From Wilderness to Wondrousness

So…this October 2012  “A Wilderness Hike” daily series started with the mission to both share some of my forthcoming “Getting Unstuck” book content and to explore what taking clients on a wilderness hike might look like.  Some people had asked me about this, suggesting it might/should be a niche, and I thought I’d open it to public comment.  Now, at the end of this month’s exploration, here are some of my thoughts.

I like Frank MacEowen’s blend of “pre-literate” and “post-literate” approaches.   After all, upon first arriving in the wilderness, a few hours go by as the conscious mind slowly lets go of its propensity to relentlessly spin.  “Literary” approaches might be the way to start—contemplation that recognizes we’re still at the conscious, thinking level—and then, as the experience progresses, easing naturally into the more connected, feeling, intuitive stages.

Wallace Stevens offers this poem in place of wilderness;  we could then ease into wilderness in place of poetry, traveling through an interim phase of creating our own art—poetry, music, journals, whatever is appropriate for each:

“The Poem That Took the Place of a Mountain”

There it was, word for word.
The poem that took the place of a mountain.

He breathed its oxygen.
Even when the book lay turned in the dust of his table.

It reminded him how he had needed
A place to go to in his own direction,

How he had recomposed the pines,
Shifted the rocks and picked his way among clouds,

For the outlook that would be right,
Where he would be complete in an unexplained completion:

The exact rock where his inexactnesses
Would discover, at last, the view toward which they had edged,

Where he could lie and, gazing down at the sea,
Recognize his unique and solitary home.

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View from Snowy Mountain in the southern Adirondacks

We could then, after walking for a few hours, sit and contemplate landscape as mirror, talking about some of the points raised in my “Getting Unstuck” book, especially about how making the Law of Attraction work for us includes melding the physical and spiritual, not thrusting either aside in favor of the other, recognizing that what’s around us *is* in fact reflecting our own creating back to us, whether what we’re seeing makes sense to us or not.  More walking could then just “allow” thoughts and reflections and insights to arise naturally—that magical Sixth Hour of clarity I mentioned early this month.

We could take a few moments to write our thoughts, then share our insights with each other, inspiring each other to further clarity with our celebrations of peace.  Later, we could share our artistic creations, poetic or otherwise.  And, of course, we could certainly talk about healing, about raising vibration, about any number of things along those lines.   Or I could bring my guitar and play an outdoor concert.  Or invite other musicians along to do the same.

But I’m a practical man.  As nice as all this sounds, I’d want the day to be more than just a nice experience.  I’d want it to make a difference.  From wilderness to wondrousness.  So how would that work?  A couple of thoughts.

I have in mind a full day’s hike.  That could be on flat land, or a climb.  Probably flat land is best for the contemplative nature of what we’re doing.  For that, probably John Brown’s Tract or similar hikes would be best—I could probably find more of these (I just tend to go for the mountains).  Some people might want to travel in for the day.  Others might like to camp nearby or in the woods.  Others might prefer a night in an Old Forge hotel.  All could be accommodated with a day hike.  Or in the Lake Placid region.  Or perhaps a cross-country ski adventure (without the musical instruments, or with cold fingers for writing—I’m leaning toward warmer weather hikes).

The hike itself could have the elements discussed above, but the experience could be expanded.  For example, we could have a PDF workbook for use a week prior to the event.  Or a telesummit, conferencing by phone or Skype, with or without the workbook, and a private Facebook group for mutual discussion or posting exercises and feedback.  And a telesummit and/or workbook/discussion for the week after.  Something like that?

And people traveling in might like to combine the trip with healing sessions or Reconnections;  we could work out schedules to complete those as well, making the entire experience a profound change, an initiation into a new way of being to carry forward from that point onward.  Something like that.

I’d love to read comments with people’s thoughts and suggestions about all this.  Please do leave them below!   And thanks!

Namaste.

Are you interested in hearing more about Wilderness Hikes as projects evolve in the future? Let me know here, so I have a list of those interested ready to go, by clicking here (and page all the way down to click “Sign Up” at the bottom):
Join the “Wilderness Hike” list.

If you’d like to hear about my “Getting Unstuck” book as it gets closer to release, let me know by clicking here (and you’re welcome to do *both,* of course–page all the way down to click “Sign Up” at the bottom):
Join the “Getting Unstuck” list.

