Day 11: What Can We Learn From Looking At a Mountain?
Welcome to Day 11 of 21 Days on the Mountain. Today we are in a steep Alpine meadow, looking across the valley to the mountains beyond, and learning how the practice of stillness can reflect back to us what we’re feeling inside.
Enlightened Leadership isn’t just about ‘doing’. There are times when you need to step out of the situation and become the observer. Being able to develop a sense of inner stillness enables you to think clearly and act decisively, allowing events to reflect back to you and communicate what needs to be done.
So join me for today’s Power of Pause video where we sit and look at the mountain in quiet contemplation, and notice what we notice.
Hello and welcome to 21 Days On The Mountain, a chance for us to pause together for a few minutes. So this is Day 11 of our 21 day series and I’ve been sitting in this large meadow, with goats just over here. It’s quite a steep meadow, I’m looking up at a steep hill with trees above me. And I was sitting down here for 15 or 20 minutes, just now, looking up at the mountain that you’re going to see in this video a bit later on. And I found myself reflecting on my relationship with that mountain. How was I relating to the experience of looking at it?
And I was remembering that when I was younger, my urge was always, as soon as I saw a mountain – and there aren’t that many mountains, I lived down in the southwest of England and so we’d have to go to Wales or Scotland or the Lake District to find anything resembling a mountain – but when we did do that, my urge was always to leap out of the car and climb it, and get to the top. And I still like doing that. The mountain you can see here, La Pointe de Marcelly, has a lovely view from the top. For sure, it’s still a joy to climb any mountain.
But as I was sitting – just here – and just looking, I noticed that my relationship in that moment was more one of an observer rather than a doer. It was a moment of just sitting, and looking, and listening. And allowing the mountain to feed back to me its wisdom, simply by looking at it. I think that’s what makes this place so special.
So for our two-minute meditation today, you’re going to be looking at a mountain, or we’re going to be showing you a mountain, you can choose whether or not to look at it. But if you do so, if you meditate today with your eyes open, looking at the mountain, perhaps you might ask yourself: what am I noticing about this experience? What am I noticing about this mountain? What am I noticing about what it’s like simply to sit here and look at it? Do I feel an urge? Do I want to be there, or am I happy just to observe? And if I am happy just to observe, what does that feel like? So if you like, this is a two minute pause, to contemplate, and notice what you notice.
So remembering the three steps of our pause tool; pause, bringing your focus into this space between the sternum and the navel, and consciously breathing, in and out of your body. Following the flow of the breath in its natural flow, through your nose or your mouth, into your body, allowing the breath to be in this space, and then releasing and letting go. And doing that in concentration, and in a focused way, with compassion, whilst if you choose to, observing this mountain.
So I’m going to close my eyes at the beginning to help me concentrate, and I hope you enjoy the two minutes ahead. So bringing my awareness to this space, between my sternum and my navel, I know I am breathing in. Breathing in, expanding, creating space inside. Breathing out, releasing, and letting go. For the next few minutes, let’s practise our pause together in silence.
And when you’re ready, on your next breath, gently open your eyes.
So what was it like to observe this mountain? What did you sense? What did you feel? What did you notice about the experience? Remembering that the mountain is showing that to you. The mountain is reflecting back what you’re feeling inside, in its infinite wisdom.
Thank you for joining me today. Please join me again tomorrow. Thank you.