Spending Christmas at home in Connecticut was just what the doctor ordered. I may not have been in the house I grew up in, or the apartment my parents moved in to, but I was still "home". Not only did my knee need a break from skiing, but my mind and spirit did as well. Seeing my parents and understanding their struggles allowed me to put all of my struggles in perspective. I live a charmed life. I am surrounded by people who love and support me, I have a small, but very powerful fan base that encourages me to keep going when things get tough (thanks guys!), I get to pursue my dreams everyday and travel the world doing so, I have a house over my head, a car to get me where I need to go, a dog that loves me unconditionally and a sister and a boyfriend in Salt Lake that do a phenomenal job of keeping me grounded. Strange then isn't it, that stress can find its way into my life the way water finds it's way through small cracks. It seeps in, soaks into the wood, weakens it until the wood gives way and all of the water (aka: problems) comes flooding in. This is how things seem to happen with challenges that we face. We think we have it all under control, but we are perhaps ignoring the under-lying issues.
I have been reading a book by Deepak Chopra, (I may have mentioned it in a blog last month), called "Reinventing The Body, Resurrecting The Soul". Most recently I have been reading the chapters on resurrecting the soul, and am very excited to start implementing some of Chopra's incredible insight. No change can happen without first being aware of what it is that isn't making you feel good. Right now I am becoming aware of certain thoughts and feelings that are making me unsettled, to the point that physical pains are popping up. I have been suppressing these thoughts, suppressing these feelings because I felt "I shouldn't be having these thoughts, they're irrational". But, ignoring them doesn't make them go away, in fact it makes them come back stronger. It is time to release the boundaries of my competitive nature to see what unlimited options there are for me in the world.
This is a paragraph that Chopra wrote about competitive people and it sounded all too familiar. Just what I needed to help me grow.
Competitiveness, overachieving, and acting overbearing is a very general ego strategy, one that externalizes fulfillment and makes it dependent on winning. The underlying feeling can be hard to read. It could be anger or fear. It could be anything, really, since the person is so fixated on outer accomplishment that there are no windows looking inward. The physical cues are also hard to read, because competitive people exert constant efforts to be energized, up and running. They are easy to read when they fail, however, since this leads to anger, frustration, and depression. Instead of examining those feelings, the born winner waits them out until he has recharged his batteries and is up again. But no matter how exuberant and energized they appear, overly competitive people secretly know the price they are paying for being number one. Climbing to the top excites them, but they feel exhausted and insecure once they get there, anxious about what tomorrow will bring- which is inevitably newer, younger competitors just like them. In time, winners can end up baffled and confused. They have built so many inner barriers to protect their "weak" feelings as they would label them- that when they decide to look inward at last, they have little idea how to go about it. (Chopra, p. 168-169)
Therein lies my next challenge. To look inward: face my horrible fear of failure, embrace and accept it, let go of boundaries, rediscover why I started this journey in the first place. In 2011 I will be committed to remember that this is the path I chose for myself because I LOVE IT- to be my personal best not just number one.