But what do we experience?
Here we are in Nepal, trekking through the lower regions of the Himalayas, on route to our goal of Mera Peak. We are experiencing new sights, sounds and smells. A new culture, new friends and, for most of us, the first effects of altitude. But is this really what we are experiencing?
Only if we choose to. Maybe we experience our thinking about our experience. Hence why being immersed in such a unique environment can be so good for us. If we have become habitual in our thinking, actions and behaviour in response to a known environment then a complete break from the known can be a great opportunity for a reset.
When life is normalised I believe we really do experience mostly our thinking about our experience. And often this is through analysis or evaluations of our situation or comparisons to others or comparisons to how we think we should be.
When immersed in the unknown, the ‘not normal’, we become much more aware of the real world that we could be experiencing. We have been trekking for four days now, starting our routine at 0630 and generally arriving at the next camp by 1700. The days have been pretty long and (for most of us) harder than expected! There has been plenty of time to find oneself stuck into a pattern of thinking while struggling to put one foot in front of the other. However, the difference is, when you raise your sight to the horizon you are confronted with an incredible scene which is somehow so contrasting to the one just moments earlier. You are suddenly present, in the real experience of the world around you.
An expedition like this provides so many moments of sensory assault that soon the habit becomes to be truly present in the moment. When conscious of the present moment and conscious of our thinking we then have choice about how we want to experience the world.
And it’s easy to think grateful thoughts here in Nepal, and follow that line of thinking to how one can choose to be in the world. With four weeks on expedition perhaps this reset of habitual thinking could be a key to transformation.