I walked the dog a few moments ago.
We jogged down a steep hill. At the bottom of the hill I turned around to begin the ascent. Fear arose in my mind. I feared:
- running out of breath
- slamming into muscular fatigue as lactic acid built up in my legs
- pulling a muscle
I am in fairly good shape. Perhaps I am not an Olympian but I can jog for a bit without running into issues, on flat land, at least.
But fear still manifested in my mind the moment I considered jogging up the hill. Every human being fears climbing certain hills.
I jogged halfway up the hill. I walked the second half. I reached the top of the hill.
The process felt uncomfortable. Facing, feeling and releasing fears at the bottom of the hill felt uncomfortable. Feeling lactic acid build up in my calves, quads and hips felt uncomfortable. Noting some shortness of breath felt uncomfortable. But the health benefits – and psychological benefits – of reaching the top of the hill beat a few moments of discomfort.
What hills do you fear to climb? Fear seems so much worse than it really feels. Humans tend to make mountains out of mole hills. I take an icy cold shower on waking every single day. Most humans recoil in horror at the thought, shuddering at the idea of cold water touching their skin.
I viewed cold showers like scaling Mount Everest. Fear traumatized me into avoiding the cold shower bit for a long time. But taking one cold shower, then two, then three, turned Mount Everest into the Andes. Over the years, facing the fear daily, my morning showers became small hills.
Now I feel as if I coast downhill as I step under the cold shower stream every morning. What happened? Fear in my mind dissolved into peace, acceptance and openness. I created the Mount Everest peak with my deep fear. I edged into the fear daily for years. Eventually, the fear dissolved entirely. No fear = no hill.
Observe hills you feel terrified to climb. Perhaps you fear following your dreams. Or maybe you fear NOT following your dreams, for fear of what could have been. Whatever the hill, start climbing. Face your fears. Dissolve your fears. Turn the hill into a flat plain. Allow the fears to dissolve into peace of mind, acceptance, and openness to all events you feared prior.
Take the hill one step at a time. I jogged up the hill. But jogging to the top proved to be too much. Muscle pain and shortness of breath meant either I pushed myself to exhaustion to reach the top or I walked to the top to be energized body and breath wise for my jog tomorrow.
Baby step hills. No one conquers deep fears overnight. No one goes from penniless to billionaire in a week. Nobody goes from freshman basketball player to NBA all star in a month. All growth flows progressively because humans face, feel and release deep fears progressively, in order to practice, to develop skills and to become the person who lives their dreams.
Slow and steady wins the race.
Reach the top of the hill one step at a time.
But you better face your hill today and begin the ascent.