The Olympics have always been a favorite. Since I was young, the Olympics have provided incredible inspiration and motivation to do more with my life. For each and every one of the athletes, whether they win or just participate, it is truly a “peak experience” in their life. Kudos to the world athletes and gratitude to Russia for hosting this gathering of our world’s most talented, graceful and physically strong people.
This weekend around a dinner table, after discussing and sharing Olympic stories, the conversation segued into personal exhilarating, outstanding and memory-rich events in our own lives. It truly made us reflect and dig deeper into our own well of life experiences and really ferret out those “peak experiences.” Of course as always, it’s all relative. What one person might consider to be an outstanding experience, might be rather boring to someone else or vice versa. In the conversation, the importance of context, what time or decade in life these events or moments happened, albeit being a teenager, in your 20s or in your mid 50s etc, was also given credence.
One of the dinner guests shared an incredible “peak experience” for which we all gave her a gold star for an outstanding life enriching event. She and her partner at the time, hiked into the wilderness of Central Oregon and built an igloo, camping at the base of The South Sister for the weekend. The snow cave never got warmer than 32 degrees. They built a fire outside the entrance, letting the warm heat in just enough to keep the temperature more manageable, yet cold enough to not melt the cave. In the morning when they awoke, the fire had melted the ice about 15 feet down in front of the ice-cave, too deep to climb out, if they’d fallen into it. We of course asked how they stayed warm, especially me, who is always cold. She gave us that beautifully enticing, sharing without divulging, intriguing yet sly grin- cold was never a factor. Her partner kept her warm all night long. She definitely warranted a gold star. I mean really; sex in a snow cave, alone on a mountain top with a virile, hunky guy? Three gold stars for sure!
Subsequently, I continued to go over in my mind different moments in my own life. It made me realize I want to create more life altering, exhilarating, fun, triumphant and graceful experiences. Ones I will never forget. Memories that stay close to the surface because I want to relive the moment again and again. Generate laughter that bubbles to the top and erupts at the hilarious thought, feel tenderness expressed through touch and caring, participate in the rush of skiing fast down glorious mountains, encompass the view of an outstanding sunset from the top of a mountain peak, snuggle into the warmth of a fire under a star-rich sky, hear the quiet of the wilderness far from civilization, be mesmerized by the beauty of an ancient masterpiece, listen to my favorite musicians live and real, breathe in the headiness of enchanting flowering fragrances, and be with the people I love.
In relieving some of my peak moments, I realized it truly is in the day to day moments that true exhilaration and joy are experienced. Not to say that some of the most outstanding moments in my life weren’t incredible, phenomenal and over-the-top brilliant, I have just come to realize it truly is in the little things that make my life special. I just tend to forget that sometimes in the craziness.
My invitation is to remember your outstanding moments, those days of life altering events that changed your life for the best. Then put into context what truly really brings you joy. When you do, you might realize it’s in the simplest of things that make it all worthwhile.
To the Olympians; may they continue to inspire and ignite the best within us.
Cosmic sunshine to you.