My fingertips clung desperately to the shear rock wall in Werribee Gorge. My soft massaging fingers were burning intensely and all I wanted to do was quit. I was about half way up the 14m face and it was our third climb for the day. My first real day of outdoor climbing. We were here because I wanted to go on a new adventure, learn a new skill, something I hadn't done before and this was my opportunity. January 2nd, a new year it was the perfect time. Or was it?
Isn't it strange how the new year has that beautiful energy, a fresh start. Time to set goals and resolutions and try new things, new projects and leap into action. Its strange because most of us only define these dates by a calendar that we give meaning to. But dig a little deeper we have done an entire orbit around the sun. Or have we? Not really because that's full circle on our birthday. January 1st, the start of a new year. Regardless of 'what it all means', most of the world adopts the Gregorian calendar now. Perhaps its the energy, the build up that we all create. As individual spirits and souls, the momentum towards this 'fresh new year.'
I have no doubt that I was tapping into that energy. The line up the rock had looked good from below. Plenty of cracks and crevices and ledgey sections to get firm holds for my hands and feet. Perhaps I hadn't looked close enough, as I could not for the life of me, find the next move. The more time passed, the more I panicked. I started to loose my grip and my heart rate was on the way up, with my breathing not far behind. My fingers and hands became slippy, covered with a fine layer of sweat. "What on earth are you doing up here." the mad voice in my head said, "you cant do this, you wont make it just give up.... You know, you don't have to do it all, Abby." I could feel my eyes pricking and burning as the tears started welling up behind. Maybe this one was too hard for me, I thought. After all it was my first time at this. Never did I think this was going to be a walk in the park.
I changed my feet and the grip of my hands. I looked far and wide and tried to grip onto any inch of the rock that dared to poke out from the face. No matter which way I maneuvered my body onto the cracks and holds there just seemed to be no way through. "I think I'm done." my shallow whimpering voice called out to down below. I didn't really want to admit it and all of a sudden I felt angry at myself for attempting this stupid climb. I was splayed out like a helpless starfish clinging on, about 7m above the ground.
"Just find a comfortable grip with your feet, shake your arms out to give yourself a break, reset and find your next move." called back the calm voice from the ground. I instantly grow devil horns, turned bright read and blew steam out my nose. I thought to myself, 'yeah right, do you even know what I'm going through up here!' I knew he did, but in this moment, I couldn't think straight. My ego was driving the bus and taking me to town. I don't blame it, after all that's its job, trying to keep me safe and in that place we all know so well, 'the comfort zone.'
Its a funny place, 'the comfort zone.' Perhaps even funnier is that line, or the grey area, in which you cross into the 'uncomfortable zone.' Its easy enough to get to the edge, and you can almost see the thrills and celebrations on the other side. Yet the way across seems like a rickety 100 year old swing bridge, suspended 500m above a lava pit with fire balls and dragons.
So I took a deep breath and sat back in the harness for a break. I knew I was cheating now but I didn't care. I continued to grip the wall with my hands and feet and tired to regain control of the goose chase my brain was taking me on. Encouraging words and tips keep coming up from below, but it all seemed to blur into one as I could hear the words but I didn't want to listen.
I tried again to pull myself back on and hope that a new ledge may have suddenly grown out from the rock just to get me over this little out hanging section. But no, the harder I held the weaker I became. I was pretty much kissing the wall and could almost feel the heat bouncing off the rock and back onto my face. I was focused on all the wrong things. I yelled out a few more times, 'I'm done, I'm ready to come down now. Every time my ego kicked and screamed a soft voice also spoke (whispered I should say) 'just have another look, maybe there is something, don't give up.' Because although the ego voice was loud and clear, the action of quitting wasn't happening. So I thought I had better listen closely.
Pay attention to the conversations of 'the ego' and 'the voice' (or you may call it the spirit, the soul, higher power...whatever). The ego will always speak first, it will be so loud and clear and almost certain it is right. The voice will come next and it will whisper, you will have to try hard to hear it but it will be there. Create awareness of which one your listening too the most, they both have a purpose, neither wrong nor right.
Then in a split moment when I thought my body would let go to come down, it pulled me up and onto the rock. I cant even remember finding the holds but I did. Sure enough, in a moment, I'd moved passed the overhanging rock that had been my nemesis for the past 5 minutes. The momentum then drove me up, no sticky points, just moving upwards all the way to the top.
What a pivotal moment, that time when your ready to quit, you have exhausted all avenues and even you think your mind and body is done. That strange instant, the tipping point. You stop fretting and all negativity leaves you and love flows in. All of a sudden you see the silver lining in the grey cloud. The way appears, clear ahead and there is no question, you just move forward. Sometimes you don't know how or why it happened, but you just know it did.
My challenge to you in 2017, is to take yourself to this point more often than not. When your ready to quit, you've questioned all the reasons why its good, or why its not...give yourself the space, take a breath and clear your mind of everything. Stop trying to force yourself, let the universe decide for you, its knows best.
Have a wonderful 2017, I cant wait to dance with you, here, lets share the adventure. Hugs
So whats the Lesson?
Hey there Wanderlusters, Adventurers, Travellers and Soul seekers...are you enjoying my Journal? Don't want to miss my next entry or just want to stay up to date with the adventures and the lessons. Come along for the ride, join my tribe and I'll promise to put you on my VIP list. You will be the first to know of all the freebies, deals, challenges, goodies and adventures. So please join me. I'm waiting for YOU. xo