(Written in Yosemite National Park)

This is about the law of gravity inverted…sorta. Nature always strives to create balance, which is otherwise known as homeostasis. Examples would include day and night; high tide and low tide; summer and winter; and, of course, up and down.

Gravity, however, seems to create a skewed dimension because it pulls everything down. In day-to-day life terms, especially from an emotional perspective, the “down” energy can seem as powerful as gravity, and henceforth, very challenging.

I was thinking about all this as I was hiking in an area known as the Tuolumne Grove. Nestled in mountainous northern Yosemite National Park, here lies a grove of Sequoia trees. These mammoth trees can be 20 feet in diameter and close to 300 feet high. They are considered to be the largest trees in North America and make for great photographic images.

As I hiked down to the Grove I kept reminding myself that I was at least 6000 feet above sea level and that the hike back up might be somewhat challenging (some old asthma residue seems to kick up at higher altitudes). And so right I was. After thoroughly enjoying the Grove and getting some great photos, I found myself hoofing it back to the top. This is when this “up-down, down-up” theory of Life came to my mind. And I must say that it served as a wonderful distraction as I put one foot in front of another on my way back up again.

Going down was easy, as gravity and physics were more than happy to assist me. Going back up, however, was tough, as I was fighting gravity and those various laws of physics. It was hard work (I also had my tripod and my camera, as well as several pounds of other necessities), but as I shuffled my feet, no matter how small the step, I kept going forward and upward.

Before I knew it I had reached the top again with this story ready to written. Of course, I was more than ready for a nice meal and a short nap as well (thank goodness for the RV!!).

And so it is with Life. It is so easy to go “down” into the depths of apathy, addiction, depression and procrastination. It is like a gravitational magnet as it requires very little, if any, effort. That, with our incredible built-in denial system, can put us in a “down” space in a hurry. And yet, getting “up”, or rising again, can seem to be as challenging as fighting gravity, as it takes more effort, much more, going up than going down.

I have often used the analogy of the “two thousand pound magnet and the paperclip” when describing this downward pull towards negative energy. That negative energy is the magnet and each of us is a paperclip. It matters not how much you know or how strong-willed that you might be, if you get too close to that magnet it will have it’s way with you.

The key is to have an action plan in case you should find yourself being pulled into a negative situation. One thing is for sure; if you keep shuffling your feet forward and upward, as I did on my trek back up from the Grove, you will eventually get back out of the magnetic pull and to the “top” of your Life.

Furthermore, and perhaps more important, is to have a proactive mindset of knowing where some of these magnetic fields are. It is very wise to know the people, places, situations and activities that you know are a unique challenge for you to stay “up” when you are confronted with such. Create a proactive plan for yourself that will give you the options and support to make it through, and around, the magnetic pulls in Life.

Remember: It is up to you to take care of the “paperclip” that you are (Okay, a golden paperclip that is diamond studded!!). In other words, you are solely responsible for yourself and the better equipped you are in attitude, skills, knowledge and experience, the more likely you will be of staying “up” much more than being dragged “down”. Go ahead; defeat the laws of gravity…who knows, maybe you’ll make it all the way to the top!!

See you at the top…

About the author:

Ken Donaldson has been based in Tampa Bay offering counseling, coaching, and educational programs since 1987. His REALationship Coaching programs empower people to have more successful lives, businesses and relationships by building a powerful relationship with themselves first. Ken is also the author of the upcoming book Marry YourSelf First! Visit his website: http://www.REALationshipCoach.comfor more information and sign-up his free e-program Illuminations and Sparks of Brilliance.

Copyright © 2005 Kenilee, Inc.

Written by: Ken Donaldson, M.A., L.M.H.C.