I came to downhill skiing later in life than most, in my early twenties. My ex-husband and his family were avid ski enthusiasts so it was join ’em or spend every weekend and winter holiday alone. I love the outdoors so I was up for the challenge.
The first few times I ventured onto the ski hill, I was definitely intimidated. In order to get any speed down the hill, one has to face down hill. Yet the more you face down the hill, the more out of control I would feel. So my ex taught me to traverse across the slope and then hop to turn around other way, which should have worked except for one thing. I was struggling to control my speed and in order to maintain any control, I was fighting the slope of the hill by over hopping and actually almost face up the hill! It was quite amusing to watch. This was extremely effective in keeping me from going out of control but it was also extremely exhausting. By the end of the run I would literally be panting.
I wondered if there might something I was missing and if there was perhaps an easier way. So I started to experiment. What I discovered was quite simple and a phenomenal metaphor for living. I found that if I leaned into the slope of the hill and allowed gravity to move my body, rather than fighting the slope by hopping up hill, I could actually find a rhythm. The more I surrendered to that rhythm, the easier the skiing became and the more control I had over my skis. It was fascinating because it was opposite to what I had anticipated. It was actually by letting go that I could find my rhythm and enjoy skiing.
I took this metaphor out into my life, whereby letting go of control sometimes allows more mastery in. It has been a super fun learning to apply and I still do, every day.
So I put this question now to you….where does more effort in your life create exhaustion rather than being more effective? And I wonder where letting go might actually create more than you could ever imagine?
Thanks for the inquiry Karen Kimsey-House!
To find the original article, please click here: how-become-world-class-coach-karen-kimsey-house