Vulnerability

Put yourself out there and don't be afraid to fail

I’m not sleeping as much as I need to at the moment and I now know that’s a sign things are bubbling up in me that I need to write down and eventually share. A middle of the night splurge of my thoughts was always imminent and now feels like the time to share.


This brain fart of mine spreads broadly, and is stinky and uncomfortable; including topics ranging from vulnerability to neuroplasticity. Things that I didn’t even know I knew and certainly didn’t (and still don’t) really understand at all. These subjects I talk about have been trickling out in my life for the last few years through my exposure to vulnerable, scary situations. I’ve never quite known why I do some of the things I do, why I put my self out there is such an exposing way- I’ve always just followed my heart and my gut. Yes this is scary, stressful and leaves me vulnerable to judgement, discomfort and potential failure…. BUT it also opens doors for unity, learning and fundamentally true happiness.


I first listened to Brene Brown’s Ted X Talk on Vulnerability a while back and it really resonated with me but last weekend (whilst driving to Font on a compete whim) I found a podcast of her talking to Oprah Winfrey and had even more profound ‘Ah Hah!’ moments. This next level of resonance was because it came at a time I was ready and needed to hear it. 


Firstly why was I driving to Font on a whim? Well bottom line- you only live once and “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” (Elbert Hubbard).
Things change all the time and what you do with that change is what defines how it influences your life. A swift change in my weekend due to a cancellation meant I was left with a very rare two days off in a row so Hannah and I decided to escape the rain and find summer again in Font, even if just for a day. We were not disappointed. 
For various reasons that I won’t bore with you with, I started driving to Font feeling sick to the stomach with stress, worry and uncertainty BUT I drove home a day later feeling alive and ready to fight again!



“The last freedom we have is to chose the meaning of our circumstance” 

This is one of my favourite quotes of all time and I’ve probably shared it in previous ramblings but it’s a game changer for me and worth saying again. I can choose the meaning of my circumstances- I can’t choose how I feel or my gut reaction but I can choose to not act on my angry- I can choose not to act with hate towards someone- I can choose to act with empathy and kindness. It’s not easy and yes it’s scary because it’s vulnerable to let down your guard but I believe it’s the only way to truly be happy. 


I’ve not really experienced many negatives yet but I know being a business person (especially a business woman) is scary- it’s exposing and there is fear of the unknown, people’s judgement, others in your industry watching, waiting for you to fail. But I know those people are very few and far between and ultimately any one with negative feelings towards my endeavours are just reflecting their own experiences and insecurities- it’s actually nothing to do with me. So I keep pushing forward, keep putting myself out there and accept that to live the full, exciting life I want to live I’m going to get some scars on the way… but hey why the hell not! 


Lastly a word to those also putting themselves out there and feeling like they are banging their heads against a brick wall, getting nowhere and fighting through resistance and self doubt… it’s going to be ok. The haters are going to hate but they are just afraid and reflecting their own insecurities on you. Its hard to not feel resentment back but I don’t think that makes those ‘haters’ bad people they are just struggling too.
Everyone is different, no one is perfect but we all have feelings and we are just doing our best to survive and protect the people we love. 
I find it hard to believe anyone is inherently bad or deep down wants to hurt others (maybe some are dangerous and they need to be in prison to protect others) but are we not just a product of what we have been exposed to in our lives? How we perceive the world and any given experience is based on our prior knowledge and experience. If we can see the world through each other’s eyes or at least try to be empathetic to each other’s feelings it’s allot easier to be kind and patient. Because fundamentally we only bring hurt and anger on ourselves if we chose to respond and act with hurt and anger. If we chose to be kind, loving, grateful and empathetic those positive feelings will eventually fill our lives. 


I’m am not saying by any stretch of the imagination I have nailed this because I am far far from it. But the more I think about it and the more I share it the stronger it becomes. Yes sharing this is scary and I am opening up to the world for criticism; there will be people with far greater knowledge than my ‘brain fart’ on this subject that might snigger at me or think I’m naive but I don’t care- this helps me and sharing it might just help someone else too.


If you got here, thank you for reading till the end. Like I used to, this time I am not going to apologise for rambling on for so long because I’m not sorry 😊

Climbing / Yoga Retreats October 2018

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Climbing coaching (bouldering, sport and top rope), morning warm up yoga sesssions and accommodation in a beautiful villa with pool and mountain views….

IMG_8314Be Climbing presents to you the ultimate climbing experience in Spain 🙂
A good friend of mine Nat Tanzer is a very tallented yoga instructor and owner of the beautiful Spanish villa, Casa Lomita. Together we are offering a bank holiday retreat that includes 3 days of climbing coaching (two half and two full days), pre climbing yoga classes as your warm up and accommodation in the beautiful Casa Lometa.

Dates:  There are two long weekends available this Autumn:

Friday 19th- Monday 22nd and Friday 26th- Monday 29th October 2018.

To make the most of the 4 days we ask you arrive by 3pm in the afternoon of the 25th and leave from the crag on the 28th after climbing.casa lometa

Cost: £295 p/p

Location: Casa Lometa is a beautiful villa set on a terraced hillside above the village of Benidoleig in Spain.

Accommodation: 

The villa can sleep six people.

There are two double bedrooms and one twin, two bath
rooms, a spacious kitchen diner and lounge with balcony.

