It's spring in New England! It's time for the crocus, daffodils and tulips to bloom, the peepers to chirp and the robins to arrive! It's happening. At the Eaton Village store there is a pool on the ice-out date for Crystal Lake. The tourists that head to northern New England to ski are no longer coming. And while the tourists have packed away their gear, the locals gear up for uncrowded slopes, hiking for turns and the spring corn snow season.
Hmmmm ... perception certainly does not equal reality. The mountain I teach at closed last weekend. Sixty-four staff headed up to Stow Mountain Resort as our last hurrah for the season. It's an annual spring skiing trip that we all enjoy and it's a wonderful way to say goodbye to each other until next ski season begins.
Note, spring skiing in New England usually means corn snow, shorts and t-shirts, sunglasses and lots of sunscreen.
In contrast, I spent the last three days skiing in midwinter amazing conditiions. Packed power and firm at the top and like butter at the bottom ... just like a sunny day in January. Yesterday it snowed all day. A regular New England blizzard at the summit with low visiblity, high wind and cooooold! I made fresh tracks in about 6 inches of soft, silky, heavenly powder that was well worth braving the elements and reminded me to be grateful for the gondola to the summit.
I almost had to quit early because of the assumptions I made when packing my gear bag. Spring skiing doesn't require the usual mid-winter gear, so I I left behind my midwinter layers. I never expected blizzard conditions in the middle of April ... and I was ill-prepared.
Going with Jack Canfield's Ask, Ask, Ask Principle, I soon had what I needed to enjoy the day skiing the most amazing conditions I've ever experienced in April!
I was skiing with my brother. He is a powder fanatic and loves skiing in the woods. Stowe is known for it's glades, but most of them are not marked on the trail map that is provided to the general public. My brother had a clear goal in mind. He wanted to explore the glades he had heard so much about, but had no idea quite how to get there.
Going with another one of Jack's principles. Ask Someone Who's Already Done What You Want To Do, Jake struck up a conversation with a couple of locals on the lift. One was reluctant to share the locals' secrets and stashes and playfully protected his information. But Jake was determined and found someone else to ask. He even bartered chocolate for information. Finally he got the information he needed to get where he wanted to go.
This weekend I relearned a couple of wonderful lesson for life and success. I'm happy to pass them on to you if you'll go with my skiing analogy.
Our perception is not always reality.
Just because things have always been a certain way doesn't mean that is the way they are today. And just because things are the way they are today, doesn't mean that is the way they will be tomorrow. Just because we think we know ... we don't.
Just because there is a map, it doesn't mean that is all there is. Quite often, the road we are looking for is the road less travelled. It's not on the map. Noone ever told us it even existed, yet inside there is a yearning to discover it.
And to find it, we will have to ask for directions, for support, for guidance.
Our perception can be our own limitation.
We are best served to look beyond it. To go with that inner yearning. To ask for help. To get the support of those who have gone before us. To learn from others. To face fears and take the risks that will no doubt show up on our path.
My brother Jake stopped by this morning; still smiling as he speaks of the hidden chutes and stashes and steeps he found thanks to the locals he had the courage to ask.
I am home now ... ready to get back to work; my soul rejuvenated and my perception shifted thanks to all those who helped me gear up for a few amazing days in the mountains!
As much as teens hate being stereotyped, judged or living in a yes or no, black and white world, I often overhear pre-class discussions or waiting room conversations in the course of my work, where teens make assumptions and judgments about what is true or not true about an individual, a group, an organization or a situation.
I think the same is true for many adults. Perhaps judgment is human nature. Or is it simply one way that humans make sense out of what they don't understand or connect to? Or is it fear? Is it easier to judge, assume and compartmentalize things and people into categories so we don't have to look too deeply into what's really going on?
The truth is, we have all done it.Many of us still do. However the important thing to remember is, like I often say to the kids: "Our perception is not always reality!"
I love this article about adults perspective about teen reality. In my experience, this is spot on!
Kids are amazing. Their friends are important to them. They stick together. They watch out for each other. They support each other. The power of positive peer influence must never be underestimated! It is the foundation for most of the behavior changes I've witnessed in the high school teenagers I serve.
Incidently, neither can the power of the media be underestimated. Be careful where you get your information. I like to get mine right from the source! Just ask ... then listen. They'll tell you pretty much anything you'd like to know. And your perception of their reality might just be changed forever :)
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Transition on Purpose