October 2012 is a series of daily posts about “A Wilderness Hike,” taking readers through the healing of wilderness experience and glimpses of my work at Kwan Yin Healing and of my book, “Getting Unstuck.”

You can read the series from the start via the links here:

Oct. 1:    A Wilderness Hike
Oct. 2:   The Sixth Hour
Oct. 3:   Snowy Mountain
Oct. 4:   Letting Go of Baggage–the Wilderness Way
Oct. 5:   “Bear” the Thought
Oct. 6:   Mountain.  Buddha.  Impermanence.
Oct. 7:   The Rewards of Rain
Oct. 8:   Finding the Keys
Oct. 9:   “I’d love to, but times are bad.”
Oct. 10:  Attracting the Law of Attraction
Oct. 11:  We are not our thoughts
Oct. 12:  Honesty, Forgiveness, Healing
Oct. 13:  Getting Unstuck:  Feeling Overwhelmed
Oct. 14:  Money is remarkably easy to come by, if that’s all you want.
Oct. 15:  To be Time Rich, Learn to Be
Oct. 16:  Changing Thoughts for Changing Work
Oct. 17:  Finding and Sharing your Gifts
Oct. 18:  Do you want to be the boss?  Be sure you want to run the show.
Oct. 19:  Finding jobs within jobs
Oct. 20: Bright Mountain Dream
Oct. 21: Escape the Wilderness of Addictions
Oct. 22: The Importance of Spiritual Direction
Oct. 23: In Search of Enlightenment
Oct. 24: Relationship Thoughts from the Wilderness
Oct. 25: We learn in realtionships
Oct. 26: Chrysalis
Oct. 27: Self-Healing, part 1
Oct. 28: Self-Healing, part 2:  Time for a new perspective
Oct. 29: Dix Mountain
Oct. 30: The Mist-Filled Path
Oct. 31: From Wilderness to Wondrousness

Enjoy!

The Mist-Filled Path

If you’ve never read Frank MacEowen’s “The Mist-Filled Path,” let me recommend you do so.  It is very closely aligned with the ideas I’m raising in “A Wilderness Hike,” as well as some in “Getting Unstuck” and a lot of what I have to say about music and healing.

MacEowen speaks of the Celtic practice of hillwalking, a pursuit that “reminds us of who we are” in this world of the “Sleepwalkers,” unaware of their true nature, as if in exile.  This process of discovery blends the worlds of physical and spirit, teaching us to walk in the “Mist,” to “walk between the worlds.”

For MacEowen, the landscape as mirror:

It is a splendid revealer of things not often seen with the eyes of everyday life.  When walking out on the land, it is good to invite the “eyes of the seer” and the “eyes of the poet” to be present.  These are eyes that see the true shape of things.  Poets and seers see things differently.  When we relax the literal thinking mind and enter a landscape with more fluid perceptions (a soft gaze), we soon find that we become changed.  We are then able to connect with our primal, preliterate selves.  This preliterate, or perhaps postliterate, state of consciousness opens us to the Great Mirror of Nature.

Similar to the procedure of Chi Gong and toning, MacEowen discusses “setting our root,” noting parallels to shamanism, to lnitiation, and to Vision Quests:

The Celtic tradition of divination and seership is rooted in an understanding that clarity of thought and vision can be found in nature.  It is no accident, for instance, that so many Celtic seers, ancient and modern, have been shepherds, drovers, and crofters.  These individuals are often out in the land hillwalking.  Their souls are customarily deep in the consciousness required to receive vision, spiritual insight, and prophecy.  This thread of the Celtic tradition understands well William Butler Yeats’ notion of ‘the condition of quiet that is the condition of visions.

Thus we have a “dying of an old way of seeing,” and a “rebirth of an even older way of seeing.”  Similar to Buddhism (MacEowen makes a case for ancient Buddhism among the Celts), the desires of ego lead to suffering and separation.  But the “longing of soul” is a path to peace, beauty, and the soul’s evolution.  “Grow the soul green again,” suggests MacEowen, noting that to “attune” to our soul longing brings “at-one-ment.”  And again, this is a melding of physical and spiritual:

The body is the sacred temple through which the shaman, mystic, or healer receives certain prompts and guidance.  We all have access to this soulful bodily wisdom, but we must open ourselves to its richness and not cut ourselves off form our own earthiness.  Our earthiness is holy.  In the word of the Rhineland mystic Hildegard of Bingen, “Holy persons draw to themselves all the is earthy.”

