Sunday, 4 November 2018

Dark night of the soul on the mountain

“I’ve had enough, I want more of this” I said “You’re usually controlling what I do. No stretching. No opportunity to try new things. I want out of the relationship.”

Except I could never leave. However much I wanted new adventures, they could never be achieved without the other.

Some might call me a coward, others bullied, and yet, I could never live without them.

These words were screeched on a mountain whilst I was on a workshop in Cumbria. A workshop people attended in order to realise their potential, to let go of all that was holding them back. A safe space in which to explore the limits they were imposing on their life.

The sun was shining as we got into the minibus and journeyed to the bottom of the mountain. We’d spent the day planning the route, preparing the equipment, and practicing elements of the process we needed to follow – we were ready.

As evening approached we disembarked from the minibus, and looked up the mountain just as dark clouds started to appear.

Undeterred we set off in intervals, each alone with our own thoughts and feelings about what lay ahead.

By sunset some of my companions had made it to the top of the mountain. The rest of us were like the lights on a Christmas tree spiralling down the mountain – each finding our one solitary and safe space from which to do our work. Work that involved staying overnight on the mountain.

The wind and rain crept in as darkness descended. Within minutes the sheets of paper, providing details of the ceremony that I was to undertake, had been whipped from my hands by the wind.

I was alone.

Expect I wasn’t alone.

The other was there too.

That dark night of the soul was when my mind and my body finally had a mother of all arguments. No ceremonial words, no technology, no comfort to distract. Just a mountain and my mind and body, with soul as referee, to negotiate a new way of being. My body pleading to be heard by my controlling mind, asking to be able to explore new routes, heights and summits.

As the sun rose, and I walked down the mountain the next morning, a truce had been achieved with the promise of fully embracing bigger mountains in the future.

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