—A Through-Hiker I met on the Continental Divide Trail
Hi Everyone! Happy 2017!
It’s sort of raining here, a cold mist that never really falls but never really goes away, either. All this sloppy humidity made me sort of long for the desert, which made me think of the guy I met on the CDT, near Skull Bridge, outside of Abiquiu, New Mexico. It was so hot and dusty that day, and yet here was this guy, Daniel I think his name was, happily meandering through the desert, headed deeper into the Chama Wilderness. I shared my water with him, and he shared some gorp, and we talked for awhile before heading in our different directions.
He was one of those people you just know is a Spiritual Badass: Always seeking out the lesson; always sharing and giving love to strangers; always present to the fact that mostly happiness is a choice, especially when you are hot and tired and thirsty and still have several hundred more miles of mountains and rattlesnakes to hike before you reach your goal. We talked that day about how every person you meet, nameless Trail Angels among them, becomes part of your story, and you become part of theirs, simply by virtue of how you treat them. They may not remember your name, but they will certainly remember how you made them feel.
I was thinking about him, because I was thinking about how many of us don’t live our dreams or take the time to be kind, simply because we are living out of our fears of not having or being enough instead. As you might imagine, this all rose to the surface and simmered there awhile, as I pondered the New Year and any new intentions I may have. I don’t do resolutions, because I refuse to set myself up for failure in that way. I learned a long time ago the best way to gain 5 lbs is to go on a diet, so I don’t do that either. But I did recommit to continue exploring the world outside of my comfort zone, keep taking risks and to go on lots of adventures. I promised myself I will try to love better and more deeply, to be vulnerable and kind and brave, and that on days when I think there are no nice people in the world, to try to be one myself. That seems like enough to start with, especially for someone as easily distracted as I am.
Some of you know I’m sort of chillaxing at home, mending up from a pretty good bump on the head. Like Daniel on the CDT, I learned a long time ago that bumpy roads often lead to beautiful destinations, and this concussion is no different. I am surrounded by good people, including my biz partner, whom I love fiercely, and who love me back patiently, hearts covered in stretch marks from putting up with all my many adventures and forays into the wilderness. They bring me fruit and drive me places, feed the hound and check in on me. They are the kinds of friends with whom mundane concerns and sorrows seem to dissolve in their presence, and make love seem easy.
I am blessed to have several friends with tremendous gifts of healing, and they’ve been helping out quite a bit these days. Our Chiropractor friends Cam & Sam always take good care of us, body and soul, and Sam is our Office Savior sometimes too. My friend Steve over at the Get Well Docs has been helping me out a lot with some awesome cranial sacral work, among other things, and it’s been really helpful. A lot of you know Anne Roulo, who has been doing some really beautiful acupuncture for me as well. Anne has some serious medicine up her sleeve into those little needles, and her Kinesiology skills are equally amazing. Anne knows some old school muscle testing, and sometimes in the soft light of her office, with her fingers flying and lips moving softly as she finds just the right spot, she gives the appearance of an ancient healer magician murmuring incantations of great complexity. Her magic always works, for which I am enormously grateful.
Evidently all of these folks are playing their part, because I am feeling better everyday, and they are part of that to be sure. Ram Das said when all is said and done, we are all just kind of walking each other home, and that’s really true in this time. Most of us have been together a long time, just steadily walking side by side, in business and in life, there when things come up or fall down…broken hearts and broken bones, occasionally a broken windshield or even a broken head or two. We’ve also celebrated and laughed together, daring to be ourselves and wander together on this cosmic journey we all call Life. Sometimes it’s really a wild ride.
I suppose there are other healer types in town, perhaps with the same level of exquisite skill. But what sets all of these people apart is their kindness, the gentle and humble way with which they approach their craft and carry their gifts. They have all been around long enough to know that what most folks are after can’t be purchased and certainly doesn’t come in pill form. Above all, they carry their questions and I-don’t-knows with the same sort of humble reverence with which they carry their knowledge and wisdom, and this makes me trust them all the more. It’s just so intoxicating when people are unapologetically who they are, willing to be compassionate enough to embrace uncertainty and still do the best they can anyway. My gratitude is immense, to be part of their tribe.
All of this to say, 2017 started off with some good adventures already, and I feel the rush that comes when you take the leap and trust the magic of new beginnings. A reminder if you are scared about your own path… So what if you are scared? Why are you so scared, whose fears are they really? You are amazing, you are just trying to remember that. Let go. Stop swallowing your words and speak your Truth. Let go of caring about what other people think, and do what you want. Wear what you want. Say what you want. Listen to the music you want, and play it loud as all hell and dance to it in your kitchen. Stop waiting for the weekend and live now. Do it now. Take a risk. Buy the shoes. Eat the cake. Tell someone you love them. Build them up and remind them that they are worthy, and while you are at it, remind yourself too. Remember that you are magical and share your own brand of healing magic with someone else. Be a light on your own path, and share your light with others.
You are only confined by the walls you build yourself. Tear them down and dance in the rain, because the cost of not following your heart now is spending the rest of your life wishing you had. I learned a long time ago the longest journey is the few inches between the head and the heart, but you can always start now, and I promise you will find your way. No one else can make that journey for you, nor can they save you from it. But there are many of us who will walk with you, side by side, helping you be your own hero.
We’re here if you wanna chat, but whatever you do, remember it’s time to start living your life for you, now. So just start. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start even if your voice shakes. Just start, and know you are gonna be ok. Bumpy trails always lead to beautiful destinations, and you are worth the ride.
Happy New Year everyone. Thanks to all of you for being part of my path.