And so we move to the rhythms of nature and life.  We sing!  We dance!  After all, in Hindu traditions, there is an ancient phrase, Nada Brahma, meaning “the world is sound.”  Energy.  Vibration.  Frequency.   This is healing—and celebration.   “It is healing for us to remember our sense of place with the holy shapes of life.  When we make it a point to remember the holy shapes, we in turn remember our own divinity.”

MacEowen speaks of the Oran Mór, descripting it as the deep spring that fills the sacred well of the human soul, an ancient rhythm, an ancient melody that one hears in the wind, in the waterfall, in the beautiful strains of sound in Celtic music, song, and chanting.  It is a healing song, an enlivening song heard in the giggles of a grandmother, the whispers of a lover, the questions of a child:

The Oran Mór remembered becomes a level of human consciousness that can help us accomplish great things.  The macrocosmic dimension of this teaching is realized within the individual life as a microcosmic expression.  As a Sufi mystic once said, “Music does not produce within the human heart that which was not already there.”

Thus MacEowen explains well what this “A Wilderness Hike” series found at the start—there is a healing energy in the wilderness, a sound, a vibration, a mirror that shows us truth amid the usual clamor of the mind.  Through hillwalking, the Sleepwalkers can learn to walk between the worlds, becoming again who we always have been.

 

Are you interested in hearing more about Wilderness Hikes as projects evolve in the future? Let me know here, so I have a list of those interested ready to go, by clicking here (and page all the way down to click “Sign Up” at the bottom):
Join the “Wilderness Hike” list.

If you’d like to hear about my “Getting Unstuck” book as it gets closer to release, let me know by clicking here (and you’re welcome to do *both,* of course–page all the way down to click “Sign Up” at the bottom):
Join the “Getting Unstuck” list.

October 2012 is a series of daily posts about “A Wilderness Hike,” taking readers through the healing of wilderness experience and glimpses of my work at Kwan Yin Healing and of my book, “Getting Unstuck.”

You can read the series from the start via the links here:

Oct. 1:    A Wilderness Hike
Oct. 2:   The Sixth Hour
Oct. 3:   Snowy Mountain
Oct. 4:   Letting Go of Baggage–the Wilderness Way
Oct. 5:   “Bear” the Thought
Oct. 6:   Mountain.  Buddha.  Impermanence.
Oct. 7:   The Rewards of Rain
Oct. 8:   Finding the Keys
Oct. 9:   “I’d love to, but times are bad.”
Oct. 10:  Attracting the Law of Attraction
Oct. 11:  We are not our thoughts
Oct. 12:  Honesty, Forgiveness, Healing
Oct. 13:  Getting Unstuck:  Feeling Overwhelmed
Oct. 14:  Money is remarkably easy to come by, if that’s all you want.
Oct. 15:  To be Time Rich, Learn to Be
Oct. 16:  Changing Thoughts for Changing Work
Oct. 17:  Finding and Sharing your Gifts
Oct. 18:  Do you want to be the boss?  Be sure you want to run the show.
Oct. 19:  Finding jobs within jobs
Oct. 20: Bright Mountain Dream
Oct. 21: Escape the Wilderness of Addictions
Oct. 22: The Importance of Spiritual Direction
Oct. 23: In Search of Enlightenment
Oct. 24: Relationship Thoughts from the Wilderness
Oct. 25: We learn in realtionships
Oct. 26: Chrysalis
Oct. 27: Self-Healing, part 1
Oct. 28: Self-Healing, part 2:  Time for a new perspective
Oct. 29: Dix Mountain
Oct. 30: The Mist-Filled Path
Oct. 31: From Wilderness to Wondrousness

Enjoy!

 

Dix Mountain

A long time had passed since my last true outdoor challenge.  But unexpectedly, I got a reminder of the power of wilderness, the magic in facing frightening challenges, and the glow and growth of walking through to the other side of the experience.  That’s what Dix Mountain became for me this summer—surpassing even the knee injury on Algonquin Peak.

