• Eimear Stassin

Day 14 ~ Skiing ~ A Metaphor for Life

It's Day 14 of the Be Yourself Writing Challenge. 

Today's writing prompt is to write something inspired by something you’ve recently read, watched or heard.

I'm constantly inspired by the world around me. By books; films; the good stuff on TV. This line from one of my favourite childhood movies first came to mind.

In an exchange between with Fraulein Maria, the Reverend Mother advises that;

'You have to live the life you were born to live'.

The movie being The Sound of Music, if you're not familiar.

Having returned from the alluring Austrian Alps last week on our annual family ski trip, the hills were very much alive with the sound of music. As we whooshed down the piste, I realised that skiing is a perfect metaphor for life.

Skiing ~ A Metaphor for Life

The mist had almost cleared as the Gondola approached the top.

The top where we would navigate from today. The previous day was thick with mist. Today, the true scale and beauty of the Alps revealed themselves to us. A 360 panoramic drama demonstrating the utter beautiful force that nature is.

I was in total awe. On top of the world. Views for miles and miles, of snow covered peaks of different shapes and sizes.


Our first day on the slopes was misty. Our first time at this resort, I was unaware of my surroundings; of the views or indeed the end of the slopes. Each choice of slope brought up new surprises and discoveries.

I felt hugged by the mist in a blanket of trust.

Trust that the slopes were correctly marked out.

Trust that we could find our way.

Trust that all our family had the skill and experience to ski on the right slopes.

That trust was definitely tested on a few occasions as some slopes weren't the nice smooth runs that they looked like on the map or sometimes wondering where the run was taking us!


As the sun chased away the remaining mist on day 2, it was clear to me that this was the map for a whole full life. Panoramic living. We can look at that map - checking the piste map, yet the runs we actually took didn't always match the map. We took some detours along the way.

I definitely tested the theory that the map, in reality, is not the territory (Alfred Korzybski). Sometimes, following the map took us on little adventures! And sometimes it was just inaccurate. Also I must admit that I don't always want to follow the map and find my own way instead! Creating my new map.

With clear views of the entire resort, we began to see ski opportunities that were further away. In villages across the mountains. All we needed was to figure out how to get there. Which was easier once the fogginess had gone.

Uphill Slowly

Travelling uphill with skis on, can be a slow process. Sometimes there are queues; sometimes one of us falls off a tow; sometimes we needed to push our way through the crowd to get on the chair lift, modelling our fellow skiers.

Once on a chairlift or tow, there's something about sitting down that gives me permission to notice. To become present. That's when I notice the sounds of the slopes. Those sounds might include my singing to amuse all around.

It's like being at the beach, with the whoops and laughter of people, yet the sounds are of a different quality. Muted by the snow.

Just like the mountain air is of a different quality. Crisp, cold, fresh. Stinging my cheeks.

It's then I notice the sun bringing out the sparkle in the snow. Like glitter all around for miles. And the hot air balloon floating silently above us. Someone's gift to themselves!

We watch other skiers making their way down. Some very gracefully; some not so gracefully. We marvel at the off-piste dare devils. Carving out shapes in the powder snow. Everyone is welcome on the slopes.

Downhill Fast

As soon as we're up, we head down again! Taking it in turns to 'be the leader', out in front. Or hanging back, leading from behind, making sure all the children are accounted for. Keeping an eye out for each child. That no-one has veered off course or into another snow drift, again! When someone falls, that we're there to help them re-clip. Leading from all angles.

We stop at various points to check in with each other. Are you having as much fun as I'm having? I can see by everyone's smiles that we are all exhilarated. And on down we go.

Learning to Trust Again and Again

Learning to ski feels clumsy, awkward and takes a lot of practise. I remember when I was learning 2 decades ago. With jelly legs, churning stomach and wobbly knees, I looked down at the slope before me with sheer terror and fear. I have to ski down there? Will I live? As others whizzed past me. It took me a long time to relax and trust the technique. Leaning into the slope whilst facing towards my destination. Again and again and again.


When everything flows as it should between legs, body and mind, I'm in flow. It feels natural, easy and smooth. Whooshing to the right and left; gliding down the slope and taking in the magnificent scenery along the way. Smiling, laughing, enjoying the moment.

Lumps, Bumps and Slippery Slopes

I felt the lumps and bumps more on the foggy days. Taking me by surprise. I'd hit a bump with my skis and feel more out of control than in control. Where I'd remind myself of the technique. To breathe, relax and lean in. Skiing is much more enjoyable that way.

I'd look up and see my children fearlessly taking on the slope with gusto, realising how much more risk averse I am these days.

Team Effort

Skiing is a team effort. Team Stassin. All with our own strengths and weaknesses that we bring to the slopes. On days and off days. But each day our ski legs get stronger. Team Stassin gets stronger.

Actually, our children get faster as I slow down!

Soul Based Coaching

When I'm coaching, I work with your idiosyncratic metaphors. Those metaphors of your own creation that are unique and personal to you. Metaphors are like Zip Files. A container holding our subconscious superpowers. Our resources. Patiently waiting to be discovered and listened to.

Through a structure of simple, not simplistic, questions; holding exquisite space, we begin to unzip that file. And what emerges is a whole new world of magic and possibility. It's an incredible process.

Change can happen in an instant, or over time, yet will be absolutely what your system knows is right for you, at this particular time. And with change, your unique map of reality changes in tandem.

So that you can achieve your outcomes easefully, authentically, naturally and ecologically.

That's exciting, exhilarating and, for me, it's about living the life I was born to live through work and play. And helping others to take steps towards doing the same.

Please email me when you would like to experience the magic; the adventure, of soul based coaching. In order to live the life you were born to live.

If you would like to learn more about where I learnt my coaching skills, you can go to the Academy for Soul Based Coaching.

#21DaysOfReflections Day 14

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