Thursday, April 3, 2014

I Don't Climb Mountains, but......

My radio silence has been intentional, although I’ve severely missed writing here. There’s a lot going on in life right now and that simply requires me to sit and focus on what I need at any given moment. Chaos is the most important time for self-care. Some moments I need a nap, or food, or silence, or laughter. Some moments require tears; others require me to power down my phone and laptop to be fully present to myself for a night. This is how I live moment-to-moment in the present these days. This keeps the crazy at bay and allows for a lot of grace and perspective.

Through it all I am meditating daily on a story a friend told me about a guy who was determined to climb one of the most challenging mountain trails in the world. This feat would take training, intense preparation, and it would take him two weeks to get to the top. Regardless, he was determined. As he finally started out on his journey, alone yet prepared, he passed a hiker coming down the trail. It was the first person he had seen all day.

With pep still in his step and excitement still brimming within him, he stopped the experienced traveler and asked,

“What advice can you give me for making it to the top?”

The traveler replied,

“You have to realize it’s just walking. There will be wind, rain, scorching sun, the forces of nature. You will realize you’re alone, you’ve never felt more alone, and fear will set in. There will be moments you will feel like you cannot possibly take another stride. In those moments, remind yourself that it’s just one step in front of the other. Take one more step, then another step. That’s how you’ll make it to the top. It’s just walking.”

I am struck with the incredible beauty of that story. How often does life feel unmanageable and we want to hit the reset button,
or quit,
or run,
or hide,
or disappear until the emotional nuclear warfare is over?

There is nothing too big, no such thing as taking too much time, and no reason to feel angst. All of life is just walking, just taking the next stride. We do not need to sprint or rush or be better to feel better. We get to feel the exhaustion, catch our breath, hydrate and remind ourselves...

It’s just walking. 

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