I had long avoided climbing Dix Mountain.  I’ve seen it several times, sitting across the highway from Giant Mountain.  But I’d heard it was a two day hike, involving camping on the mountain, while I was focusing on day trips.  I also wasn’t anxious to cross the rock slide visible from the ground.  It didn’t seem like an enjoyable time necessarily.  I had climbed all three mountains in the Presidentials of New Hampshire’s White Mountains, and while I’m glad of it, they were long walks for hours up rocks.
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But that changed the day I climbed Mt. Marcy this summer.  Instead of camping out and hiking from camp, I rose early (middle of the night, actually) to drive to the Adirondack High Peaks and begin the 14-15 hour round trip hike near dawn, then driving home, arriving in the middle of the next night.  It was a long day, but doable, and I wanted to climb Marcy again.  I picked a glorious day, consumed a great deal of coffee, and took the photos from Marcy that appear in this October “A Wilderness Hike” series.

At the top, I enjoyed a long talk with the Summit Steward.  I mentioned Dix and my reservations, but she said, “No, you want to climb Dix from the other side, starting at Elk Lake, up through Hunter’s Pass.”  She showed me the trail on the map.  I asked about the time and the distance—about the same as the one for Marcy that day.  Hmmm.   Perhaps Dix was a possibility after all.  And a few weeks later, I was up in the middle of the night, heading for the High Peaks.
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I was looking forward to it.  Dix is different from Marcy.  Especially in the summer, hiking Marcy’s trail is like walking New York’s 42nd street—it’s popular climb.  Additionally, multiple trails branch off to other peaks.  It’s a network of activity.   Dix, however, is in the center of the Dix Mountain wilderness.  There is nothing else.  No trails branch off.  No lodges nearby house hikers.  Even the other high peaks around Dix have no trails—literally, no trails;  “46ers” looking to climb each of the 46 high peaks typically go “peak bagging” to climb the five in the Dix Wilderness—basically, scramble through to each one.  Wilderness.  Definitely not heavily travelled.  I passed one camp in a lean-to, and saw one other guy on the summit.

Right from the start, this was a different hike.  First, there was no place to sign in.  Oops.  This was private land, not policed by the DEC rangers.  People knew I went hiking, but they wouldn’t know where.  And I was alone—with just my dog.

Next, although this had been a dry summer, with yellow leaved trees at higher elevations, this trail was wet.  Very wet.  And rocky.  Slippery and rocky.   The entire way.  And although the day would hit 90 degrees Fahrenheit, I wore my jacket most of the way;  the trail was in the shadow of the mountain ridges, which again prevented the moisture from drying up.  Essentially, the trail paralleled a stream, climbing steadily.
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I was struck by the extreme feeling of wilderness.  I was in the middle of nothing, from a civilization perspective.  And nature—just didn’t care.  I was insignificant, another insect or raccoon or bear or whatever moving through probably the wildest spot I’d ever hiked.  This would be a place to go to disappear and die.  It was . . . sobering.  The trail continued, steadily up, now along the side of a mountain.  Wilder and wilder.  And then—across a ravine . . . and up.

I mean—up.  Straight up.  Suddenly I’m climbing over boulders, stepping over gaps twenty feet down.  If I slipped here, injured, I’d lay there and die rather than be found.   But these were crossed, quite a workout, safely.  Even my dog managed fine.   And then—the trail continued . . . straight up.   Literally.  Pulling up the rock faces up the side of the mountain.  Even used to hiking all summer, it was hard, tiring work.  I’ve never seen a “trail” like it.  A couple of times, my dog lay down and almost refused to continue—despite also being energetic and used to climbing and hiking.

We were in a hard spot now.  The day was getting late, and I worried about getting to the summit in time to get back down before dark—I did not want to be stuck in this wilderness in the dark.  Continuing was difficult going.  Descending was going to be equally difficult.  The next few hours, I would wonder whether I should continue or abort.  Unlike my other hikes this summer, I knew nothing about where I was, and there was no one to ask.  I was getting a little scared.  No mistakes.  No mistakes today.  I could not afford them.

I was expecting a fork in the trail where two ways up split.  But, somewhere I must have passed that already, because when I finally did find a fork, despairing over what seemed another hour or more to the summit, it turned out to be a junction with a trail from the other side of the mountain;  the fork I thought it was must have been passed noticed.  Twenty minutes later, I was on a ridge that turned out to be the summit.  I was there—and very relieved.  And very, very, tired.   So was my dog;  she stretched out, lay down on the rock, then over on her side, and slept most of the 90 minutes I spent at the top.

