Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mar 19 to Mar 20 - Non-Skiing Ski Weekend in Vail

This past weekend, I traveled up to Vail with B's family for a ski trip. These family members are wealthy and I have to say this was probably the fanciest vacation I have ever experienced.

This is the view of the slopes from the balcony of our penthouse ski condo:
This entire weekend was pretty tough for me to deal with. We never had much money when I was growing up, and all I could think about was how many months' mortgage payments my parents could have made with the money it cost to stay in that place for a weekend. I was so upset by the ridiculous extravagance that I found it really difficult to enjoy myself.

Despite this, and the yucky feelings I still harbor towards skiing and anything having to do with skiing, I attempted to have a nice weekend. B's aunt was the only other member of our group who doesn't ski, so we walked down to Vail Village on Sunday.
This is Lionshead Village:
On Sunday, I was somewhat more accepting of the experience and felt happy enough to snap some photos from the top of the gondola area. This is Mount of the Holy Cross:
And I think the snowy mountains in the background below are the Gore range. Driving down I-70 past Vail, you would never guess that such beautiful mountains were hiding behind the little hills that are visible from the road.
This is Lionshead Village from the gondola. Our condo is the one just behind the gondola station, cream colored building with the terra cotta colored roof.
... and this is the building where our condo was located, taken after I just stepped off the gondola. Ours was the penthouse....
I like to try to find the positive in everything that I do, but it's hard to find anything else to say about this weekend. There were pretty views that I enjoyed for a bit, but that's about it. I don't know why I'm so freaked out about skiing, but I am. And it's not very fun that B's family seems to think all I need to do is try it and I'll like it....

Sun, Mar 14, 2010: Metaphysical Fair

I'm having fun introducing my friends to metaphysics, and the fair this spring was no exception. Although only one of my friends was able to attend the fair with me, I love her company and she was fun to explore with.

As usual, I had a reading done. :) This year, I chose a woman who advertised that she does past life readings, because I don't feel like I know much about my past lives and think it would be interesting to know more. As with most psychics who have read for me in the past few years, she asked me if I'm a writer and told me that I should be writing more. She said that I have access to many books and need to open my 3rd eye so that I can write intuitively. Apparently in a past lifetime I was the final technical writer for Hamlet (yes, as in Shakespeare's Hamlet...). She said I was killed as a witch in a past lifetime and am still dealing with "stuff" from this. My boyfriend was brought up as well, and she told me some things about him that I won't write here because that's his business. :) She did tell me to be less judgmental of him, which I suppose is good advice for anybody but especially for me.

She suggested that I begin writing with my left hand so that I can get my left brain out of the way. My current job is not my "permanent" career, and she said writing and traveling are good things for me to be doing.

I feel like most of what she said, especially about the writing piece, I have been told several times before. I guess I just don't understand what I'm supposed to be writing about....

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wed, Mar 10, 2010: Reflexive Happiness

I've been spending a lot of time lately thinking about joy, and find it funny that I somehow came to the conclusion that applying my brain to it will crack it open, brimming with promise, and warm sunlight will pour its way over my soul and into my heart. I'm not unhappy with my life, but I'm also not living in a joyful state. I'm working through what I can do to fix this.

The day before yesterday, B said that somewhere along the line between being a child and being an adult, we lose the ability to let go of the things that upset us and just be happy. It's one of my favorite things he has ever said to me, because he doesn't often share pieces of his philosophy. (and by the way, I'm just going to start calling him "B" here instead of constantly referring to him as "my boyfriend" which just sounds awkward when repeated often enough...). It's true, and it again goes back to a comment my sister made to me some time ago about taking a lesson from a dog and just being happy.

I find myself struggling with this constantly, and have written about it multiple times in this blog. Based on the rates of crime, suicide, and abuse, among many other things, I imagine that letting go and being joyful is something that many others struggle with as well.

I refuse to believe that living in an un-joyful state is the way we were meant to live. As spirits choosing to be reincarnated, did we choose to come back because we were really psyched about having a 9 to 5 career? Did we miss traveing in rush-hour traffic? Did we want to hold a grudge against our parents for making us eat our vegetables, or not understanding what we went through when we were 11? Did we want to spend every day wishing it was Friday, or wake up every morning with the first sound in our heads being that little upset voice crying in dismay that it's just another work day?

