I’ve waited to write this story to see if it stuck. Now going on week three, I feel it’s stuck long enough for me to tell you this little bit of magic …
One of the main reasons why I came to New England is for the ice. I live smack in the middle of an ice climbing Mecca. Banff, in Alberta or Cody in Wyoming might offer the sort of easy access to world-class ice climbing that North Conway offers, but I couldn’t work in Banff, because I am not Canadian, and Cody felt too transitory, a place to visit, but not a potential home. So, I drove 5,500 miles, I found the room, I found the roommates, I found the jobs, I found the ice, I found the town, I found the life I wanted. But, I could not find a climbing partner.
Several people said they would take me climbing, but the problem with living in a world-class ice climbing mecca is that world-class ice climbers don’t necessarily want to burden themselves with a rusty-WI 3 (Water Ice 3, meaning not all that hard) climber. I grew more restless each day. I could see the ice on my drive to work, and still, after two weeks, I had not gone climbing once.
Finally, one perfect climbing day when I was left to sit at home while all my potential partners were out playing on the ice, I sat down with myself and wrote my question in my journal:
“What is the resistance I feel from the ‘Universe’ to my climbing ?”
I wrote “Universe” in quotes because I don’t believe in outside causation. The Universe isn’t doing anything to me. The world, its people and all events I perceive and interpret are merely mirrors of my internal state. So, I knew the resistance was mine. But why would I resist what I wished for the most? This made no sense.
This is the answer I received:
“There is no resistance but your own. You are worried you will be inadequate, never good enough, a dead weight to a climbing partner or party. You fear being slow. As long as you believe yourself unworthy of being taken out climbing, no one will take you out climbing.”
As I wrote of my inadequacies, I knew I believed them, and I knew I had found the source of my resistance.
“Yes. I see that” I wrote, “This feels all true, I do feel I am too slow to climb with the boys. I do feel I am somewhat of a dead weight because I can’t lead yet. But I would not resist a truth, so this must be a mistaken belief. Is this a mistaken belief?”
The answer reminded me of many other conversations I have had in my journal:
“Any belief is a mistaken belief except for the 4 laws*. You can be as good of a climber as you wish to be. There are no age or scope restrictions except for those you place on yourself.”
“How? How do I become the climber I wish to be?” I asked.
A list appeared
[I added the comments to explain each concept as I understood them when I wrote them. ]
“1. Impulse of desire.
[ A desire is never born in our heart without the means to achieve it. If we can dream it, we can have it. ]
2. Set your intent.
[ Ask and you shall receive always starts with ask. The act of asking enables us to clarify what it is that we are in fact asking. It cleans the clutter around our desire, exposes ego-based wants, and focuses our mind on our ideal. The focusing, I think, is what starts the process of creation. Where the mind goes, the energy flows. ]
3. Trust in the process.
[That’s it. We wish upon the star, and then we let it be. We don’t continuously pester the star about our wish, because it’s not polite and it interferes with the star’s magic creation process. ]
4. Be grateful and mindful of opening doors.
[Once an intent is set, the creation process is in motion, but often we fail to see new open doors because we are so focused on closed ones we assume or hope will open. Here we need to remember that the Universe has more imagination than we do, and be ready for unexpected twists in the plot. ]
5. There is nothing for you to “process”, just experience with awareness.
[This is one of the greatest pitfall for those of us on a spiritual path. We think we can solve resistance to intents by “working through” it, when in fact, we feed the resistance energy by focusing on it. We are here to play. That’s it, that’s everything, and that’s enough. ]
In my quest for climbing, I had nothing to lose, so I followed these instructions to see what would happen.
I already had the desire to go ice climbing, bad enough to drive all the way around the country and move here.
I wrote an intent in my journal. I found that, at first, I was murkier than I expected about what I was wishing for, but eventually I found the core of my wish. I asked to value myself and be valued by others as a climber, and to derive joy rather than feelings of inadequacies from climbing. I wished for a steady climbing partner with whom I could have fun and gain skills, a partner who would benefit equally from our association. I wished to climb biweekly on aesthetically pleasing lines. I then hesitated and decided to not ask for that climbing partner to be a romantic partner as well, in fact, I wrote that at this point, I’d prefer to not have to deal with that aspect quite yet.
I trusted the process. I had asked, now all I had to do was nothing. I just had to stay open to whatever happened, knowing that it probably would look nothing like what I could imagine.
As a token of faith in the process, I sharpened my tool and my crampons in anticipation that I would be using them shortly.
The next day was sunny, crisp and cold and I was off from work. I decided to go at least see the climbs. I laid my White Mountains map on the floor of my room and made a list of the best climbing venues within an hour from my house, then packed all my gear and drove to the first ice wall, a mere fifteen minutes away.
On the way to the first wall at Cathedral, I realized that I had already broken the resistance. Nobody was taking me climbing because I wouldn’t take myself climbing. The world is a mirror. Here I was, taking myself climbing, therefore, the world would take me climbing. I was pretty sure of it, but sometimes divine timing doesn’t make sense to our linear-time minds. It could be a while before a partner actually appeared. I was fine with that. I could solo tiny ice falls for practice. At least, I’d be climbing.
I didn’t solo tiny ice falls for very long. Less than half hour after I arrived at the wall, another solo climber walked up to ask if he could share the wall.
Alan likes to joke that our climbing partnership started with “Hi. I’m the Bobcat. I’m here for the ice. Do you have a rope?” It was something like that … I hesitated at first. I assumed that if he was soloing ice, he must have been clear out of my climbing league. But on the other hand, he was playing on the same wall. I asked him if he needed a belay. He did. I asked him if he had a rope. He did.
“Are you here by yourself?” he asked.
“Yes, I was hoping this would happen.” I pointed at him.
“Can you climb on weekdays?”
“I can ONLY climb on weekdays?”
He smiled. “YOU are my new climbing partner.” he pointed at me.
We had not even learned each other’s names yet, but I knew magic had just unfolded.
I have been climbing with Alan for three weeks now, and I could not have imagined a better climbing partner for me. His systems are bullet-proof, his anchors look straight out of a climbing manual, and he can lead about exactly what I can second. His belays are tight and I feel safe on his rope. He climbs smoothly and is easy to belay. We both climb in the rain, we both climb all day. We are the first ones on the wall, the last ones to leave. We like fat beautiful waterfalls, which we often have to ourselves because we climb on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We both aspire to the same level of harder routes as a goal for the end of the ice season. And, I actually like him as a person. This is the perfect fun yet challenging, drama-free climbing experience I needed. We climb several times a week, always mid-week. He climbs with his girlfriend on the weekend while I work. It is perfect. Absolutely perfect! Right before I met Alan, if I had been asked to describe the climbing partner I wanted, I probably would have described a driven, hard-climbing, ice climbing guide, instructor or god. Scratch that. I want exactly what I have. Thank you!
I had never before been so aware of the steps involved in the process of manifestation, the process of creation from desire to physical reality. So, just in case it is useful to someone else, I have shared it here under the pretense of talking about ice climbing. 🙂
❖ Number 1: You exist.
❖ Number 2: The all is one, the one is all.
❖ Number 3: What you put out is what you get back (the mirror effect)
❖ Number 4: Change is the only constant, except for the first three laws which never change.
(The four laws of Creation by Bashar)