Ok, so here’s the story. We’ve gotten amazing snow this year in Santa Fe, NM, where I live. If you’re a skier like I am, this is great news! I grew up skiing in Colorado and it’s one of my happy places, especially if I’m there with my children on a great snow day with the sun shining. Ahhh!

So, I was skiing just last week in powder conditions, after a big snowfall. Although skiing if fairly second nature to me, I found myself exhausted quickly during each run. I’d stop and find myself breathing deeply and leg muscles burning. I watched other expert skiers and it just looked so effortless. Why was I struggling so much? I noticed my own experience, observed others and began to ask myself some questions.

The truth is skiing in powder is very different from skiing in other conditions. It required you to pay attention and respond to the snow under your skis. When I hop on my skis, I automatically go into the edge carving turns I learned so long ago. It’s instinct. But powder doesn’t require edges; it is only a simple weight transfer from one ski to the other.

I’m not explaining this because I want to teach you how to ski in powder. Actually the revealing thing that happened for me when I switched gears into powder skiing is that I realized I was exerting effort where it wasn’t needed.

I was carving my turns with a hefty push from the large muscles of my legs when the conditions didn’t require that much effort at all.

Then it became a bit philosophical for me. I wondered how often in my life am I exerting effort to make something happen when it’s not actually needed? I can easily go into auto pilot and think I need to keep doing, doing, doing in order to make things happen in my life. Well, again, my lesson is to pay attention! I most certainly will exhaust myself with all my efforts but the fact of the matter is that there are situations that don’t require it.

It became clear to me that if I tune in and notice the conditions under my skis, I may be pleasantly surprised to find out… what this situation needs is LESS work. What a revelation! And how liberating, right? If we tune into our life, as it’s happening, we can respond to each situation with exactly what it needs.

Does this situation need more commitment? More diligence? Or perhaps it’s time to let go a bit. It could, quite possibly, be that this situation needs less of your effort.

So, how do YOU cope when you have to let go and be adaptable?

All questions worth asking.

Are there situations in your life that you could more authentically tune in to? Maybe you’ll find you’re exerting effort where it isn’t needed. What a nice surprise to find out that letting go may be just what is best.