I was discussing the next phase of my project with my coach this morning when the conversation touched on my scaling Mt Kinabalu this time last year. I remember seeing the biggest, brightest moon as we scaled up from Laban Rata to the summit in the wee hours of the morning and finally reaching the summit to catch sunrise.
As I look at the metaphorical mountain in front of (more likely inside of) me, my coach skilfully brought me back to the preparation program I put in place for scaling Mt Kinabalu. It was not a difficult mountain to climb, however, given the sedentary lifestyle and my chronic knee problem that was a challenge.
I knew that if I want to conquer Mt Kinabalu, I had to put together a program that involves changing my lifestyle. I practise self care mentally, physically and spiritually. It was easy for me to put in consistent effort and commit to the training program; it was however frustrating that my body was not responding to the program in the way I had wanted it to.
Progress was not nearly as fast as the effort put in. I increased the frequency and the duration of the training sessions and I pushed harder for progress. One day my Instructor took me aside and asked if I could accept and respect my body’s progress and let nature takes its course in due time.
That insight struck me like lightning. You mean I was lacking acceptance of myself? That I was not embracing the situations and events around me? I so want to be in control! I was reminded to accept that results are sometimes not entirely within my control. What an insight! With regards to relationships, profession and health, are there not things which are out of our control that we need to accept? Why then do we fret and stress over those? The harder we push, the greater the resistance.
I have mails from my single-mom friends which I have not yet managed to reply. I can feel the weight in your mails and although I cannot fully understand what you are going through right now, I can appreciate the frustrations, disappointments and pains. I see mixtures of emotions in your words and I can feel that you have put in much effort into rebuilding your life while results may not be matching your expectations nor are they progressing as you wish.
Here's what you can do. Ask "What is the mountain in front/inside of me?" and whether you want to conquer this mountain. Then decide on a program you need to have in place to reach that goal. You will also need to put in place a strategy and find a consistent and supportive structure And remember too to note that some things are outside of your control. There is a place for acceptance.
You can and will change those things that are within your control; yet you also need to make it alright for you not to be affected by the things you cannot change nor control. I can change my sleeping habits, my eating habits, and I can follow an exercise program AND I need to accept that I cannot control how my body will respond to the altitude or the slopes.
There is no point in me being frustrated with how my body is responding to the training. My responsibility is to continue training and practicing and to make this journey alright for me. I may need to take a gentler route to the summit or to go at my own pace. There are many routes to the same destination, each with its own sceneries and experiences, why insist on the one? Accept, and be compassionate to yourself. After all it is s much about the journey as it is about the destination.
You need awareness of the mountain you are trying to conquer. Do whatever it takes to change what is in your control to conquer that mountain and accept that which is outside of your control. We need to balance the pushing with the accepting. Have compassion on yourself, learn to live with reality and move forward.
A mountain is not conquered in one day, we have to start somewhere and beginner's class is as good a place to start as any. If you like to have some self awareness, structures and support, I invite you to come join me in my online coaching programs. You will find clarity, support and we will practise our training program together.
If you like to see footage of our exploration, head over to facebook, and I will see you there.