Getting the Bird

Right now, life feels heavy with some unanticipated grieving going on. This mostly feels like my breath has been taken away, over and over again.  The waves, they come and they go. Sometimes I feel like I could drown, sometimes I feel like I can swim.  I feel uneven, everything feels raw. And you know what, I’m okay with that.  I didn’t want the changes but they are here, and facing reality is part of living life on life’s terms.  We don’t always get what we want, and the Dalai Lama says sometimes that is a wonderful stroke of luck. Maybe. More so, this is not about going to war on myself, it’s about being present and compassionate towards what is happening in me.

Another part of being real is continuing on with my plans, and a little while back I started to think about my next adventure, well aside from the unplanned one I’m currently on. There’s this hike called the Walkers Haute Route, it starts in France and finishes in Switzerland. 180kms in length, crossing 11 mountains passes and negotiating 12,000 metres of altitude gain and loss, hell yeah! Copied that straight from the website except the profanity bit. Having done one in the Dolomites, I feel a little prepared but nothing can predict what it will be like on the trail.  There’s the grueling physical and mental exertion required to master the walk, coupled with exhilaration and awe at how mother nature makes you feel so very small against her backdrop.

“Mountains know the secrets we need to learn. That it might take time, it might be hard, but if you just hold on long enough you will find the strength to rise up.” Tyler Knott Gregson

Thinking about it excites me and to commit I’ve just booked my flights. Automatically this creates goals to prepare myself for next year. Also appealing is I get to start enjoying my trip from here because it’s not a matter of just jumping on the plane. Once I’m in the mountains, that will be nearing the end of the journey, the one I am taking now.  The level of preparation I create will have a direct result on my hike, so it’s time to get cracking for those steep climbs and descents that will push my comfort zones. I like to push them a bit, she says with a big smile. I’m all in.

Reaching the pass in the Italian Dolomites 2016, only to find the next one was full of knee deep snow. Rocked that mountain side.

Similar to life now, I trust the ground work started for this grieving a little while back. Life was preparing me and even though I thought I was moving in a direction I really wanted, it seems the universe, or whoever the hell it is, shook its head no, and in that instant I found myself where I didn’t anticipate.  Seems like all about me and in me has broken open, as opposed to fallen apart. I’ve screamed at the universe to take this shit back, for this is not my beautiful life (insert Talking Heads), and in return it feels like I’ve been given the bird. Rude. That is until perspective changes a little and I come to see perhaps it was indeed a redirect to someplace different.

Times like this, when I’m confusing birds with direction is similar to when I’m in the mountains, the preparation is done, I now need to carry myself through, and know that I’ve got this. Might be messy, unfathomable, painful, more than I think I can bear. But hey I know how to take a hard, unforgiving hike, and that is one foot in front of the other, no matter how slowly or tough each step is, that is how you finish.

Likewise, that is how I heal, acknowledge, let go, love, move on, accept, grieve, celebrate.  In no certain order.  Just need to remember to stop and take in the view, whether I’m at the bottom, top, beginning, middle or the end. It really is about perspective and seeing the gains with each step.  And seriously, from where I am at both the end and the beginning, just maybe it was the bird.

“You are not in the mountains. The mountains are in you.” John Muir
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

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Leaning Inwards

Blogger. Cyclist. Hiker. Mother of four. Trauma Counsellor. Wild and peaceful woman pushing comfort zones.

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