But now there—after leaving a cell phone message (coverage was possible at the summit, though not on the trail) with a friend explaining where I was, just in case, I settled down for lunch and the glorious, incredible views from every side.  It’s the most remarkable climb I’ve ever had.  Just beautiful.  Amazingly beautiful.  The mountains there are “in your face,” and continue peak after peak after peak.  If you can, climb this mountain.   It’s stunning.  Absolutely stunning.

After the scary climb up, hiking out the lower part after dark seemed not such a challenge (and I did have a flashlight).  This time, I knew the trail a little.  So I stayed at the summit as long as I could/dared, packed up, and started down.

Descending the rock faces was no fun.  Nor did my dog see the wisdom of pushing on, when clearly a better plan was lounging in the plush moss.  But we got down safely.  Oh there were problems.  My belt broke.  A pack strap ripped (I used my belt pieces to fashion a makeshift repair).  My shoes were soaked, and taking their toll on my feet, even with merino wool socks.  But, three hours after sunset, finally we were back at the car.  Safe.  Drove a little, slept a little, drove a little more, got home a little before sunrise, and slept like stone.

With glorious photos, and a memory for a lifetime.

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Shanti, just arrived at the summit, a few seconds before lying on her side for a well-earned hour’s nap.

And a very tired husky.

 

Are you interested in hearing more about Wilderness Hikes as projects evolve in the future? Let me know here, so I have a list of those interested ready to go, by clicking here (and page all the way down to click “Sign Up” at the bottom):
Join the “Wilderness Hike” list.

If you’d like to hear about my “Getting Unstuck” book as it gets closer to release, let me know by clicking here (and you’re welcome to do *both,* of course–page all the way down to click “Sign Up” at the bottom):
Join the “Getting Unstuck” list.

October 2012 is a series of daily posts about “A Wilderness Hike,” taking readers through the healing of wilderness experience and glimpses of my work at Kwan Yin Healing and of my book, “Getting Unstuck.”

You can read the series from the start via the links here:

Oct. 1:    A Wilderness Hike
Oct. 2:   The Sixth Hour
Oct. 3:   Snowy Mountain
Oct. 4:   Letting Go of Baggage–the Wilderness Way
Oct. 5:   “Bear” the Thought
Oct. 6:   Mountain.  Buddha.  Impermanence.
Oct. 7:   The Rewards of Rain
Oct. 8:   Finding the Keys
Oct. 9:   “I’d love to, but times are bad.”
Oct. 10:  Attracting the Law of Attraction
Oct. 11:  We are not our thoughts
Oct. 12:  Honesty, Forgiveness, Healing
Oct. 13:  Getting Unstuck:  Feeling Overwhelmed
Oct. 14:  Money is remarkably easy to come by, if that’s all you want.
Oct. 15:  To be Time Rich, Learn to Be
Oct. 16:  Changing Thoughts for Changing Work
Oct. 17:  Finding and Sharing your Gifts
Oct. 18:  Do you want to be the boss?  Be sure you want to run the show.
Oct. 19:  Finding jobs within jobs
Oct. 20: Bright Mountain Dream
Oct. 21: Escape the Wilderness of Addictions
Oct. 22: The Importance of Spiritual Direction
Oct. 23: In Search of Enlightenment
Oct. 24: Relationship Thoughts from the Wilderness
Oct. 25: We learn in realtionships
Oct. 26: Chrysalis
Oct. 27: Self-Healing, part 1
Oct. 28: Self-Healing, part 2:  Time for a new perspective
Oct. 29: Dix Mountain
Oct. 30: The Mist-Filled Path
Oct. 31: From Wilderness to Wondrousness

Enjoy!

 

Self-Healing, part 2: Time for a new perspective

I injured my wrist in early summer.  I have been prone to tendonitis—knees, ankles, elbows—for years, with each small injury taking forever to heal again, and any sudden strain on these joints can quickly bring back the pain.  In this case, gardening was likely the culprit;  I’d been putting in a lot of shovel time, digging in the hard, dry clay to make homes for various new veggies, flowers, and trees I had picked up at the nursery.  Not serious, and hardly a crippling pain, but to try to play guitar, for example, was excruciating for a time.  I had to turn down two requests to play, as I just would not be able to get through even one tune.

