A couple of family emergencies came breezing through, which prevented me from getting me to yoga as much as I'd like and from doing online anything except the Blog Roll Skim every couple of days. I miss y'all--the yoga, the blogging community--but I'm also grateful for the closeness that grows between family and friends during crises like these.
After the holidays passed and the two situations got somewhat under control, I hopped in my car and drove to Mammoth Mountain for a few days of skiing. Although I'm missing my boyfriend, who had to fly out to deal with his own family emergency, I'm allowing myself to enjoy a breath of clean, cold mountain air, dear friends... and the drama that comes up while you're on the slopes.
Even here, hundreds of miles from home, I am reminded of how you really can't escape who you are. Even up here, "away" from everything, my own neurotic tendencies come out. I follow my friends down big, scary ski hills, and it's a constant struggle to just be present. Just like in a Bikram class, my mind takes over. (It's a little scarier to hear yourself say "you are not gonna make it!" when you're barreling down an endlessly long hill.) In a desperate attempt to combat this tendency, I do the same thing as I do in Bikram: try to be in the moment. Notice what's happening. Feel the difference in texture of the snow as the skis race over it. Or, when I'm really scared, the Buddhist proverb, "Mind like sky," will do the trick.
What's also interesting to notice is that, just like in work, love, and life in general, it's the middle part that gets me scared. I'm excited at the beginning, but when I'm far from the start and can't see the finish line, I panic. It's funny to observe that happen at warp speed when you're coming down the slope.
There have been so many beautiful moments, though, and they don't always come when you expect them. I took the following photo after I'd fallen. I just lay there, exhausted at the middle of what was then a difficult run for me. After the jarring fall, though, I was just there. No thought, just sensory experience. Too bad it took a fall to get out of my head!
Falling's not so bad if you stop to take in the view.