For more photos and info please see their website:

https://casalometa.wordpress.com

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What’s on the agenda:

Friday: Arrive at the Villa by 3pm in time for a quick climb (for those who don’t have the energy, a swim and chill by the pool) then evening BBQ and socialise!

Saturday: yoga 9am, breakfast then full day sport climbing

img_6398Sunday: yoga and trapeze from 9am at the house in the mountains followed by bouldering in the river bed (and then more sport climbing if we have time)

Monday: lead climbing until you have to catch a flight!


Who is it for:
Beginner- Intermediate climbers.
From those able to belay and tie-in who just want to top rope up to those leading 7b.

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Not included: flights, transfers (hire car recommended) and food. The villa has facilities to cook your meals and prepare packed lunches for the crag.

Climbing Out of Depression- how the charity was born…

They say for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, Climbing Out of Depression aims to be that reaction. If this can be opposite in equal measure to losing Katie I know it will have the power to do truly great things! This is for you Katie, we miss you every day, your spirit will now live on and help so many

In August 2016 a beautiful young lady named Katie Kemp joined one of my Be Climbing courses to Font. During this week she took my brothers heart and soon became part of our family. Her kindness and gentle nature made us all instantly fall in love with her.
It is with a heavy heart I write that this time last year, while George and I were coaching in Spain, she took her own life. Unknown to us all the pain she was in we are in shock and disbelief to lose this beautiful spirit. My heart is clouded with sadness daily but I can’t imagine the pain and grief my brother and her family must be feeling.
Having lost our Auntie in the same way 27 years ago this is a delicate area for my family and something I feel passionate about drawing awareness too. Many I know and love still suffer daily from severe depression and I wish I could take away their pain and help in their constant battle but I know it’s not that easy. All I can do is share my story and write my feelings honestly to bring awareness to this delicate subject.

The power and depth of human psychology and social media deception is shocking and scary- how someone can feel elated one moment and in such a dark place the next. Social media is so dangerous, it can hide so much of reality and paint a deceptive picture of happiness and perfection.
No one would know that I cried my way to and from the competition that I smiled my way through because all I showed on social media was success and fun! I want this post to highlight that no matter what we show on the surface or how we want the world to see us, this may not be our true deep emotions. Yes I was happy during the comp because climbing is my release and joy but it wasn’t my deep thoughts and true emotion at that time.

In a vain attempt to make a difference and celebrate Katie’s life I gave my cash prize from the Chimera competition last year to Katie’s family to go towards a mental health charity of their choice- this is now in the Climbing Out of Depression account. I feel their is still research to be done in this field, more information to come to light, holistic ways to prevent this suffering that can lead to the most horrific consequences and pain for those left behind. The sufferer can’t understand how much they were loved and the pain they will leave behind as they struggled so hard to love themselves. A psychological imbalance that sucks away all the light and makes the silver lining impossible to see.

There must be more we can do? Be more honest? Don’t believe everything we see on social media? Don’t assume everyone is fine because they can put on a bloody brave face, show the highlights of their life to everyone and bottle up the pain! We must talk and share the ‘real us’ for if we are honest we are all the same, just human beings trying to get by and fight our own daily battles- yes to very different degrees (from feeling insecure on a bad hair day to fighting a constant battle to end your life), but as R.E.M. wrote “everybody hurts sometimes.”
We all have terribly sensitive egos fighting for survival, meaning, purpose, belonging or just recognition in a horrifically judgmental world.

So I guess being aware is all we can do- be more mindful and kind, take time to listen, smile at strangers and tell your loved ones you love them as is might just bring sunshine to a dark day.

We all miss you everyday Katie x

From darkness appears some light….

In light of this tragedy and the relief know to have been experienced from climbing, we have set up a charity called Climbing Out of Depression (@climbingoutofdepression).

Our first fund raiser was on Saturday June 30th 2018 at White Spider Climbing, Surbiton, South London.

We raised nearly £8’000 to start running the charity- here is more about us and what we aim to achieve.

We currently only have a facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/climbingoutofdepression/.

You can donate online anytime at: https://www.leetchi.com/c/climbing-out-of-depression

About Climbing out of Depression: 
Climbing provides some light in the dark for many who are suffering from depression, anxiety, grief and other mental health struggles. This charity aims to spread the joy of climbing to many more. It’s not a cure but climbing is proven to be a particularly effective distraction and positive personal and social stimulus. Focussing on something enjoyable and all-encompassing can provide relief from the pain and anxiety that so many people experience. 
Climbing Out of Depression aims to reach individuals in need of support and introduce to them an activity that reaps reward and personal accomplishment, creates structure, teaches new skills and team work and provides relief and distraction.
Mission Statement: 
To provide a service to anyone suffering from any form of mental illness. 
To lease with councillors and other charities, hospitals, schools etc and offer climbing as an activity that is know to improve ones mental health. 
To offer free climbing tuition to those referred to us (and half price discount to a partner of their choice) to learn to belay and climb with others in similar situations. 
We will aim to have trained therapists present at these sessions as well as the qualified instructor, to help, advice and support. 
Funding will pay for the organisation of these sessions, the instructors, therapists and climbing wall fees. 
We hope to see you at White Spider on Saturday 30th June 2018 🙂