurveda philosophy it says that anything we can digest is nutrition, anything we can not is poison, and anything that aids in digestion in medicine. This applies not only to food, but also to experiences. If you are clever, you can take the most poisonous of insults, the most horrible circumstances and turn them into nutrition/medicine!
Here are some tangible example’s from my trip:
To swim or not to swim?
Matt dives into the frigid ocean waters like a champ. Ice floats all around him. I shiver and say that I am not going in because I do not like cold water. Then I pondered this with an open heart. Why would I want to swim in these gorgeous waters? Likely, I would feel a sense of being alive if I did so. That was enough for me. I have been practicing for years brining in more grace to my life. I am getting better and better at this. In addition, I have been shifting out of an old belief that says, “I am not good enough.” into a much more powerful and life affirming belief of “I am absolutely good enough.” Through this process I practice letting go of trying to impress others, worrying about what others think, etc.
So I stand on the edge of the boat, I open my heart and my arms wide, I say to myself, “I am open to all the abundance and goodness in the universe”. I smile BIG. Now, let me interject here that I would have been too embarrassed to do this in the past from my place of seeking approval. This practice is something I do all the time now, multiple times a day, that is to invite in greater amounts of well-being and joy.
Move With Grace
Then, with grace, I dive into the icy waters. Instead of freaking out and racing to climb the ladder, I remained calm. I did a few back strokes and peacefully moved toward the boat. One has 4 minutes before hypothermia sets in, theoretically. So I took my time. Indeed I did feel invigorated and alive. I felt at peace and calm. My friend Kirsten Kramer showed my how to play in icy waters with grace in the Ruth Gorge once as we slide into a blue ice pool in the glacier. She was as present and as calm as could be. This is how I wanted to be as well. Thanks Kramer!
After, I basked in the sun enjoying the beauty of my surrounding.
It is my goal to experience everything in life with this level of calm and presence!
Letting go of Ego!
As I increase my awareness, I am able to recognize when my Ego comes into the picture with greater precision.
When I feel it, this is my trigger to Open My Heart and let it move through.
I physically soften my shoulders, open my chest area, take a deep relaxing breath, and allow! I connect to a sense of peace and acceptance.
Most relevantly, this is not a pushing away or a ceasing to have it exist, it is an allowing. When we allow it to be, then it doesn’t stay for long!
I remind myself of my intentions: safety, fun, connection and play.
For example, sometimes when I would be skinning up the mountain, I would noticed it. It would sound, in my mind, like me worrying about my performance as a guide on any level. As often as it came up, I opened my heart and let it move through.
Connecting with Others:
I am enjoying this as a goal much more than my previous unconscious approval seeking and trying to impress others. It is much more rewarding. Consequently, I am experiencing deeper relationships, and a happier heart.
What an amazing group of people who where on this boat. Nick and Estella, who run the boat, are so fun. They create an atmosphere that is playful and rich. I loved getting to know everyone on this trip.
The time change threw my body for a loop, so I found myself not getting enough sleep. Where does your mind go in this case? I could worry, become stressed, be a victim, complain, or suffer in silence. Instead I used my sleepless moments to meditate and get full of peace and love. I told myself I was full of energy no matter what. Rejuvenation came from my peacefulness regardless of the hours of sleep.
We are the stories we tell! Whatever I tell myself is what I magnetize to me! We get whatever we focus on whether we want it or not. So let’s practice focusing on what we want!
When my body feels tired I say to myself, “I am strong, I am powerful”. Then I feel my body step up to this place of Higher Health. Come join me for the next course!!
When something hurts, I say,”I am open to greater amounts of well-being!” I shift my mind to think, “My knee/back feel great!”. Then I can powerfully create what I want instead of what I don’t want. What I then notice is, that I stand up taller, walk more intentionally, and add in gracefulness to my movements. It is not an ignoring or pushing through pain, rather it is an invitation for something greater than being stuck.
The pain I feel often comes when I am stressed, hurrying, or out of alignment in some way. What I am resisting in life? What can I forgive? These questions open the doors for greater amounts of healing, abundance and success to flow my way.
Focusing on the pain only increases the pain. Focusing on wellness increases my well-being.
Three Offering for You!!
Participate in the next Higher Health Course!!!!
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- Ski Valdez, Alaska – heli/backcountry combo
- Norway and Svalbard, ski and sail
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- Japan – Hoikkido
- Kamchatka, Russia – heli skiing
- Argentina, Chilean skiing volcanos and high peaks
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