Many of you know that I took several weeks off to go on my dream trip of hiking in the Alps – the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB). When I returned to the states, I immediately headed to a 7-day
meditation retreat in Colorado.
This journey has been transformative in many ways. And there really are no words to truly describe my experience. And the journey is still unfolding.
Quiet and deep and expansive might be a few descriptors.
Although there were many other hikers on the TMB and I was hiking with my Sweetie, it was a solo journey.
The trek was a magnificent journey. And it was hard. The mountains were majestic but also relentless in their ups and downs. One day we climbed 5100 feet and then descended 2600 feet! In the 105 miles that we hiked, we climbed (and descended) 34,000 feet. All this carrying a backpack.
This journey required a steady mind. I will admit there were a few times I wanted to sit down and cry. I had to find my inner fortitude. I didn’t want to just grit my teeth and grunt it out. I wanted to find my inner resilience and let my open mind and body be what walked me up this mountain.
When I teach Craniosacral Work, I talk about “Unwavering Presence” – how we hold space and meet our client’s pain (or family, friend, planet or Self) from a grounded compassionate place of Being. ‘Here I am!’ Steady and available.
I found my steadfastness. Like a mantra, I gave my mind something to do – feel my feet on the ground. One foot in front of the other. Steady breath. Breathe in the beauty. Open. Curious.
In general, I am not a chatty hiker. I come to the mountain to immerse myself in the elements. I am also not a fast hiker. I keep a slow steady pace – like a mountain goat.
My intent to stay open and curious has many gifts. There are elements on and off the trail that call to me – the beauty of the trail and the forest, the invite to hug a tree or pet the vibrant green moss, the tiny little resilient alpine flower growing between the cracks of a rock, a tiny frog the size of my pinky nail, an ibex family (mountain goats) that blend in with the background color of the rocks, the shift in temperature, the change in the breeze which then tells me … “It is going to rain in 10 minutes.”
Much of this would have been lost to me if I was chatting or complaining about the hardship of the hike.
When I returned to the states, I headed to meditation retreat in Crestone, Colorado. 7 days. Silent. Crestone is one of my favorite places. It is nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains at 8000 feet. It is the quietest place I have ever been. Very conducive to dropping into one’s own inner quiet.
The steadfast quietude I found on my trek continued in the retreat. And continues to inform my day to day, moment to moment. For me, it is a great gift and I will admit that it feels a bit awkward to come back to a noisy world. I have had to learn how to bring this quietude into my world, my work with clients, my relationships. I am fortunate to live in a quiet house. I live with 2 cats, so I follow their lead to just sit and be quiet. And then move when it is time to move.
I am now starting to feel an inner movement to re-enter the world. An inner movement to write. And I follow that movement. And share what I can share. I recognize that this is how the quietude moves. I know that these words do not and cannot describe the experience. But I do what I can.