Beyond Stretch to the Edge of Panic…

Moving from comfort, through stretch, to the edge of panic. That is how I felt half way up Jack’s Rake, a rock scramble in the Lake District.

A drop of a few hundred feet on my left, loose rock underhand and underfoot, badly stowed walking sticks bumping off bulges of rock on my right, and some nervously stretchy leg moves….

And ringing in my ears – Mark’s cautionary lunchtime stories of people who had slipped.

This was our second climb of the day, and followed on from an airy climb the day before. Nothing really by the standards of “real” climbers. Well within their comfort zones.

Less so for me. But I had put myself here. It had been my intention to explore some edges…

Listening to the quiet voices…

Learning by Stretching...

My body and mind were fully engaged, talking loudly; seemingly drowning out the quiet words of my heart – “just get on with it Dave” – and my soul – “isn’t all of this awesome?”

Mark of seemed to sense I needed my own space to let these quiet voices take charge. No jokey blokeyness; just a wise, watchful space-givingness.

In the end, of course, it was fine.

I shunned my self-invented invitation to panic. Instead I worked with the stretch, keeping the volume turned up on my heart and soul, working in sync with the now more measured tones from my mind and body.

So what…?

For me, in those moments, it was interesting to learn about my loud voices, of body and mind, and how bringing the quiet ones, of heart and soul, into balance seemed to improve my capacity to act. There was also something powerful about being able to draw non-verbally from Mark’s presence.

For me, as a business owner, the parallels are strong. The big stretchy moves are only mine to make. Yet there is a huge capacity to achieve these through attention to inner balance, and the wisdom and experience of those around me.

As you step beyond comfort, what is your learning?

Dave Stewart
The Fresh Air Learning Company