Archives for the month of: January, 2013

What do you fear?  Maybe the best way to deal with it is to lean into it.

It was minus ten degrees this past week – not unusual for winter in New Hampshire. Those of us accustomed to this climate know that we must be aware of two consequences: frostbite and hypothermia.

Exposed flesh freezes quickly when the temperature dips below zero (F). The likelihood increases dramatically when you add wind to the equation.  Freezing flesh kills it, leaving dead or damaged tissue when it is re-warmed.

If the body itself cools down below a certain point, critical functions are at risk and begin to shut down.  This is called hypothermia.  Without warming death is inevitable.

A survival technique I learned in Outward Bound years ago requires you to burrow in the snow to stay warm.  It is counterintuitive, a fact that has a great lesson to teach us about life and our fears.  One day I built an igloo out of blocks of snow and ice and slept in it that night.  The temperature outside dropped to -15 (F).  The temperature inside the igloo was 15 degrees.  While I was dressed warmly for my experiment, those 30 degrees could be the difference between life and death for someone less prepared.

I dare say few of us will try this stunt.  On the other hand, every one of us faces harsh realities and the consequences of our fears.  The lesson here may be: rather than let our fears freeze us, we should lean into them in order to reduce their hold on us.

The following is a New Year’s FB post from a young woman I know and admire. Her courage and spirit continue to surface while waiting for a four-organ transplant. May her message inspire you the way it did me to begin the year, and, whatever your spiritual practice, may you hold her in the energy of light and love.

Tonight, I hope all of you have a wonderful time, whether you go out or just chill at home. It’s our chance to start all new, see big things happen and say, “2013 was a _____ year, wasn’t it?” Let’s make that word positive.  Do things for others you wouldn’t normally do; spend more time with people you may not stop to think of much; stop to be in the moment; walk in other people’s shoes for a second or two!

Hopefully if we change the world’s attitude to more grateful and happy about just being healthy and being here, then more people awaiting transplants like me will get them and that will give more opportunity to make even MORE happy and grateful for what they got.