Feeling untethered? Be a mountain
I started out this year on January 2 with lots of energy for diving back into my work and enthusiasm for embracing a new year and whatever it might bring. I felt open and free. After a few days of some challenges (internal and external), the old friend self-judgment whispering I was not doing enough or should be farther along, and some trembling in the force for good in the world I was drained and off balance.
I re-gained my perspective and sense of being grounded on this earth, belonging and thriving here, by taking a walk at sunset and tapping into the mountain energy of the Sandias.
Many years ago, I was living in Somerville Massachusetts and loving it. However, I felt the call of the western mountains get louder and louder and wanted to get back to the western United States (I was born in Salt Lake City but had grown up in Washington, DC and had lived in other cities too.) I ended up moving to Albuquerque, NM which is on one side nestled against the Sandia mountains and I now live a few minutes from the foothills trails (see picture of Sandia peak from my favorite trail).
Since I came back west, I have felt a lot more grounded, love exploring the public lands around Albuquerque, and revel in being able to see over one hundred miles to Mount Taylor from my local park. The big sky calms me at a cellular level.
I have had a lot of time to consider: what is it about a mountain that once I connect energetically with it my day has been fulfilled?
They are miraculous in so many ways, born of powerful conflicting forces but so brilliantly beautiful, and they provide nurturance for humans in the form of water for agriculture, food, shelter and energy. In fact, half of the world’s population depends on mountain ecosystems to survive. They are worn away by the everyday wind and water and sun and other natural processes, but we experience them as very stable and solid. Some believe they are literally holding down the crust of the earth to protect us from constant upheaval.
We are like the mountain because we too provide nourishment for those around us – our spouse, family, co-workers, and anyone with whom we are in community.
In the hustle and bustle of life we can forget how true this is and how much our ability to be grounded and constant can make a difference for others as well as ourselves. This doesn’t mean that we are able to be this in every moment but that like I did, when we become aware that we are caught up in negative thoughts or emotions or allowing our energy to seep away to unimportant things, we come back to center. The mountain can be our guide in this as we allow its majestic beingness to infuse us with motionless resilience.
Here are three things we can learn and apply to our work and life from connecting with the energy of mountains (if you can’t get to a mountain just looking at a picture will do or imagining you are the energy of the mountain in a quiet time):
- Tranquility/immovability/slowing down time. When we release urgency and emerge out of the busyness and too many to dos, even for a few minutes, it refreshes us and it turns out is really good for the health of our brain. Slowing down our breathing even briefly helps.
- Constancy/perseverance/equanimity no matter what is happening. The wind and the rain and inconsiderate people are going to come, and we get to feel all our feelings about that and then get back to center so we can nourish ourselves and others.
- Elevating our thoughts and aspirations/getting fresh perspective. As we viscerally tune into mountain energy, we will be inspired to see the big picture, to re-connect with the spiritual power within us, and remember the high intentions we have for who we are in this world.