11 Aug Change In Direction
For the last 3 months I have stopped writing my blog. It was not planned it just happened. I just ran out time and more importantly energy. I had a great year and then I experienced a change in direction.
Like the day Forest Gump stopped running. I had to retool. I needed a rest. I needed to shift my mindset inward.
One of my consulting assignments ended and another picked up. That meant my constant traveling ended which was both good and bad. Life entered the tidal zone where different currents commingle, a zone full of life and vulnerability. Then the realization hits home. Once you start on a path of change it’s impossible to stop. Change has become a habit, but like a junkie the drug has a high cost. Change takes energy and expending energy means you have to find more energy to replace the energy you just exerted.
What is my new direction? How do you even find a direction? Difficult questions with the simplest of solutions. Your internal gps has always been present. Most of us are just afraid to look at it; I am no exception to that.
Do I dare look at its screen? I had programmed a destination the last year called living life to its fullest, was I even on course? I had to look.
Shit I had forgotten to press the start button. I had been all over experiencing life meeting a lot of people, having a lot of fun. In all that experiencing I was always looking outward. Perhaps it was to compensate for being an introvert at heart. Even without pressing start, I had found my way to today, the reason your inner compass needs no start or stop switch, it’s always set on some path, most of us are just too afraid to change course to the one we really want to be on.
Regression. I had always taken my 3 boys on their own trips with me. Now it was my 22 year old daughter Casey’s turn, I took her on a snowboarding trip to Steamboat Springs Colorado a few weeks ago. First I encourage all fathers to take their daughters on vacation, the bonding, laughs and adventures we had are seared in that unforgettable section of our minds.
On my first day snowboarding I went down a steep, icy run in flat light. I managed to fall one time and elbow my ribs, bruising them. I still had to get down, more by feel, than sight as the flat light eliminated all depth perception. I turn, fall and flip over while managing to jam the tip of my snowboard into the snow as I rotated my body around the board. I wind up on my back with my head facing downhill (unlike skis your board doesn’t come off in a fall). Then my board released from the snow, my body sliding down hill, I was finally able to jam my board into the hill and stop. My daughter who also snowboards, comes over laughing as she had watched this episode of self humiliation unfold. I was beaten mentally and physically. I was tired and had the last drop of my confidence evaporate into the dry mountains air.
I ended the day scared and not wanting to do this again the next day. I did the stall, you know, avoid the situation and it will go away. We get up have a great breakfast and drive to look at the springs bubbling up in town, smelling their sulfur odor before seeing them. Then we head to the mountain. On the lift ride up, I realize how low I came, as I watched a one legged skier go down the mountain, followed by 2 paraplegic skiers on their chair skis. I had no right to feel sorry for myself. I had to find the inner energy and drive that I know is there to continue on without fear. And for the rest of my trip I did.
Another change in direction from a mindset of fear controlling my destiny to my destiny controlling my fear.
Just a confirmation that the real destination in life has to be on a path inward to outward. You have to accept what you are looking for already exists within you. We are who we are within a range of behaviors. I have a wide personality profile and thus a wide range of emotions. That’s me. I have to accept it. I have to be responsible for my actions but it is difficult to control my actions down to the last decimal point.
The journey from introspect to extrospect opens the doorway to feel life, live life and enjoy life to its fullest. It’s already present in all of us, we just fail to see it. The last 3 months have been full of vulnerabilities. I had to rebuild trust in myself, for the real journey ahead. It’s a journey of just being me.
The question is do you just want to be you?
In a future blog I will explain how just being you requires vulnerability and trust, which are difficult to find and experience in today’s world.
Nothing beats a hearty breakfast of elk sausage, eggs, and bran biscuit when its 27 degrees below zero (not a typo).
Random act of kindness.
Casey and I drove over Loveland Pass on our return to Denver. It was snowing and the road was icy. This road rises over a 12,000 pass and is one switch back after another. Just pass the summit we see a car start swerving on the road before the next switchback blocks our view. We round the corner and no longer see a car between us and the gas tanker truck ahead of us. We both look at each other and get that sick feeling that something bad has just happened. We had no cell phone service so we keep driving down. At the bottom we made a decision to call the state police. I had no proof the car drove off the cliff but if it did we were the only ones to know. I felt strange telling the police the story because I didn’t see the car actually drive off the road. They took my name and phone number and said they would send a trooper.
Casey and I were so bothered; we drove back up the mountain, parking at a pull off. We got out and walked the road looking for tire marks and yelling over the cliff. We had drivers stop and ask if we were ok. I also noticed an DOT Internet camera at the sight.
We saw no tire marks and had to head to the airport, on the way down we saw a state trooper heading up. 15 minutes later the state police called back, saying they saw no signs of an accident. I said check the tape from the Internet camera and they tell me it’s a live feed only.
The next 2 days I checked the Denver paper, no accident. The only thing Casey and I can think about is the car managed regain control and pass the truck and we couldn’t see it anymore. Sometimes you never find out what really happened.