Today for the first time... I climbed alone.
I went through a myriad of emotions and self conversations while I climbed.
"Do I really want to do this?"
Imagine how you'll feel when you are done.
How many times do we face a challenge, a decision, a choice and want to take the easy road? How many times have I been overcoming something... Fill in blank: ___________
turning the other cheek
etc etc etc
and in those circumstances I had to ask this question "How will I feel after this decision?" "Will I be stronger, prouder, feel better? if I choose xyz?" It was the only way I climbed out of an eating disorder that lasted 16 years.
White knuckled I often had to ask "Will I be more or less proud of myself if I make this choice?" and one day at a time, one meal at a time, one pill at a time I climbed.
My legs burned today as I climbed and I found myself not even half way up the trail and angry. Angry at myself. Angry because 2 years ago I could reach the top of this same trail without even being winded. I put my head down and began to make each step focused... and then I began to relax. I realized I wasn't enjoying the hike. I also reflected there are times when we simply get to put our heads down and do the work as well.
Times when, as a single mom I get to put my head down and work, climb, get it done... but in this moment as the awareness dawned on me during the climb- I hiked slower, took each step more consciously and partook of the beautiful fall day around me. The view heightening- becoming more and more majestic.
I also, recommitted to myself to BE better. To give more attention to my health and stamina. Instead of being angry at myself at the depreciation of my strength- to learn and use this opportunity as a wake up call to get back into shape again- to recommit to being the best I can be and to make my health a priority- knowing that as I do; I can and will enjoy this hike again, more fully; un-distracted by fatigue and strain.
I remembered the study I read that scientists have learned that Oxygen at it's basic level is actually LIGHT.
As we exercise or meditate or BREATHE... we literally fill our cells with LIGHT.
I remembered this and remembered the way I used to carry a small notepad and pen with me when I jogged regularly. It seemed I would have epiphany after epiphany as I ran. In fact, for this reason I chose not to listen to music as I ran- I discovered it inhibited the "flow" of inspiration.
I breathed deeply, intending my lungs, my heart, my body to fill with Oxygen-aka LIGHT.
I soon noticed my resistance to resting.
You see, I have been accused of being competitive from time to time... and as I ponder it- I would say I'm driven.
I don't care about BESTING others.. I care about BESTING MYSELF. As there are other speakers, drummers, painters, salespeople etc. I AM competitive- but it's not about THEM... it's about their inspiration causing me to look at myself and ask "Have I done what I know I'm capable of? Have I pushed myself beyond where I thought I was capable?"
And..... I allowed myself to rest.
I recognized that I had this illusion in place in my head that IF I rested I was weak. After all- 2 years ago I could have easily jogged this trail.
But- I allowed myself to rest and I didn't judge myself for it.
I gave myself permission to be still, drink water, breathe.
Ultimately, I reached the top.
There was no referee there with a stop watch counting my time- the only thing at the top waiting for me was the View.
I know that we each have a mountain to climb.
I know that we all have challenges.
I know that we all have the opportunity to choose to climb to grow to become more fully our divinity...or to turn around, to sit down, to accept less than the top.
I know we are all doing it different.
There are people we choose to climb with or to climb solo- but in the end we all face our own individual mountain.
We each take the steps, we each have the choice how we climb.
To push beyond the valley, to grow, to overcome, to rise.