"If you enjoy living, it is not difficult to keep the sense of wonder." — Ray Bradbury
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While hiking Mt. Greylock recently, the tallest mountain in Massachusetts, I got to thinking about how the experience of mountain climbing isn't always the most enjoyable of experiences.
Your legs and lungs get tired, the sun beats down on you, sweat drenches you, bugs harass you, and when you finally get to the top you're only halfway done, because now you have to turn around and go back down!
And yet, despite the uncomfortable state of affairs involved, I still do it. Why?
Even in the most frustrating of circumstances, there are characteristics available to soak in and enjoy. For example, while climbing the 12,000 foot Mt. Adams in Washington last year, I spent the last hour of the climb "postholing" to the summit. This is when your legs fall deep into the snow and you have to scramble to crawl out. I had to exert so much precious energy digging myself out just to take one more step up, only to fall back into the snow again.Talk about frustration!
And yet, despite the state of affairs, I remembered the positivity practice of being aware of what is available to enjoy. Sometimes it takes a good amount of searching, but in this case the search ended as soon as it started. After pulling myself out of a hole, I paused for a moment and looked backwards to see this:
How often do we get to stand above the clouds? Soaking in the experience brought much welcomed enjoyment into the moment, providing fuel to keep on keeping on.
The next time you find yourself slipping into frustration, what will you do to remind yourself to become aware of what you can enjoy in the moment?
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Jonas Cain, M.Ed. is a storyteller, magician, musician, and facilitator of fascination on a mission to help you experience abiding joy.