This journey I’m on is a journey to freedom—to a place on the cliff’s edge. I’ve been at the cliff’s edge physically before. It’s an amazing feeling. Now to get there emotionally. This is an adventure of the mind, of consciousness. Yes, you could fall climbing, but without trying, you risk never feeling the intensity. I am climbing the cliffs of consciousness ~Journal Entry 11-8-95
~excerpt from More:
September 4, 2014
Speaking of climbing cliffs, at 53, my husband and I have decided to take up rock climbing. Never mind I am not in shape. Never mind I have a fear of heights. Our daughter recently took up the sport and although it was something I had long wanted to do in my twenties, I had never gotten around to it. Now, here I am in menopause, and I find the universe is knocking on my rock- climbing door.
“You must try it!” she cried. “It’s so fun. Come on. I’ll take you to an indoor gym and show you.” Her enthusiasm was endearing. So pulling myself up by my Tantrika bootstraps, I said YES. That’s what a Tantrika does, after all.
I remember first hearing almost 20 years ago about the Tantric path. I heard that Tantrikas are known for saying YES to life—for diving in and fully experiencing all of it—that a Tantrika uses the wisdom of her body and senses as a means to becoming more present. “That’s what I want!” I thought. Now years later it has become my way of life.
Back at the climbing gym, I get geared up and face the wall. It’s not my first time any longer, but it always starts the same. I take a breath and begin climbing. At first I feel weak and think I can’t do it. Then it gets to a hard part, an overhang high above the floor and I want to quit. The voices in my head clamor for attention. “It’s too hard! You’re going to fall. What were you thinking? Stop this now before you get hurt!” They yammer away.
I rest on the wall for a moment honoring the sensations. I pay attention to my body. What is really going on? I feel my heart beating faster. I feel tears prick behind my eyes. But what does that mean? I hear voices in my head telling me I am in immediate danger and to run away, but I know that is not true. I can feel the ropes holding me. I call down to my husband, “I may fall.” He calls back “No worries. I got you!” See that’s the really cool part about rock climbing. You get to push yourself past your mind’s limits and yes, you may fall, but the ropes will catch you.
My journey to More has taught me, Life itself is like that too.
I get quiet, whispering silently to myself, “everything’s okay.” Yes I feel scared. And Yes I am going to keep climbing. Tears escaping, heart pounding I realize I also feel an underlying strength and curiosity. I am alive and excited. I take a breath and intentionally draw my attention away from the voices, back to climbing. That’s what I am doing right now. Just climbing. And, in the next moment I am filled with awe and appreciation for my body, for my spirit.
Whether I am climbing the cliffs of consciousness or the cliffs of an indoor climbing gym, these days I wonder: How far can I go?