Posted by: drjamm | April 4, 2009

Trust and white-outs


I skied in white-out conditions yesterday. The low lying clouds were so dense I couldn’t see anything past 3 metres. I was skiing along and suddenly people would appear very close to me or the ground would dramatically drop from under my skis and I would find myself on a steeper face of the mountain. Not only that, but the sound on the mountain was all muffled — all I could really hear was my breath, the shshshsh sound of my skis and the wind. I had to ski virtually blind and cope with whatever obstacle or person I discovered beside me or whatever snow surface I found under my skis. This kind of white-out is the mountain’s way of saying “Deal with it!”

100_9965You might be surprised to learn that I LOVE WHITE-OUTS! I love the fact that my focus must shift from visually planning my route and scanning the entire run for other skiers and snow boarders to exclusively focusing on the Here and Now. “Here is another skier –turn; now the slope steepens – turn, here is a tree – turn,  now my speed picks up – turn.” Having my precious vision impaired liberates me to be fully present on the mountain; all that matters is what is right here, right now, right under my skis.

I have noticed that my skiing improves dramatically during white-outs because I have to Trust. I need to give up my conservative, careful methods and trust my Self. I have to trust that I have learned enough to ski this terrain with or without sight. And I need to trust the mountain to be consistent and do-able-for-me even though I am skiing only with the senses in my legs and without the benefit of my eyes. Since I cannot visually plan ahead and pick my ski path, to ski in a white-out, I must focus only on the rhythm of my turns and take each new “obstacle here” and “slope change now” as it comes.

So why am I writing about skiing in my spiritual blog? Trust. Many times my spiritual journey offers me as little vision into the spiritual path ahead as does white-out weather on a mountain. I have to trust my Self in spite of this lack of ability to look in the distance. I must trust that I have the skills to deal with whatever may come. And I have to trust the Universe to remain in a creative exchange with me.  When I turn, I trust that the Universe will be there offering me a responsive and dynamically changing ground upon which to step.

100_9966I try not to let myself become frozen in my path just because I cannot see what lies ahead. I have learned that I cannot linger overlong in one spiritual paradigm because my Spirit beckons me to keep growing and moving on. I am learning to practice trusting that I can handle what may come or trusting that, if I don’t have the necessary skills, I will meet someone who can teach me what I need to know. When I journey on my spiritual path, I trust that each turn contributes to the personal rhythm of my spiritual life. This rhythm that is made by my turn-turn-turning on my path is the foundation for my own unique spiritual song — my home-grown chant of spiritual longing, gratitude, and celebration. I am becoming more convinced that my true spiritual job is not to choose and keep to a preset path or discipline but rather, to intentionally decide to “ski ahead” — especially in white-out conditions, — set my rhythm, and then turn, turn, turn and change and grow with whatever meets me on my journey. I am growing more confident that the Universe will be there under my feet supporting, challenging, and loving me with every turn.

May you grow in Trust that the Universe-however-you-encounter-it will be there to support you next time you find your Self in “white-out” conditions. Blessed Be.

*******       bright heart singing                              credits and links             *******

Photo credits: Photos of Grouse Mountain by jamm at

bright heart singing, copyright 2009 – jamm. Creative commons attribution, non-commercial sharing only (translation: feel free to quote me in context or use this entry but please always credit me for my work, thanks.)


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