Eighteen days ago, I made a pact. In the midst of my confusing and unexpected transition between projects, I knew that having something to wholeheartedly dedicate myself to would act as the perfect anchor to keep me from getting carried away by the storm of change that had taken over my life for the moment. And that pact was to climb mountains. For the past eighteen days (and counting!), I have ascended the mountain next to my house every single day to the Inca ruins that stand proudly at the top. Every day is a different meditation, and every day brings about a new revelation.
It’s not always easy. There are days when I struggle to strap my boots on and it almost feels like I have chains keeping me bound to the relative warmth and safety of my room. But then there are other days when I set out on my upward journey with absolute readiness in my heart. There are days when my mind is overburdened with agitated energy and the walk up feels like nothing but an angry curse at the world, and then there are days when I feel exactly in my center as I breathe slowly and steadily with each heavy step against the crumbling rocks. There are days when it feels like the only thing my mind knows how to say is “GIVE UP ALREADY.” And there are days when I feel like the strongest woman in the world. But despite my ever-changing disposition, I pull myself up and climb the mountain all the same. I do it.
Another reason that I decided to dedicate myself to climbing a mountain every day before I leave Peru was because I wanted to prove to myself that I can achieve anything I set my mind to. I do have the drive to commit to something. I am a strong person, capable of overcoming difficult goals that I set out for myself. I secretly imagined myself fifty years down the road, my grandchildren gathered around the feet of my armchair with glistening eyes, listening to the tale of how I climbed a mountain every day for thirty days, and how they too can achieve great feats with enough perseverance. It may sound funny, but sometimes that’s just the sort of dream you need to push you to get up and do something.
Moreover, changing projects so suddenly has left me with more responsibilities, and thus, more pressure to be self-motivated. The work I have been doing this far for Arkana Spiritual Center has mainly included writing information for their new website and brochures as they prepare for opening day on July 30th, at which point the first retreat guests will arrive and the healing ceremonies will begin. As such, I have had to employ a great amount of self-motivation. There’s no one telling me to work, no one reminding me to do what needs to be done, no one pushing me to start. It’s me. Only me. And like climbing the mountain, I just have to do it.
Of the various “groundbreaking” revelations that have dawned on me since committing to climbing mountains, I think the most important is this. You do get stronger. “Well, duh,” I hear some of you thinking, but wait. You would be surprised how hard this is to remember when you first begin to tackle a difficult task and find yourself getting sucked into the self-deprecating mental trap of believing that the task is “too hard” and that “you can’t do it.” The very second you think it’s time to give up is the moment your body believes it too, and you immediately feel weaker. It’s remarkable how instantaneous it is. As I’m climbing a particularly steep incline and a “giving up thought” enters into my mind, I feel the force rush out of my muscles, and my “giving up thoughts” multiply by the hundred.
What you think, and consequently feel as a result of your thoughts, seeps out into the universe in the form of energy, frequencies, waves, etc. And thus, the same type of energy is returned back to you. We are truly the masters of our own realities, and the key lies in the type of energy we emit into the world. The good news is that we have control over the energy we emit into the world because we hold total power over our minds, most of us just aren’t conscious of it yet. And even if we do understand the power to control our incessant, tiresome, and usually negative mental chatter, we don’t take the time to practice this power. It’s not just about “clearing the mind,” it’s about transforming the thoughts we do have into positive thoughts that attract positive energy – like new friends, interesting conversations, feelings of confidence in oneself, new cosmic opportunities that help you continue on your life path, happiness, and the strength to climb mountains.