What mountain are you climbing at the moment?

Since I left paid employment people keep asking me if it is scary that I am fully responsible for creating the funds to pay my bills. It is, but it is not what really concerns me.

I know that if I have trouble paying any bill I can talk to them, I know that if I can’t pay my mortgage I can negotiate with them. I also know that the worst case is that I can’t pay and that I might have to sell my house. This house means a lot to me, it is my family home that I took responsibility for about 15 years ago, so there are a lot of memories here; but it is just a house.

The mountain I am really climbing is with my family. My grandma is 99 years old and she recently developed a lot of pain in her neck from where the bones have worn away and are pressing on her nerves. It means that she is pain almost constantly.

I have had a lot of experience helping people relate to pain differently and have had success with altering how pain feels myself. I know that it is only created in the mind and that you can only feel pain if you are aware of it. I also know that how you think of the pain i.e. the language you use changes the depth of pain you are able to feel. So, if you say things like “this pain is killing me” you are actually increasing the level of pain by focusing on it in that way.

Explaining this to my grandma is tricky. She was born in 1915; there were no cars, no electricity and noone considered how life is filtered through our minds to create our experience. The best way I have found to help her feel better is to take her out.

My girlfriend Rachel and my friend Leah got her a scooter and so for the first time in a couple of years she is able to move herself about over long distances without a wheel chair. When she is driving it, she feels free and she doesn’t feel any pain. She is so focused on what she is doing that there is no mental attention left to feel pain; it is so wonderful.

When she is not fully occupied she becomes aware of the pain again and it is so hard seeing her in that pain. How much I can help her in those moments is limited; I want to take it away for her; I want her to be free of it, but I feel helpless. The best I can do is be there with her and do my best to have fun with her: we play board games, we recite poems (she writes them); she loves hearing about what I have been up to; the talks I have given, the people I have helped, what I have been doing with Rachel.

My mum is staying with her most of the time to help her, but my mum is in her 70s and has a lot of health problems herself and so it is stressful and tiring for her, but she is doing a great job to help her mum who she hates seeing in pain.

When I was in paid employment I could only be there 2 evenings a week and 2 mornings and now that I have left that behind I can spend more time with her and give my mum some time to herself.

I love being there and it is also damn hard. Hard to see her in pain and hard just being there. I often feel torn between being there for her and all the other things I want to do; all the other people I also want to be with. My mind is often in many places at once.

It is important to spend time with my girlfriend, to connect to friends and other people in my life. It is also vital that I keep building my business because without that I can’t be free to be there with her or anyone else. My clients enable me to have the gift of being with the people I love. I get to help them achieve great things and they in turn fund my lifestyle and give me more time with my loved ones.

There are so many opportunities opening up all the time and there are even more things I want to do. I wish I could go back in time to when they were well so that things could be easier so we could all do more, but that is obviously not possible and so the question for me is “How can I make all of our lives amazing?”.

Now, I have only been out of paid employment for less than 2 weeks and so I am still finding my way; finding the flow of life that is best for us and so this is the mountain that I am climbing at the moment:

What is the mountain that you are climbing right now?

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