Nonetheless, I have found that when I’m active, exercising (I run or cross-country ski almost every day), and eating healthy, regular meals, I have little or no pain—everything is flowing better, and everything feels better.   More is at work than a particular part in the machine.  We are whole, integral, and not a mere collection of pieces.

I have stopped accepting long recovery time as inviolately given.  Using what I had learned from my hiking trip self-healing discovery (see previous post), I concentrated on expanding the energy where my wrist hurt.  It would go away, then return, and I’d repeat the process each time.  No miracles here, which was fine—when we exercise and eat right to lower blood pressure, for example, we’re not expecting instant results, but that doesn’t mean improvements aren’t happening.  This happens a lot in my healing work too—ten days after the session is a much better guide than immediately afterward.  Once energy is flowing better, everything benefits.  And indeed, my wrist improved over the week—not completely, but substantially.  I could play again at least.

But something else happened too.  As the week wore on, I had a growing sense of strings of light through and around my hands, wrists and forearms, extending from shoulders to past my fingertips.  Just as tendons ripple through the forearm as fingers are flexed, so too these strings of light energy rippled with my activity.  Very cool, and it helped significantly with releasing the energy in my wrist, since I was now concentrating on the whole, not focusing on a part, which can tend to reinforce the condition—I know an online group dedicated to one particular pain syndrome;  they largely post photos of their condition and complain to each other.  Definitely.  not.  healing.

I returned to the Adirondacks.  The day was very hot, so I wore flat canvas boat shoes, despite my previous lesson in foot wear vs. foot pain.  I used what I had learned—I’ve become convinced that all pain and illness is essentially trapped energy.  We don’t fight it—we release it.  So as I walked, I continually released energy.  The strings of light in my fingers and arms also extended all the way down my back, from below the ground to over my head.  I walked six hours, with no pain or soreness anywhere.  Nice.  Very nice.

The last two hours of my hike that day, after the first six hours of walking through the wilderness trail, was up Black Bear Mountain.  While not sore, I was getting tired, especially my legs and feet, and I wondered about the wisdom of saving this climb for the end.  But I concentrated on the strings of light, and something amazing happened.  I climbed with ease.  I had a strong sense of being one of the big cats, powerfully prancing up the territory.  I felt lighter, stronger.  My dog noticed the change, and changed her gait as well.  I could see she was using the same energy, natural to her, rediscovered to me.

But here’s the thing—as I climbed, I was *less* tired.  Less!  I could still feel the tired muscles, but I had More energy, and could have continued for quite a while past the summit.  I was suddenly using ALL of my body’s energy, with far more muscular strength.  The same was true later descending, an activity usually murder on my knees, especially down this mountain, as the descent route is sharply down several steep rock surfaces.  But my knees were fine.  My legs were tired, but not sore, and I could have continued for quite a while more, even when reaching the car after the entire eight hour hike.

The next day, I got some more insight into this extra strength.  While none of the traditional muscle groups were sore from the hike, I did feel a very slight soreness in my calves, easily released, and a soreness in the muscles on the outside of my lower legs.  I didn’t even really recognize I had muscles there before—like the muscle behind your upper arms most people find when they learn to breast stroke.   I had been adding muscles to my climb that I don’t ordinarily use.  Letting my “strings of light” energy do the work had better orchestrated my activity.  This muscle was sore for a few days—though only when walking, as it was fine when climbing stairs (conversely, my calves were fine except when descending stairs).  I was literally stronger just by better using physical resources I already had, but hadn’t recognized.  Letting the energy guide me again, I realize that if I consciously kept my feet under my center of gravity when walking, even this soreness vanished.

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As we view things from new perspectives, we realize our limits are self-imposed . . . and can be readily removed, if we’re willing.

The point here is that working from the totality of our energy, we best allocate our resources.  Using total muscle groups in balance is just one example.  Consider yoga practice to balance energy;  often this will erase cold or allergy symptoms, simply because the body is working more efficiently and can better handle the extra stress.  Same with T’ai Chi – energy is flowing, and your entire body benefits.  Emotional and mental benefits accrue as well.  And of course, whether we call it prana or chi, spiritual benefits accrue too.  We are part of a system, a universal system, and like the economy, it’s meant to flow.

 

Are you interested in hearing more about Wilderness Hikes as projects evolve in the future? Let me know here, so I have a list of those interested ready to go, by clicking here (and page all the way down to click “Sign Up” at the bottom):
Join the “Wilderness Hike” list.

