I was out walking yesterday morning in a local park. You’ll see from the photo the beautiful Chinese Bridge and stone steps that lead to the next level of the park (it is Wales, it is hilly around here!) I felt inspired to record my walk up the steps because it reminded me that at times life can feel like an uphill struggle. It can feel like we’ve got too much on our plate. We can feel totally overwhelmed. We can feel less than certain about ourselves and our ability to cope.
Here’s what I’m noticing right now about myself. The less I have on my mind, and by that I mean, the less meaning I’m making of the amount of stuff I ‘have’ to do, the better my state of mind, the more peaceful I feel, the better I feel able to take it all in my stride and the greater my clarity in making decisions.
I can climb the steps one at a time knowing that at any time I can turn around and admire the view, appreciate just how far I’ve come. Or I can be fixed on looking at yet another step to climb and making that my focus. The climb. The difficulty. The fact I’m out of breath, that my legs hurt. Do you see?
So here’s how it works in practical terms for me right now. My mum has dementia. Nobody wants to have a loved one with dementia. Each day it feels like we’re losing a little more of her. I could focus on that. I could focus on the frustration of being with someone who can’t remember how to do things anymore. I could rage at the fact that this illness has taken a part of my mother, that I can no longer have the types of conversations we used to have. Or, I can simply be with her in the present moment, relishing the fact that I have this time with her, to walk in the park looking at the flowers as one would with a child. And what I’m finding is that as my mind is peaceful so hers becomes the same.
None of us knows what the future holds. Your ‘mountain’ is going to look very different to mine. You might be struggling in a relationship or your job. Whatever the ‘mountain in your mind’ right now, ask yourself how you could view it differently? How could you let go of the thinking you have around it that’s compounding how you’re feeling?
Come and join us in the Women in Midlife Facebook group where we’re talking about issues like these.