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I finished editing this piece the same night I heard about Sarah and lost it for a while after sitting in a dark ediing bay for three days never expecting she wouldn’t recover. She brought an emense awarness to a love so many of us mountain girls share and it’s hard to imagine the ski community without her. I was reminded of a few years back when she came out to Jackson to film and a bunch of us girls took her into the back country for her first time. She was blown away by the size of our mountain and even nervious to jump off her first natural cliff vs a park booter where she spent most of her time. Of course we were happy to offer support but surprised to imagine she could be afraid of anything. She was Sarah Burke after all! It it made her human though and gave us all something to relate to when she took us into the park and offered tips were we were the nervous ones. It went to show that we could all use a little support and encouragement sometimes from our friends when we’re pushing our own own personal limits. That’s what this day is about, having some fun supporting each other in pushing our comfort zones with support from those who feel the same passion for the mountains that we do. Thank you Sarah, this one’s for you.

Check SheJumps.org for details in getting out where you are!

Fox News: SheJumps teaches kids to ski

This past Sunday was the best day of my season for sure! Showing people they can do more than they thought they could is the greatest!  We fully outfitted 20 kids from the boys and Girls Club with generous donations by Alta, and taught them something they may never have had the chance otherwise.  Watching those faces light up when they realized they could do things they’d never done before made my year!

Best day of the season

Check out the link below for the Fox News coverage of the weekend.

Fox News: SheJumps teaches kids to ski

This question was posed to me a few years ago on my search … for exactly what I still can’t quite articulate. The answer, I’ve come to realize is quite simple. My life would be for service. If I had all the money I needed, all the athletic skills, ski equipment, water-ski boats, surf trips with friends, inspiring conversations and meaningful projects. If I had 100% guaranteed security, 100% physical health all of the time, all the love and respect from friends and family, all the powder snow, smiles, laughter and happiness, all the good experiences, knowledge, wisdom courage and confidence I could ever want with a overwhelming abundance of all of it, what would my life be used for? My life would be for giving it away—for sharing it.
Three_Happy_Kids
Some concept huh? Made me think, enough to at least try to live as though I do have it all. The basic concept? In order to have something, you have to first live as though you have it, then you have to give it away! As an example, if I want to have fun, I have to first feel it, experience it, even if it’s only in my mind. Then I have to give it away.

It is a practice to live as though I do already have everything, and something else to give it away (especially when it comes to money). It’s certainly not an easy thing to practice but rewarding, even down-right enlightening if and when I can pull it off. Though it is not easy, more and more I am learning that this is the only way to truly live. To choose to see the world as if you already have all the things that are valuable to you is energetically what brings them to you in the physical sense (this concept has already been proved by quantum physics) but it is more than that. It is freedom from the chase, freedom from the wanting and the pain of living from the place of never having enough or expecting the world to provide something outside of your control. Asking oneself, what would it FEEL like if I already had ____ (fill in the blank) is the key to actually attracting it into reality.

For me, FUN and laughter is the most valuable thing in the world. Therefore, I am constantly asking myself what would it feel like if this situation were fun and then focusing on the FEELING of FUN whether the situation calls for it or not. Sometimes that means simply making myself smile at the top of a scary line or even while stuck in traffic. Just the act of smiling, even if it’s forced, helps change my mood and inturn, the whole situation. Using this technique, I am not effected by what’s happening around me, but rather, I am affecting things around me from the inside out! From there I have to give it away, or as Gandhi put it, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Whether that’s genuinely smiling to those around me in traffic or appreciating those scary mountains for how beautiful they are, my mind is changed and therefore, so is my reality.

88BIKES-peru-countryorphanage-6Sounds great but it’s easier said than done. Out of the 20% of the time I live consciously enough to notice my mood or that I have control over the situation at hand, it’s probably about 3% of that time that I feel strong enough to do something about it. That 3% however has brought me, consciously or not, every wonderful thing in my life and an ease to that never-ending search.

I have found that the most rewarding, most alive times in my life have been when there was no “me.” When the “I” was lost in the moment in the times of being. While skiing down a mountain there is no “I”, also, there is no “I” while in service to others. At the top of a mountain and at the bottom, the “I” exists but in the moment there is only that, the moment. There is no room to judge oneself, to compare oneself to another, or to have room for fear. I believe that is why we all ski, or run or climb, or sing and I believe it is also why we give. For within those moments we lose ourselves, or are those moments where we find ourselves? I can’t be sure.

Recently I have become a sponsor of 88Bikes.org, a young organization bringing what I interpret as fun and freedom to kids in developing countries. In working in the non-profit sector, I come across tons of organizations bringing awareness to some very serious problems in need of change but nonetheless, they weigh heavy on the heart. What has truly inspired me to get involved is the focus on sharing FUN. Being that fun and laughter are the most valuable things in my life, and a bike has always been a vehicle for that. I’m all for shelling out some cash to spread the fun (and the empowerment and the transportation that goes with it but mostly the FUN)! With 88 dollars (the approximate cost of a bike in a developing country) you can share fun too! This year 88bikes will travel to Ghana, India, Nepal, and Vietnam, endowing orphanages, ashrams, centers and schools sheltering children rescued from human trafficking. The Moment of Happy will occur in January 2010 at more than a dozen sites throughout the world. Three hundred children will receive a bicycle and the training to maintain it.

There are currently 27 million sex and labor slaves in the world today, many of them are women and children and I intend to be even a tiny part of changing that on a trip I am planning this spring. I intend to travel to one of the ashrams to bring bikes and whatever other relief I can to about 40-50 women and girls who have been rescued from the sex trade. These women and girls have been through a literal hell, having been sold into sexual slavery, often by people they knew and trusted. Though I am nervous that this is over my head, it is all that more inspiring to train myself mentally to follow in good Gandhi spirit. I am committed to radiating pure FUN and being able to share that no matter what the conditions.thumb.display

More info below!

To learn more about these projects and who they are helping, go to 88bikes.org and to view a particularly amazing video about Free The Slaves.net, an organization 88bikes with be partnering with this year. To help offset human trafficking atrocities around the world, go to Freetheslaves.net. —Lynsey Dyer