If you’d like to hear about my “Getting Unstuck” book as it gets closer to release, let me know by clicking here (and you’re welcome to do *both,* of course–page all the way down to click “Sign Up” at the bottom):
Join the “Getting Unstuck” list.

October 2012 is a series of daily posts about “A Wilderness Hike,” taking readers through the healing of wilderness experience and glimpses of my work at Kwan Yin Healing and of my book, “Getting Unstuck.”

You can read the series from the start via the links here:

Oct. 1:    A Wilderness Hike
Oct. 2:   The Sixth Hour
Oct. 3:   Snowy Mountain
Oct. 4:   Letting Go of Baggage–the Wilderness Way
Oct. 5:   “Bear” the Thought
Oct. 6:   Mountain.  Buddha.  Impermanence.
Oct. 7:   The Rewards of Rain
Oct. 8:   Finding the Keys
Oct. 9:   “I’d love to, but times are bad.”
Oct. 10:  Attracting the Law of Attraction
Oct. 11:  We are not our thoughts
Oct. 12:  Honesty, Forgiveness, Healing
Oct. 13:  Getting Unstuck:  Feeling Overwhelmed
Oct. 14:  Money is remarkably easy to come by, if that’s all you want.
Oct. 15:  To be Time Rich, Learn to Be
Oct. 16:  Changing Thoughts for Changing Work
Oct. 17:  Finding and Sharing your Gifts
Oct. 18:  Do you want to be the boss?  Be sure you want to run the show.
Oct. 19:  Finding jobs within jobs
Oct. 20: Bright Mountain Dream
Oct. 21: Escape the Wilderness of Addictions
Oct. 22: The Importance of Spiritual Direction
Oct. 23: In Search of Enlightenment
Oct. 24: Relationship Thoughts from the Wilderness
Oct. 25: We learn in realtionships
Oct. 26: Chrysalis
Oct. 27: Self-Healing, part 1
Oct. 28: Self-Healing, part 2:  Time for a new perspective
Oct. 29: Dix Mountain
Oct. 30: The Mist-Filled Path
Oct. 31: From Wilderness to Wondrousness

Enjoy!

Self-Healing, part 1

The long June day still allowed for several hours of hiking before dark, and while not time enough to hike to anywhere significant, time walking through the wilderness is fine, very peaceful, very centering, as my racing thoughts begin to slow.  Not unexpectedly for such a long hike when I haven’t been doing it for a while, about four hours in my body started letting me know.  I had been thinking about yesterday’s client, a young woman with cervical cancer, who said she “felt a heaviness lifting out” of her midsection.  A hopeful sign.

My nagging muscles complained more loudly.  Still a few hours of hiking to go.  I thought about the time I worked on Doug.  He had snowmobiled into his camp for the weekend, 15 miles into the Adirondack wilderness (different spot than where I was—his is all private land), as there’s no road going in that far.  Trouble was, it was very late winter, and the snow was both deep and soft.  On his return to the main road, the snowmobile kept sinking into the snow every 20-30 feet, and Doug had to get off, hoist the snowmobile back, to travel another 20-30 feet—for 15 miles.  Quite a workout.

“I thought somebody was going to have to help me out of my truck,” he said about the moment he finally arrived home.  He could barely move.  But we had already set up a short series of healing/reconnection sessions to help him as he quit smoking, and he showed up for his session.  Tired, moving slowly, but there.   The next morning, he told me later, “I slept like a baby all night, and at 6:00, got up and felt terrific—not sore or stiff anywhere!”  It was a story he repeated a few times to others (who became clients shortly thereafter).  I thought about this as I felt my own pain and stiffness grow.

I had just grabbed a shoulder bag, not a backpack, and even alternating sides, my shoulders and sides were feeling the strain.  My legs were tired, and my feet hurt—not helped by the decision to wear flat canvas boat shoes instead of supporting hiking footwear.  I had also been thinking about how reluctant people are to go for healing help, even when they’ve already experienced the benefits.  They’re often hesitant to visit doctors, too, of course. We are all ego-driven creatures, and we like to do things ourselves.

