archives, you & me

We Are Mountain People.


When I fall into shakiness — and occasionally it can be high-intensity shakiness — as I did a few days ago, I marvel at how it’s still possible for me to experience such a dramatic disruption of the deep sense of grounded calm that is normally very present in me nowadays.

As I huddled on the carpet in Child’s pose, snotty-nosed and surrounded by candles that felt like little guardian angels, I realized something.

What I realized was, it’s just an earthquake. It’s the tectonic plates of the soul shifting, creating tension for you to grow and evolve, pushing your true self out into life like a mountain rising from the valley floor.

And each time they move, the earth shakes, chaos and destruction abound, and it seems like the world is being pulled out from under your feet.

But it’s just the mountain of your life, of you, growing, pushing up into the sky.

And it doesn’t matter which buildings collapse, which roads disappear, which historic sites are turned to dust. What was is irrelevant. What is being born through the destruction is what’s important.

This is the alchemy of soul expression in human life: an endless cycle of earthquake destruction and mountain growth. The revealing of the inner in the outer world. The transformation of base materials into an exquisitely unique form — a form that will change the landscape, that stands for the beauty of emergence, and as an example of strength, courage, surrender and perseverance.

Each crack, each crevice, each jagged edge the telling evidence of our inner battle — the scars of living a life that not only succumbs to the occasional earthquake, but also welcomes them, even encourages them, as entrepreneurs in the personal development field we are constantly testing the stability of our inner structure, constantly delivering shocks to our system.

And often they facilitate earthquakes that wouldn’t otherwise have occurred.

Sometimes the earth will shake but the mountain doesn’t seem to grow. This sucks. But it just means that the plates are now perfectly positioned for a giant growth spurt, and the next time the earth shakes, a huge shoulder of the mountain will shoot upwards and reign majestically as though it had been there all along.

And that’s the thing about mountains. If we analyze the geography of an area and the trend of the tectonic plate movement, we can project how a mountain is going to grow. But there are a million variables that mean it’s impossible to predict how fast it will grow, or what it will look like.

The same is true of our growth throughout our lifetimes — we start off with certain conditions, are exposed to particular variables, and experience the occasional earthquake.

However, we have free will (pretty much the biggest variable in this equation) as to how we respond to each earthquake.

Some people are happy to grow a gentle hill, grateful if the earth doesn’t force greater changes upon them. Others face giant shakes during certain periods, ones that create impressive terrain.

And some of us want to be Mount Everest.

Those of us for whom the deepest shakes are no deterrent, who are regarded as masochists by most people, who crave the views from the heights, who are not born to be valley people — this is our path: to provoke the earthquakes, to tremble, surrender, and wonder if this time there’ll just be a massive landslide and we’ll have to start all over again, to keep pushing up and up — because for us, there is no stopping.

We will continue to grow our mountains as long as we are here, and we will continue to experience the terror of the quakes that move them upwards.

But with time, we learn that nothing can be completely destroyed, that there will always be enough to build on again, that eventually the earth stops shaking and there is calm, and that, like an iceberg, our mountain already has a strong enough base beneath the surface to survive even the most terrifying destruction.

The growth of the mountain comes at a price, sometimes a steep one, but one we gladly pay.

Because we are mountain people, determined to share the winds with the eagles, and the glory and the raging storms that we find at the summit of every peak.

We are mountain people, and our only way is up.


Stephanie Lisa Kelly is a writer and facilitator who works at the intersection of the psychological and the mystical. Her writing has been described as sensuous mysticism and she is the pen behind the project. She hosts workshops and retreats, and facilitates transformational containers at meetings, conferences and other events, is the creator of the Wild&Free Retreat, the Wild&Free Workbook, and the Into The Wild adventure, co-hosted the 2016 Lifestyle Design Convention, and facilitated at the 2016 Leaders’ Connect Congress. She has a degree in Psychology, is a Certified Coach, Facilitator, Flower Essence Therapist and Way of Council Practitioner. You could contact her via her website.


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