This is an actual picture of me skiing on Okemo Mountain in Ludlow, VT taken by my sister, Kristen.

This is an actual picture of me skiing on Okemo Mountain in Ludlow, VT taken by my sister, Kristen.


Recently I had a dream that I was in the ocean getting knocked around by waves on the shore of a beach.  All of my belongings were in the water.  I swam around, desperately trying to save my laptop, my journal, and other assorted personal items.  I woke up convinced that this was the correct metaphor for my life at the moment. I wrote my last blog post in that tidal wave of stress.  You all saw how that turned out.

I called Karen the day after I had this dream to go over the blog that I posted (entitled Epic Careering Internship).  She said it sounded restrained.  I agreed with her and told her what I was going through.  She said, “Heidi, expanding is uncomfortable” and then advised me to find that short time each day of quiet where I can visualize what I want and how I’m going to get it.

Then it hit me.  Of course my last blog sounded restrained!  I was being restrained.  By my own mind—I was being restrained by my ocean metaphor.  It was time for a change in thought.

A new metaphor came to me today.  It not only fits my situation better, but also it has helped me cope with my stress and find the time to look at what I accomplished and also visualize what I want to do next.

It’s as if I’m skiing, knees bent and poles tucked under my arms.  I am heading full force down a trail.  As I bound down the hill, I keep getting knocked around by the wind and the cold.  Snot is running down my face coupled with some tears and sweat.  I keep finding myself at the bottom of each trail that I’ve taken.

So here I am again at the bottom of the mountain.  But I keep gritting my teeth and saying, you know what?-even though my hands are freezing and I’ve got bruises covering my butt, I can do another run; I can try another trail.  I use my scarf to wipe the tears (and let’s be honest, blow my nose in it too because I’m out of tissues) and get back on the lift up back up the mountain.

The pleasure that I can take from this, is that split second I have at the end of the trail, the end of the day, the end of the week, when I look back up the mountain and take pride in the steep, icy hill that I conquered.  The beauty of the sight doesn’t change with the knowledge that I fell multiple times on the way down (and, may I add, that many people saw me fall).  The sheer beauty of both that which I accomplish and that which I fail to accomplish motivates me to try again.

Karen was right, expanding is uncomfortable.  It’s also about mind power.  Change your metaphor and it’ll change your story.