Work has been blechy lately. Busy. Oh so busy. Budget time, deadline time, audition time, busybusybusy. Everyone seems to be stretched for time and patience, grating on each others' nerves, and trying to invent more hours in an immutably 24-hour day.
The only saving grace is that despite the frigidly cold weather, I can still get my daily walks in. Walk to and from work, and a little half-hour jaunt on my lunch break. It just gives that little mental break that allows you to come to he desk with that little extra patience, the smile, and a kind word.
My boss is a great outdoors enthusiast. Hiking, biking (that's her idea of a vacation!), back-country skiing, rock climbing, you name it she's probably done it. She takes her lunch break everyday outside, usually hiking the small mountain trail nearby everyday. We were chatting the other day about stupid, ridiculous people, getting yelled at for things that are not your fault, and just the unfairness of it all! She told me there are some days when she laces up her boots, heads out for her lunchtime hike "and that mountain is a little smaller after I'm done with it. Just give it to the mountain, it can take it."
Ah-HA! Something finally clicked into place. Visualization is not the only way to release your negativity into the earth! I have lot of trouble with visualization, it's a major snag I've uncovered when working through the Pagan 101 books. My mind is always sitting there in the background saying "it's not real, you know. You can't really feel anything, can you?" But here my very non-pagan boss-lady had the key. Take it out on the mountain. Let your shoes pound the trail, let all your anger and frustration drain through feet and into the earth. These mountains have been standing for thousands of years. They can take it. Let the air fill your lungs and with each exhale your soul unburdens and becomes a little lighter. And while you're busy taking it out on the mountain, the mountain takes care of you. The trees, the breeze, the scenery....the tourists you blaze past...all serve to make things a little better. Yes, especially blazing past the tourists. And trust me, with my lungs burning and blood pounding this is very much something I can feel.
I'm not quite sure how I can incorporate this into a practice (aside from being a very good reason to get off my butt and get outside), but I'm certainly going to do it the next time someone sends a snarky note about me to the outgoing president of my company (...and the incoming president....and 4 members of the board...)....just give it to the mountain.