Day 15: Exploring Continuity and Change
Welcome to Day 15 of 21 Days on the Mountain. In our Power of Pause practice today, we focus on both the simplicity and complexity of the continuity of life.
In a world where everything is constantly changing, it can be grounding, and perhaps also give us some perspective, to contemplate our past. Where have we come from? And what do we want our legacy to be, for our children and for the world at large?
As part of our Evolving Leadership programme, we focus on Clear Purpose, one of the four pillars of Mindful Command. Simply and powerfully getting clear on what matters in our lives, developing a sense of meaning and ownership, and asking the big questions that we often avoid; What do I really want? And how am I living it?
Join me for today’s video as we embrace the open space of an Alpine meadow and take a few moments of calm to contemplate our past, our future and our leadership legacy.
Hello and welcome back to 21 Days On The Mountain, a chance for us to pause together for a few minutes. So this is Day 15, and I’m sitting in the middle of a, what is known as an alpage here, or what we would call a summer pasture. And in a few weeks time this meadow is going to be full of cows. Cows that would have spent their winter indoors, inside, and then come out in the Spring and follow the grass as it grows, higher and higher up the mountain. So starting off quite low, and then as the cool air of the higher mountain warms up and the grass grows there too, the cows are gradually brought up the mountain.
And in the old days, in the centuries past, people would have come up here and lived with the cows. And down here to my right is a tiny, tiny hamlet of houses, small houses that the people would have lived in which are now used mainly as summer homes and might belong in fact to people in the villages below, and they might just come up here for the weekend. So the cows are going to be here and the dairy farmers are going to come up every day and milk them. This is where they’ll spend their summer, and then when they’ve eaten the grass that’s here, or when the grass above us is growing, they’ll move further up.
And behind me is a mountain that we spoke about before, Mont Buet, which is the mountain that outside the Mont Blanc range is the highest in the Haute Savoie region. Just over 3,000 meters, still as you can see with some snow, it has yet to melt. It’ll take a few weeks yet before that melts and fills the waterfalls and rivers that flow down the valley. I think you can hear in the background the Cascade Du Rouget, the big waterfall that I’ve mentioned so many times now. Everywhere here we’re surrounded by water. If I wanted to get away from it it would be quite hard, but I don’t.
So as I sit here in this meadow, listening to the birdsong, and thinking about what’s happened here for centuries, and still continues to happen in a slightly different way, I’m reminded of the continuity of life. In a world where everything is constantly changing, it just is. As I’ve said before, every atom of our body is changing all the time. We only need to look at anything for more than a few seconds, in nature certainly, to notice the change. This is the normal rhythm of life. And sometimes that can feel a little overwhelming, perhaps, a little uncertain. As I’ve said before, you know we’re wired for certainty, ironically, which makes living in an uncertain changing world difficult.
And so, taking a moment to sit, and contemplate in nature the continuity of life, I think can be helpful, I think can be grounding, and perhaps also gives us some perspective. So in our two-minute silence today I’m going to be reflecting on that, and perhaps you might like to join me in that reflection, or not – it’s for you to decide what if anything you’d like to concentrate on, or contemplate, for our two minute pause together.
But if this setting inspires you to think about the sense of continuity, of where you come from, of what you might have learned from your forebears, and what you want to give to your children, to their children, if it helps you to take a couple of minutes today in this pause to contemplate that, please do.
So remembering our pause practice; pausing, bringing our awareness inside, if you can, to this place between the sternum and the navel, and consciously following your breath. Into your body, and out. Allowing the breath to flow naturally, and gently, in its normal rhythm, whatever that is today, in this moment. And noticing perhaps as you do that, how that changes too.
Closing my eyes, I invite you to close yours to help you concentrate. And enjoy this two minutes of silence together, listening to the sounds of nature and listening inside and, if you choose to, tapping into the sense of continuity of life.
And when you’re ready, on your next breath, gently open your eyes.
So I hope you enjoyed this moment in time together, and I wish you a very joyful day. Thank you for joining me.