I was on vacation this past week, it was a lovely space and time. We walked the pristine white beach, canoed in a black water river, and rode bikes on narrow wooded pathways. Lots of adventure!
One of the evenings there we went on a night bike ride. Thankfully our lead bikers had lights to guide the way because it was dark, stars and moon were not enough to light these paths to my liking..I’m sort of a scaredy cats in some ways.
Scared of spider webs wrapping around me as I speed through
Scared of small animals running across and turning back to glare at me
Scared of the feeling of being lost in the darkness
Yea, I’m a bonafide scaredy cat in lots of ways, but it doesn’t keep me from getting on the bike and taking a night ride anyway! Not anymore!!
At one point during the ride I felt anxiety rise up as paths narrowed and the woods wrapped tight around me…eyes darting looking into the darkness for creepy crawlers and boogey men, threatening to topple me off the bike and propel me to the ground. During this panicky moment I had this clear thought…where my eyes look, everything else follows.
I was reminded of this same feeling and experience on the ski slopes in New Mexico. When my eyes focused on the trees outlining the edge of the cliff or the drop over the side of the cliff..my skis naturally and uncontrollably, and frankly terrifyingly, move toward disaster.
The same experience was happening on the bike path…focus on the trees outline, the narrowing of the path, the drop of the small bridge created not only anxiety but impending doom that this very thing I feared would happen.
Interesting stuff…pondering in the dark, risking my life, (not really),
I was aware of the power of the eyes and where we look dictates the outcome.
Where are you looking?
Are you letting it control your next move?
Are you letting it dictate where you are going?
Are you letting it drive your behavior?
Are you letting it keep you isolated, paralyzed, hidden, playing small?
Are you letting it rule over you?
Are you letting it win?
Know this…the threat is real! It is possible that when you move things will shift but what if you focused on the path in front of you instead, focused on your feet and where they are headed instead of where you are scared they might go.
Where are you looking?
It’s a good question to ask…and once you figure it out…adjust your vision!