Tumble Home

After my car, and then my partner’s car, got stuck in the snow I had little choice but to walk home from my neighborhood yoga studio. Not a big deal for most people. But I’m from eastern North Carolina, have a high center of gravity, and tend towards grandmotherly caution… walking on the icy slush, in the dark, is not my forte. Every step was out of my comfort zone, simultaneously fraught with the potential of falling and of progressing home. If the need to continue moving my feet was certain, the grip of my feet on the ground never was. Around the halfway mark, though, my fear of slipping was replaced with complete absorption in the simple task of taking the next step. It reminded me of a story I’d heard about a Zen teacher who responds to his student’s complaints of boredom by holding the student underwater, thereby showing him just how interesting each breath can become. In some sense, the snow was my teacher, showing me how interesting each step can become, and showing me how it’s the very fear I have of taking those steps that can generate presence (…but only if I take ’em anyway). Here’s to not turning snow days into “what an inconvenience” cliches!

In growth,

This entry was posted in Personal Experiences by Ryan Shelton. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

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