We finally have some gorgeous weather here in the Northeast. Yesterday was 88 degrees and I was desperate to be out in nature and be near water. There is nothing like unplugging, using your body, and being in nature to nourish the soul and if you don't believe me, you should try it! I was hiking with a friend and we had a 3-4 hour window so we decided to hike a small mountain next to a local lake. This is really a gem of the community I live in as nobody would expect a hike to gorgeous views here. As expected, the path was virtually empty and we had it to ourselves.
There was a map to the trails at the parking lot but much of the connecting trails and higher levels were cut off of the map. It's a small park and we had time to risk it so we decided to wing it a bit. We took a marked trail up midway and found a second trail to the left, that seemed to go up. The other trail went back down to the lake. We took the trail to the left but discovered very soon into it that the markers fell away. Being reasonably intelligent, worldly hikers, we decided to keep winging it and figured if we kept going up, we ultimately would find a summit. To make a long story (and hike) short, we hiked in very rough terrain for about 90 minutes without any summit or any trail markers at all. Defeated, we decided to head back down and connect up with the original path. As soon as we found the original path, however, we found a new set of markers leading to the "overlook path"....This seemed promising! We only had one hour left at this point so we took this trail with a pretty aggressive pace. This trail was straight up hill, rocky, branchy and buggy! We were sweating, breathless and pretty darn tired. When you reach this point on a hike, it's easy to throw in the towel and head down hill right? Well, we persevered. We followed blue marker after blue marker and suddenly, there was a clearing ahead and it was possible to glimpse a bit of a lake in the distance. We turned a corner, climbed a final rock and BAM! there was the vista - just when we thought we couldn't go any further or that it could possibly be there. Here is what we were able to view:
It truly was awe inspiring. The weather was perfect, there was a slight breeze, it was completely silent and there were hawks circling right above us. This provided a perfect venue for a short but powerful meditation and honestly, I can't remember the last time I felt such gratitude.
What struck me in that moment, is that this hike was exactly a metaphor for what life feels like sometimes. You work, and work and work. You are tired, stressed, feeling like you want to give up and then suddenly, there it is - the jewel, the gift, the payoff, the vista. Please keep persevering for those payoffs in life - They are always worth it!
The one constant in life is change. How we navigate that change is who we are. Creating sustainable change is a more deliberate action and gives us the life we want. This is what my practice and my life mission is all about. All of my life experiences, work history and spiritual journey have lead me to this path - to help others create transformation in their lives and live lives that they love.