The Canadian Rockies in Alberta, Calgary, didn’t just offer a perfect place for a day out, a hike, a picnic or some photos, they in fact reinforced some of the most important life lessons that I try to remind myself of every day. They pointed out the obvious, they showed me a kind of beauty I didn’t know was possible, but they also introduced me to alternative perspectives, ways of thinking and being that I hadn’t considered before hiking in the rocky terrain.
- Change is the only constant
The seasons highlighted this for me. in the same month (September) a lake that was once a clear blue had suddenly become an outdoor ice rink. Then a few months later a blanket of snow meant shoes were no longer appropriate footwear, it was time for snowshoes. My point here is that the same landscape looked different even within the same month, sometimes even the same day. Nothing is forever and the Rockies reminded me that every time I found myself there
- The mind is powerful, are you in control of it or is it in control of you?
Each summit I reached was a gentle reinforcement of how much bigger my surroundings were than you really realise. Yet how many days do we spend being eaten up by our thoughts, worries, or circumstances completely out of our control? The answer for me, was far too many- considering the only thing I have control over is my own thoughts. Despite reading Eckhart Tolle’s ‘The power of now’ ever so recently, the Rockies reminded me that the little things really are the ‘little’ things, but it was my responsibility to ensure they stayed that size.
- The mountains are bigger than you, but not just in size
At a glance, this one may the most obvious of the lessons that I state. The mountains are vast, overpowering, bigger than you and I, but not just in size. You negative thoughts, your ego, your unconscious feeling of self-importance is all overshadowed by the size of nature and its power. Take one look at the view from the summit and your thoughts are suddenly tiny, not to mention how tiny you yourself may now feel. Lose your train of thought, your balance or sight for just a minute and everything can change. Lose sight of your path or become unfamiliar with your sense of direction and you are no longer in charge- the mountains are. So why is this important? Because humility and a willingness to learn and to also accept we may not always be right, or there may be room for our own self improvement is vital to a healthy mind. Just look at the mountains and you can realise that we are small. But size and smallness is not a bad thing, it is just a reminder that we are part of a bigger picture, where there is a plethora of learning opportunities to understand, empathise, work with our surroundings and admit when perhaps we are wrong. The mountains seem so different to us especially in appearance, but when it comes to life lessons the mountains are there to keep you in check.