“Tearin’ It Up” Artful Awareness on the Slopes

There is nothing like fresh air and the pureness of the white snow to open the mind for new insights. I never knew that just 2 days on the mountain would teach me new things about myself and my creativity. The experience was truly a lesson of awareness with fear and intuition…let me explain.

2008 was the last time I had snowboarded (and it wasn’t pretty), I was very cautious this go around and nervous. I was worrying I would fall hard and hurt myself.  I took a lesson from Nick, a great instructor who sounded more like he had spent half his life surfing…”Yeah maaaan, I hit this kicker last year and had a serious wipeout… concussions are not fun dude.” Nevertheless he taught me how to stop, how to turn with my heel and toe, and use my hips to direct my movement.

I was determined to overcome my fear and feel more confident on my board.  I stayed on the bunny slope and keep trying over and over again… it was exhausting unlocking and relocking my boot to and from the board but I kept at it.

I looked over at other boarders cruising down the peak and finish out their run nearby us, and suddenly felt a wave of envy. Immediately I redirected that feeling with the thought, “Rebecca take YOUR time and go at YOUR pace, it will happen if it is supposed to.” I didn’t care if I was the best snowboarder on the mountain I just wanted to overcome the fear of coming down the mountain and know what that felt like.

You see, when I am in my studio painting I just paint… there is no fear just curiosity and peace. During that first day snowboarding I reminded myself of how long it took me to paint with ease, to feel open to the process of painting, and relaxing in the unknown. I asked myself, “Are you having fun? That is all that matters.” At that moment I realized the immense fun I WAS having and the gratitude for this experience and by the end of the day I was turning with ease!

Day 2 I told myself I wouldn’t go on the lift to the top as it was too scary. I stayed low and practiced my turns that day. A snowboarding couple came down the peak and the man fell right by me. His girlfriend came up next and stopped to help him. “Hey” I said, “What’s it like coming down from up there?” The woman replied, “It’s not bad at all,” Her boyfriend then replied, “If you are trying to learn then you should go up because it’s a lot easier since you don’t have to keep relocking your boot, it’s fun too!”

“Ok, cool thanks” I said.  I was not sold yet. But it was interesting to think of the idea that if I wanted to overcome my fear action was my best ally in that moment, maybe I could learn better by meeting my fear face to face.

It was then that I asked myself this question. “What would scare you the most?”

My answer was, “Going up the ski lift and not knowing what will happen.”

And without thinking my intuition said, “Well then you need to go up the ski lift.” And then my intuition chuckled lol!

After lunch that day I found myself on the lift!  I was headed to the top! And It wasn’t the coffee with Baileys at lunch that made me decide, I decided for myself that I would regret it if I didn’t try. On the lift I noticed an immense fear of heights I had never known I had. But it wasn’t a ‘fear of heights’ I just hadn’t been that high and exposed in a long time… I mean for real if you fall out that chair that would suck lol! I sat in the feeling of borderline panic but also gave gratitude for the adrenaline rush.

By the time that day had ended I was carving… that’s right carving down the mountain! I was still very fearful but I trusted myself to feel open to the process and relax in the unknown. It was as if the universe was on my side. When I got off that board that day I felt like a new person.

This whole time I had been unconsciously practicing in awareness, awareness of my fears and my intuition. I was reminded that weekend that I am amazing just like everyone else. I learned that tuning into intuition truly works when trying to overcome your fears. I was also reminded that with time any challenge can come with ease like the ease I feel when painting and it’s important to have fun too.

Nick our instructor used the term “Tearin’ It Up” which refers to riding really well and confidently. Next time I am in the studio and relaxing into the unknown, don’t be surprised if you hear me say, “Dude I was tearin’ it up in the studio today”.

Here is a quote that I love:

“Everyone has a ‘risk muscle.’ You keep it in shape by trying new things. If you don’t, it atrophies. Make a point of using it at least once a day.” Roger Von Oech

What are some moments in your life that you were practicing awareness and overcoming fears i.e. tearin’ it up?  Love to hear yours! Please comment below.

Xo Rebecca



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