(Estimated reading time 3 minutes)

This week I’ve been thinking about climbing mountains. Not literal mountains, although maybe someday I’ll do that just to prove to myself I can. I’m talking about the kind of things we face that feel like mountains. These metaphorical mountains we climb can take many forms – a significant loss, a health crisis, a relationship change, a momentous shift in direction – we all have our own examples, of this I am sure. Life doesn’t come without mountains to climb. And yet, our definition of what is overwhelming varies greatly. What is okay for one, can feel very burdensome to another. What is it that makes a situation feel insurmountable, impossible, mountainous? I expect that what makes something feel that way is not what it is, but what is triggered within us.

Whatever is triggered in us by the difficult situation, that is the mountain, that is the part in us that needs to heal.

Ask yourself the question, “What is difficult for me about this?” What is it precisely that is hard for me? If you are sick, what about being sick is a challenge? Is it having to rely on other people? Is it feeling out of control? Perhaps it is feeling that your time is running out and you haven’t done what’s most important to you. Is it a fear of what is unknown? When you stay with what is uncomfortable long enough to figure out exactly what it is that is difficult for you, you find the part you need to resolve.

Next time you feel like you have a mountain to climb, remember, “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” (Edmund Hillary)

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It's not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.Edmund Hillary


    1. Thank you, Sally. I think understanding that it is ourselves we need to conquer not whatever situation is in front of us helps us feel less like victims. In feeling less powerless we understand our tremendous opportunities and capacity to overcome whatever is in front of us.


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