I never realized the life lessons that could be learned from rock climbing until I went with my nieces Emily and Olivia. We had a picture perfect day. The weather was the cool and the expansive blue sky shined above us. So off we went to the Gunks in the Mohonk Preserve, which is known for some of the best climbing areas on the East Coast.
Our rock climbing guide, Eric from EMS Rock climbing was the perfect guide. He educated us on the knots, strategy and safety of climbing. He was calm, encouraging and helpful in the strategy and very patient especially with me when my fear kicked in and I realized that in order to come down I had to trust that all would be well. That was one of 5 life lessons I learned from rock climbing:
1. Choosing The Right Path – It was interesting to observe that when navigating the rocks some choices made the path more challenging and took longer. When the correct path was chosen the climb was easy and quick to navigate. Just like in life, when the right path is selected, everything is easy and effortless.
2. Asking for and accepting help – Walking up to the climb had some narrow passages that were hard to navigate with a large pack. The guide recommended passing him the pack to make the trip easier. At first I resisted and soon found how the pack wedged into the rocks and made it difficult to move. So I took the advice and asked for the help so the pack was passed forward and the climb became simple and easy. In life it is an important lesson to learn that there are times to ask for and accept help. Why struggle unnecessarily, when you have a guide who sees and hears the struggle and wants to help?
3. Baby steps – I say this so frequently to my hypnosis clients. “Just take baby steps and you will get there”. Well baby steps are the way to climb a rock. If I tried to take too big a step it was hard to leverage my footing. The baby steps were just the right steps to get the footing correct while climbing upward. Small steps sometimes needs to be taken to make the necessary changes for the big leaps in life.
4. Trust – I talk about trust and believing in your self during hypnosis sessions. It was certainly put to the test on the rock. To climb down a rock you need to lean back from the rock, put your weight in the harness and walk down with the person below, controlling the rope slack. My fear kicked in big time! Eric the guide had to talk me down so I was able to remove the fear and take that leap of faith that all would be right and it was!
5. Empowerment – As I watched Emily and Olivia I thought how empowering this was. They were fearless, agile and trusted in themselves to climb heights and hang precariously from rocks. They both made it look easy. Both girls are at crossroads in life, Emily starting college and Olivia high school. I said to them “in the future if you wonder if you can do something in life to remember today and how you scaled new heights. Always remember the feeling of empowerment and believe in yourself so you can conquer any future challenge”.
I did not climb as high as the girls, but I did what I was comfortable with, conquered fears and felt empowered on my own path. Anytime we push ourselves and go outside of our comfort zone we advance in life. My biggest pleasure was watching my nieces climb like spider women, have fun, scale to new heights and know that this was a memory they will have for the rest of their lives.