Choosing Gratitude over Fear

skiing with richard-2012

“Summoning gratitude is a sure way to get our life back on track. Opening our eyes to affirm gratitude grows the garden of our inner abundance, just as standing close to a fire eventually warms our heart.”
― Alexandra Katehakis, Mirror of Intimacy: Daily Reflections on Emotional and Erotic Intelligence

I feel that I may be winning back control over the negative thought pattern I’ve been experiencing.

Negative experiences are as real as positive experiences, but seem to have so much more power over me.

Here’s an example of how the gratitude practice is changing my brain –

I have an aversion to heights. I’ve had vertical panic attacks. I went skiing on Tuesday and had a strong drive to experience the majesty of the Blackcomb Glacier. In order to access the glacier, I had to hike up an almost vertical wall carrying my skis. The toeholds were more shallow than I’ve ever seen them. Fear tried to overwhelm me, but I shut it down for the glory awaiting me. Each time I stopped for air, I couldn’t look up or down to see how far I’d progressed as I knew that would cause me to freeze up with vertigo. I needed to conquer the day, so on I went. On this day, the glacier was shrouded in cloud and it was snowing – visibility wasn’t ideal, making it impossible to choose a traverse line that I’d be comfortable with. I had to trust in order to commit. I ended up higher and steeper than usual with no way to determine what the terrain looked like in such flat light. I couldn’t commit to the first turn, so I side-slipped, hoping that I wouldn’t hit an unexpected shelf and tumble ass-over-tea-kettle out of control. It’s very disconcerting, not being able to see what’s under your feet while in motion, but it’s a great exercise in trust. I reached an area that was more in my comfort zone and turned my tips downhill.
I consider the glacier a higher calling. It calls me to appreciate life, appreciate challenges, appreciate the ability to overcome, appreciate beauty, appreciate letting go, appreciate diminishing fear and negativity. Thank you gratitude.

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