Finding True North

Unhinged. Full of fury.  A recklessness rising up in me. I cleared my weekend schedule and took to the trail.  Not one of my more sane hikes but nonetheless I smashed about 40kms in under 24 hours.  I could not stop until the rage began to soften within me.  Not generally an angry person, I knew this grief was raw in form.  I felt extraordinarily exposed and like nothing in me was contained. My usual calm disposition was nowhere to be seen. And like many things in my life lately, my intuition was right on par to take to the trail, to hike this energy out.

As I descended one side of a mountain, I could see the cove ahead and I saw two hikers walking along the beach way off in the distance.  I made a mental note that that was where the trail head would begin again after the beach walk. Needless to say, I hiked along the beach, head down, beside myself with frenzied thoughts of confusion and trying to make sense of recent outcomes.  I came to the end of the beach, to what I assumed was the trail and started my angry ascent.

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If we stay present with the rawness of our direct experience, emotional energy can move through us without getting stuck.  Pema Chodron.

Much to my confusion, the trail ran out and I found myself in scrub.  I pushed my way through thinking I’d somehow force myself to find the track.  The bush got thicker and I was seething at myself to find a solution, to bash my way back to the trail. Surely it was around here somewhere. Again, the recklessness screaming at me, and I did not care I was off trail.  I stood there willing the universe to take me on. And then the moment of softening arrived, where I saw myself hurting and lost, realising these are the times people need to be rescued for wandering way off trail.

Disorientated, and not just because I was off track.  I reminded myself of the rule that when you get lost on the trail, you always go back to the last physical point where you were orientated.  I needed to back track.  Within ten minutes the trail head appeared, which I had hiked right past in my heightened emotional state.  I was back walking the trail.  There actually would have been no way through from where I stood in the scrub lost, and as I was so clouded by my emotions I could have made a whole series of dangerous decisions.

And so it is with my emotional life when powerful responses are arising in me. I can see there is a stability and safety in not straying far away from what I know is the core of me.  These intense feelings are there for a reason, they demand to be felt but I also know they are not who I am.  They could easily drive some erratic decisions, if I allow it, and have me acting in ways that would continue to disorientate me into murky waters.

Instead, whilst taking this particular hike, I was reminded I need to keep closely orientated to my true self, to what I know to be nurturing and that which helps me soften, not harden, into the changes.  Feelings are real but they are not facts.  Even when I feel completely stripped bare, I want to lean inwards, and to live this life wholeheartedly.  For me there is no other way.

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You are the sky.  Everything else is the weather.  Pema Chodron.
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A 45cm sterling silver wearable affirmation to remind your self, or someone you love, who is trying their hardest and refusing to give up that like us, you’ve got this.  No matter what. See https://leaning-inwards.myshopify.com/products/youve-got-this-necklace

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Leaning Inwards

solo mother of four mighty kids, hiker, counsellor, cyclist, 12 stepper, small business owner..... amongst other things!

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