After we returned from our ski trip at Whitefish Mountain Resort, someone asked me “Why do you do that kind of trip, it can’t be that relaxing… Sound like so much work?” Yes, it is a bit of work to get organized and get the kids in the lessons, get geared up, exercise, etc. Yes, I take my kids skiing so they have more experiences and learn something new. But, selfishly I do it for my growth and because I truly enjoy the time I spend on the mountain.
Let’s be honest, most of us don’t spend enough time outdoors. We spend hours inside without any fresh air. It is my meditation to be on the mountain, my time to reflect and determine what is truly important to me. There are moments that I look around on the slopes and wonder, how can this be real. Away from laptops, meetings, house duties and every other “job” a mom is supposed to be doing; I get this time to be with nature. The only technology I have is a cell phone for the Kids Center to call me and to take a few pictures, which only works half the time anyways…. It’s kind of nice to be off the grid for a couple of hours!
So what can happen during these times of self reflection on the mountain?
This past trip, I crossed something off my bucket list that I didn’t even have on my list! Awesome I know! I rode a chairlift by myself. It wasn’t even on purpose because part of the social aspect of snowboarding is the time you get to meet new people and chat on the chairlift.
A lot can go through your mind with a 7 minute chairlift ride with nothing to do. So sitting on the chairlift your senses are heightened and you actually pay attention to the things that are around you. Usually I am too busy to see the simplest things right in front of me. I hear and feel the chair rumble as it floats over each cross-section. I feel and smell the brisk air of the wind blowing in my face, when I didn’t realize it was that cold. The calmness of nature and the details; like how the trees are drizzled with snow so heavy they can barely lift their limbs up. The tress sink and just absorb the weight of the snow. I hear the sound of boarders/skiers carving, swish swish – repeating over and over. All you can hear is the noise of the boards edge carving through the snow on a groomed run and knowing that person is having a great run. Looking at the sheer size and terrain of the mountain that can be explored.
Opening and heightening my senses allows me to really reflect on what is important to me in life, what I value and where I need to focus my attention on. The mountain always provides me with this ability and I am grateful.
All I needed was 7 minutes of focused self reflection on the Flower Point chairlift to make an entire trip relaxing. To top it off that same trip, I rode up a chair lift with a man who was 70 years young and snowboarding; enjoying life to the fullest! Simple moments that put things into perspective.
During busy family travels, do you finding a way to self reflect and put things into perspective?