A lack of oxygen suggests a slower timing for movements, rather than the fast-moving electric current of my nervous system that I activate every time I make a habitual sudden movement, driven slightly by my deep-seated anxiety. With each reaction my heart starts pounding. I am surrounded by rock. By mountains that were created in geological time. Nothing sudden - not like a volcano erupting. Is that what mountain time means?
Ease. Move slowly, my body demands. Take your time, dial in to your breath. I am leaning into this thin air and rocky landscape. I am learning to move like the viscous synovial fluid in my body that makes my joints move with ease. The slightly delayed and weighted movement of viscous fluids, asks for pauses, for patience.
Gradually, as I embody the landscape and begin to move more slowly and intentionally, I find the resonating spaces in my skeletal system. What a nice rest for my nervous system that always seems to be in the driver seat.
With my year-long mantra of thought precedes action and a lifelong alertness necessitated by the unstable surroundings of a childhood defined by mental illness, I am wired to move on quicksand and in disaster.
The mountains are calm, strong and stable. I look at them, I feel them under my feet under my skis and I can remind myself that I can yield into my surrounding and let the thin air fill my lungs.
There is enough oxygen. It just takes a little longer to fill up. That’s ok. I am on mountain time.
Scarcity makes us aware.
When I lived in big cities with limited horizontal space I became aware of the vertical space, the little glimpses of the sky.
After not having had caffeine in over a month I am acutely aware of the effect of caffein in my first cup of tea on my body. Being high up in the mountain where the air is thinner and hold 17% less oxygen I am suddenly acutely aware of my breathing pattern.
The moment I brace, I hold my breath, I feel slight dizziness. The moment I rush up stairs in a movement pattern that’s far from mindful and integrated I feel my heart pound.
I appreciate my body’s cues. A great opportunity to revise and dial into breathing. Breath, our ultimate support system. There is enough oxygen I just have to find it and use it wisely. There is enough. Always.