Day 6: Climbing Mountains and Developing Our Senses
Welcome to Day 6 of 21 Days on the Mountain. Today our Power of Pause practice is drawing inspiration from the magnificent mountain trails surrounding us here in the Alps, which serve as the perfect metaphor for so many Leadership challenges.
So join me in our video today, and recall your own memories of a mountain hike or special walk in nature. Using all of your senses to evoke memories is a simple but powerful way to calm your emotions and create inner space, a central component of the practice of Mindful Command.
Hello and welcome to 21 Days On The Mountain, a chance for us to pause together for a few minutes. So this is Day Six and yesterday I was sitting on a tree trunk literally just a few meters away there, and as I came to leave I wandered over to this signpost that I’ve seen hundreds of times and I took a moment just to pause and look at it, and think about what it was representing, and I decided that I wanted to share that with you today.
So what we have here, which you may be able to see, is a sign. A signpost pointing to four different places, and the one that I’d like to focus on particularly is here at the bottom. And Mont Buet is a mountain over 3,000 meters high and it’s the highest mountain in Haute Savoie outside the Mont Blanc Massif. It’s sometimes known as the Lady of Mont Blanc. It takes a little under 8 hours to walk there and we are currently at just under 900 meters here, so that gives you a feel for how long it takes to climb 2,000 meters or just over. And if you’re going to do it, quite often what people do, is they stop overnight at a refuge, known as the Refuge du Grenairon, which takes just over three hours to walk to. And we’ve been there several times and you get the most glorious views from there.
So you know back in 1770, Le Buet mountain was actually a mountain that people climbed and practised climbing and still do practice climbing before they do Mont Blanc. So again, as I was speaking about yesterday, I find myself, even in just looking at this signpost, a sense of connection to the generations before me who’ve done these walks, in probably far more difficult conditions. And those of us who follow.
So in today’s pause, in today’s two minutes or so silence together, I invite you to think about any mountain or any hill that you’ve ever climbed in nature. And if you can’t call one to mind, maybe think of a beach that you’ve walked along by the sea, or a lovely walk that you’ve done through some woods or through a field, or anything at all that you remember that you can call to mind, that when you visualize it, when you bring back the memory, makes you feel as if you’re right there. And perhaps even a climb, or a walk, or a hike, that you found a little challenging. And I know many of you, many people I know, have climbed some pretty amazing mountains. And some of you have even run up them, which is incredible.
So please call to mind one of those times, or several of those times if they flip through your mind. But take your mind there, as we pause now together. So as usual I’m going to close my eyes and bring my awareness to this place between my sternum and my navel, the solar plexus. And I’m going to breathe into this space. And I invite you to do the same, and to feel the sense of connection, between the focus of your mind, focusing on the breath in your body, as if your breath were bringing your mind and body together. And as you do that call to mind your walk, or your climb, or your hike. Perhaps the challenge of it, how it felt, what you noticed. The difference between how it felt at the beginning and how it felt at the end, and anything that might have happened in the middle. In your mind take yourself to that place in nature, calling to mind how it felt, what you sensed, what you heard, what you saw, what you smelt, what you tasted, perhaps even what you said, who you were with. All the tiny details that you might be able to remember about that experience. And now let’s do all of that together in silence.
And when you’re ready, on your next breath, gently open your eyes.
So I hope you enjoyed that memory, always available to you. I hope the sounds of nature here helped to bring it alive in some way. And I wish you a joyful day. And remember in those less joyful moments, you can always pause.
Thank you for joining me. I hope you’ll join me again tomorrow. Thank you.