It's the moments in between the "usual" and "normal" that I feel are the reasons I came back to life. I find myself continuing to say "I want to go home" lately, and this time I think it means that I want to go back to wherever it is that my spirit family exists, just to exist in pure joy with them even for a moment, just to remind my spirit why I came here.

In my days, I revel in the happiness of singing a song I love in the car, even if it is on the way to work. I delight in feeling the sun on my shoulders on a cold winter morning as I walk between buildings at work. I savor the taste of food. I release my brain in a moment of laughter.

In high school, I wrote a poem containing a phrase that has become my favorite incident of stringing two words together. That phrase is "reflexive happiness". Reflexive happiness is how I would define Joy. I was searching for it then, and I continue to search for it now. I don't, however, remember searching for it when I was 4, or 8, but possibly when I was 11.

Who says being older makes you wiser?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Fri, Mar 5 to Sun, Mar 7: Beaver Creek and My Phobia of Skiing

My boyfriend's family has been skiing together since they moved out here 20 years ago, and they think nothing of strapping on a couple of sticks to their shoes and sliding down an icy mountain.

But I do. I'm terrified of it.

I didn't realize how terrified until I went up to Beaver Creek with them this weekend and, despite not actually skiing myself, found that I was absolutely surrounded by it for 3 days straight. Ski gear in the living room, snowshoeing in the alpine area of the park while everyone else rode sticks down the ice, waking up the next morning to have everyone head out again to the slopes (b stayed with me though that time)....

Chair lifts are among the most terrifying things ever invented, and nobody else even seemed to mind them. People rode high over steep slopes with nothing to keep them in, with no more care than if they were sitting at a kitchen table with a newspaper and a bowl of cereal in front of them. I sat in the middle, clinging on to my backpack and snowshoes as if they would somehow make me feel more stable or keep me safe in my precarious state. My terror escaped in the form of my feet kicking back and forth as they dangled far above the snow. Being around skiing and heights isn't a great combination for me.

Upon entering the alpine park on the mountain, I was still stressed and thrown off from the chair lifts and being left as everyone went skiing. I trudged up the mountain, my flipper feet rhythmically dividing the silence around me, and thought over and over to myself how much I hate skiing and everything having to do with skiing.

Wait... why do I hate skiing so much, you ask? Good question. The answer, in short, is that as a kid I was skiing with my dad and requested that we go faster down a steep, icy hill. I had only been taking lessons for a short time so didn't have the skills to save myself when we completely wiped out on a little bump in the hill. My dad fell as well, and looked around for me when his head finally caught up with his body and the world stopped spinning. He couldn't find me for a moment because he had landed right on top of me. Somehow, luckily, neither of us were seriously hurt, but the memory of that fall has traumatized me ever since.

No, I don't recover from things quickly. :)

At one point on the snowshoe trail, I came to a picnic table with a pretty view of the Gore Mountains and an overly friendly population of jays. Grateful for the company, I fed them the crusts of my peanut butter sandwich in small pieces, hoping to draw out their presence. The birds became so bold that they jumped up onto the table and weren't entirely convinced to move when I waved my hands at them and told them to shoo. Being peaceful with the birds made me finally feel connected to nature and brought me fully to the space I was occupying. From that point forward, I forgot about the skiers and enjoyed my time on the mountain.

Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, so I can't show you the beautiful glistening white teeth of the Gore range, or the smooth, pale, winter blue of the sky. I can't show you how strong the sun was as it bathed everything around me in light and warmth, or how awesome I looked in my snowshoes.

I can tell you, though, that the snow was the most fantastic soft powder, which I discovered as soon as I began trudging along beside the trail instead of trying to fit my shoes into a path that was far too narrow to accommodate my passage. I came to an area that was shaded by tall pines, then to a place where the trail turned off and began a long, rolling descent down a hill. I crossed the hill softly, half sliding and half propelling myself as I followed gravity to the bottom with a big grin. That moment of slowly slide-walking down the hill was my favorite of the trip.

I've come to realize that this is the way I am most content living my life: able to see the trail but not attempting to fit myself into it when the fit just isn't there. It's much more amazing floating in a bed of soft snow as it carries me across a beautiful place.