I'm now home after a lovely week in the Lake District and back in to catch up mode. I always love to do a few of our favourite walks while we are up there and take in all the gorgeous scenery. This year we did a few of the usual's.... like Grasmere Lake and Tarn Howes. We did however add some new ones to the list because we had to stay in the southern lakes due to the road up to Keswick being closed.... it had fallen in to the lake! (caused by all the flooding around Christmas)
We did a lot of Tarn walks....which included Loughrigg tarn, (and here), Blea tarn, Little Langdale tarn, Moss eccles Tarn (where Beatrix potter loved to go)... and a lovely walk from Wray Castle down by the side of the lake! Some of the walks we took Heni on and others we did on her rest days. We even got to go back to Lucy's again this year for another meal catered to our food intolerances.
On one of the days, we also took a drive up over the hills to Glenridding at the other side of the pass. To get there you have to go up a 20% gradient road, along narrow stone walled lanes that wind back and forth. The climb covers more than 4.8km of twisting road, cutting through what is a stunning backdrop and the road is aptly named...... its called The Struggle!
I can imagine years ago (when there wasn't the convenience of cars) it would have been an almighty struggle and a major obstacle for those early Lakeland villagers to climb up and over the pass to get from one small town to the next. If you cycled it today it would still be a major challenge.... but driving it in the Landy made it seem easy......it didn't seem that much of a struggle...
It got me thinking of how we all have "struggles" in our daily lives and depending on how we approach them they can seem easier or harder to negotiate.
For me, coming back from a holiday is always a struggle....
Even though Heni came on holiday with us, we still had the relative freedom to go out and do "normal" stuff on her rest days. Coming back home however, with less respite, and all the everyday jobs added on top, it seems like the freedom dissipates and its back to caged up mode until the next escape. For an outdoor, free spirited person like myself... its a real struggle to endure.
What about you? What things come to mind for you when you hear the word "struggle"?
For me the word implies a great deal of effort, striving, work or a battle.
Just as crossing that mountain pass can be easy or a struggle depending on how we approach it, so too can all of our struggles. It is often our "perception" of our difficulties and stresses that makes them harder to bear.
Are we approaching our struggles on foot, on a bike, or in a Landy? (metaphorically speaking of course)
This week on Facebook I came across the video below that perhaps a few of you have seen before. A psychologist is teaching a group of people about stress management principles and asks everyone how heavy the glass of water is that she is holding. Some people guess 8 oz and others more... but she points out that the relative weight of the glass doesn't actually matter.... it is how long it's held for that makes it easy... or a harder "struggle" to bear.
In each case the weight of the glass didn't change, but the longer it was held the heavier it became. We need to remember to just put the glass down.
There are some things or people however that we cant just "put down" ....I can't change the fact that I have a daughter with multiple complex issues and need to look after her needs...
....but I could put down my negative thoughts about lacking freedom and the ruminations and the way I approach my problems ... those thoughts and beliefs that have a way of making this situation more of a struggle for me?
The weight of any of our problems potentially may never change...but the shorter the time we hold the negative aspects of them...the less of a struggle we will feel.
Are there any negative beliefs (or anything else) that you have that you need to just put down regarding your own situation? This week I challenge you to think about the things you find a struggle and see how you can approach them differently...and look for ways that help you to do this. It could mean, in order to put something down you have to pick up something new... you might want to start to exercise, meditate, meet up with friends more, go see a coach or professional (depending on what you need).
There will always be mountains to climb and struggles to pass through in life....lets make them as easy as possible to approach and climb.... so we can at least enjoy the view on the journey!
If you would like to see some of my favourite pics from the Lakes this year you can scroll below : )
|Wood and slate (on Little Langdale Tarn walk)|
|Lakeside trees at Wray Castle|
|Sunshine and Shadow by the lake (Wray Castle)|
|Lake side ...Wray Castle|
|Going back to nature|
|Little Langdale Tarn|
|Little Langdale bridge|
|Boat house at Grasmere|
|Heni off roading!|
|Making memories and traditions at Tarn Howes this year..|
If you are looking for a place to visit then you might want to take a peek at the fab place we stayed too......
|The jetty on a rainy day!|