Life’s ups and downs

Kathy Krugerbalance, go with the flow, yinyang21 Comments

The Canadian mountains really are awesome

Call it the law of gravity. Up is pretty much the exact opposite of Down, can’t get more black and white or yin-yang than that – it’s a scientific fact, a universal principle of physics, or is it?

In Yin-Yang terms, you could say that Up and Down are complimentary opposites – yet you don’t hear the saying reversed – ‘What comes down must go up’. But in the nature of change, that is the way. Nature is always on the move, waxing, waning, see-sawing. So when things really are down ‘The only way is up, baby’. Really.

The implication is that ‘going up’ is always better than ‘coming down’. That might be so if you’re chasing a drug-induced high. But I beg to differ. Case in point, skiing.

Enjoy the ride – don’t be afraid to fall

When we hit the ski slopes, it’s not the ascent in a gondola or chairlift that’s so exhilarating.  It’s the descent – skiing back down the mountain, hopefully with enough skill so that you don’t totally succumb to the forces of gravity in a spectacular flailing, floundering, falling kind of fashion. I have been known to fall, and to get back up again. That’s life.

And there’s something liberating about surrendering, letting yourself be taken downhill, when so much in life feels like an uphill climb – always striving ever upwards (higher education, better job, higher pay), clambering, scrambling, overcoming challenges. Mountaineers will tell you that’s the whole point. Yet even the most ambitious mountaineer wants to make it safely back down the mountain, to actually enjoy the descent. To celebrate back home, sated, surrounded by family and friends.

I’m a fairly play-it-safe intermediate skier, who has been known to resemble an awkward stick insect, all ungainly arms and legs at times. Yet I love skiing, and sometimes I’m not too bad.

Skiing lifes ups and downsThe lessons I learned from skiing (as opposed to the lessons I need in skiing) are simple:

1) Enjoy the view – on the way up in the chairlift when there is time to appreciate it, but also on the way down as the wind rushes through your ears and even as others rush past you. Such show-offs are probably going far too fast to savour the view. Remember you are going with the force of nature. Feel FREE.

2) Admire the view from the bottom – it’s just different from the view from the top. Looking up at something can be inspiring.

3) Admire the view from the top – it’s just different from the view from the bottom. Looking down on something can be awe-inspiring.

4) Surrender sometimes – let gravity do the work for you, let the universe work through you – all you need is a little courage (a little skill definitely won’t hurt).

5) Be prepared to fall – don’t play it too safe, the fun is in the surrender and (sometimes) even in the flailing, the falling, the failing. The best laughs are there too!

6) Try not to fall too hard – don’t try to conquer the mountain instead of surrendering to it or you may just fall hard (and it doesn’t matter how much skill you have, it definitely will hurt).

One final word – the only better feeling in the world than finally taking your ski boots off at the end of the day is FREEDOM, preferably toasted with your favourite beverage. So Cheers!

I’d love to hear about when you feel most FREE. And how do you get through life’s ups and downs?

Linking up with Essentially Jess for another IBOT.

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Kathy KrugerLife’s ups and downs

21 Comments on “Life’s ups and downs”

  1. Lydia C. Lee

    I like the bits about the views…in T.I’s Sitting on top of the world, he covers this (A lot of my world view comes from rappers, once you edit out the N-word and perv sex stuff)

  2. Grace

    I need to be less afraid of the fall. Surrendering is a beautiful feeling. As soon as I stop resisting (whether that be an emotion or a decision), everything feels so much lighter and less traumatic when surrendering.

  3. chantel888

    I love the idea of skiing, but am petrified of heights and speed, so my skiing usually is me crying to the top of the mountain in the chair lift, then freaking out, taking my skis off and trudging down the mountain in the snow, on foot. Thats where I get the best view, and I keep getting back on that chairlift to make that same trudge down time and time again :)

    1. Kathy Kruger

      I have baulked at slopes before and done the trudge – I’ve also bailed out hubby big-time when he took me down a black-run and there was no way out but to ski, and fall, and fall, down. Glad you keep getting on that chairlift.

  4. Tegan Churchill

    I love point 2 and 3. It’s easy to forget the best of both worlds and focus on the negative, whether that be the view from the top or the bottom. Point 5 reminds me of when babies learn to walk. They seem to have no fear and just keep getting up again and again, even though they are going to fall over.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      You’re right Tegan – and it must look so far to fall to the floor when you are just a baby – we get out of the habit of learning and pushing ourselves (or into the fear of failing) as we get older.

  5. Kirsty @ My Home Truths

    I really enjoyed this post Kathy. As I race towards the bottom of my own hill I need to just go with it and not be afraid to fall. I really like the term “surrendering”. I need to surrender control and trust that it will all be okay. Thanks for the reassurance!

  6. Have A Laugh On Me

    Yes I have to agree there are some great similarities between skiing and life – sometimes it’s good to take stock of what’s going on around you when you fall, let it sink in and don’t make the same mistake!!

  7. Lisa

    I have never seen snow (I live in WA) and scared of heights but I have heard skiing is lots of fun. I enjoyed reading your different perspectives.

  8. Pingback: Just remember and forget | Yinyangmother

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