- On May 8, 2014
Sometimes the straight path is not the best way to get to your destination.
On one particularly strenuous morning during my recent trek in Nepal, we hiked up 3,400 steps. I approached this day with much trepidation. I had not had a good experience doing a ‘step’ climb in Tanzania (the infamous Barranco Wall). While I knew there was no option but to do it, however it showed up, in order to reach our next location, that didn’t quell the negative self-talk battering me with concerns– how steep would it be, would I be able to make it, would my body hold up, would I be too slow, be left behind.
The taller people in the group could easily negotiate the repetitive step ups. I found that way–the straight path up–didn’t work for me. I decided to make this an exercise in mindfulness by scanning for each step and choosing the path of least elevation, the shortest step, even if it meant navigating 2 or 3 smaller rocks to reach the next level. The best way for me crisis-crossed back and forth across the snaking ever-upwards trail.
I arrived at the rally point after 3 hours with energy and a smile on my face, and not so far behind the main group after all. If I had chosen to try to maintain the route of the group, I’m sure I would have bonked. Instead by mindfully choosing the step that was right for me, I arrived easily at my destination.
My 3,400 steps is a frequent reminder to engage my courage and personal insight to separate from the expectations, to forgo the “shoulds” that fill our lives–and trust that forging my own way in my own inimitable style will get me where I need to be with energy and a smile.
Do you find yourself on the straight path—the path that others define–too often? Would trusting yourself to discover your own way ahead serve you better?