“Self-healing it is,” I thought.  I focused on the healing frequencies as I walked, letting my back and shoulder pain slip away.  Yes!   I let it sink into my legs, and again, bit by bit, the pain and fatigue left them, even as I continued hiking.  My feet were a greater challenge;  I slipped into a gentle jog to use different muscle groups, and the pain subsided, not gone, but substantially reduced.  Normally, once back to the car, the stiffness would set in, and the soreness greater the next day and especially the day after.  But that’s just a belief!  What if we didn’t buy into that?  What if we believed in healing instead, in the inherent wholeness of our beings, in the sustaining matrix of light that we truly are?

With at least 90 minutes left to the hike, I changed muscle groups by breaking into an easy run.   I had plenty of energy.  My dog, a husky, certainly didn’t mind a better pace.  I let the energy circulate.  I reminded myself I’m a structure of light, infinite, and let myself ride that energy.  We picked it up to a faster run as we traversed the swamp, to avoid feeding the swarms of deer flies.  But I felt great, and even the pain in my feet lessened with each step, if not vanishing.

View from Mt. Marcy summit — a dawn to past dark hike.

We so seldom listen to our bodies.  We think we’re just our head, forced to let the damn body tag along.  We can learn a lot from listening.  I heard an interview recently with a man who had won a marathon for running backwards.  “It strengths the calves and the back,” he said, extolling its virtues.  One day on a forest walk shortly afterward, my back sore from gardening, I tried it—and the pain vanished instantly.  I walked forward again—and the pain returned.  That puzzled me.  After a little back and forth experimentation, I realized my legs were supporting me better when walking backwards.  By letting my feet stay on the ground just a little longer, stretching back just a little more before stepping forward, I could duplicate the effect walking forward.  That easy.  Instant healing.  Simple body mechanics.

But we don’t believe  it’s that easy, or even possible.   We believe in illness and disease.  We believe  life is a struggle.   We believe  we can’t always have what we want.  It’s not true.  It’s simply a belief.  If there’s anything to be healed, above all other things, it’s this—our completely mistaken belief, the one created by ego and fear, the one manifesting limitations that simply don’t exist and that are not at all part of the natural world.  We made them up.

Back at the car, reluctant dog settled back on the back seat (where she promptly went to sleep), I took off my shoes and stretched my feet.  Normally, here’s how this works—back in the car, no longer moving, muscles start to cramp up, stiffness starts to set in, and by the time I’m back home, moving is difficult, followed by soreness the next day that gets worse the day after, then rapidly healing from day three.  Today, though, I did something different.  I refused to accept the lie.  I had just healed all my other back and leg muscles.   My feet would be fine.  A little more stretching—done.  I was healthy, not cramping up.   Period.

And that’s what happened.  Next morning, I could tell I’d been hiking, but none of the usual stiffness.   My feet were fine.   Later in the day, I had some mild stiffness in my hips (that’s a spot I didn’t think to heal the day before), but that was easily healed the same way I healed my back and legs.

Two weeks later, I again went hiking in the Adirondacks, a full day of it, as I was looking to clear my head, and I find that takes at least six hours of wilderness hiking before things that were confusing abruptly become simple and clear.   Plus it was a beautiful day.

This time, though, I didn’t wait to get sore before I tried self-healing again—I applied what I’d learned from the last time right from the start.   We are light.  Everything is energy and frequency and vibration—Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein, among others, told us that a century ago.  Don’t accept the soreness, Tim.  Light, frequency, vibration.

And it worked!  No back pain, no leg pain, at all, during the entire day.  My feet got off to a better start, as I was wearing better shoes this time, but my toes, the balls of my feet, and a little of the sides of my feet eventually complained about the day long confinement and friction against the leather.  “I’ll have blisters in the morning,” I thought, but then immediately, “No, don’t embrace that assumption.  I’ll be fine.”  I concentrated on the healing, and walked on.  I also felt connected, ending the day with a strong sense of everything being lines and light energy.

In the morning, after a long and peaceful sleep, I rose and felt absolutely fine.  I could tell I’d been hiking, but with no stiffness anywhere, just a nice stretchy feeling of lines throughout my body, top to bottom, with no sore bunches anywhere.   Nor did my feet have any blisters—but I did feel an intense heat in the spots where I’d normally have had blisters.   If I focused on expanding the energy in my feet, I discovered, they would cool and the pain vanish.  A few concentrated tries with this, and I was fine.   At the end of the day, I had a mild soreness in these spots, but no pain and no blisters.

All healing is letting go.  It would happen much more quickly if we did.

 

Are you interested in hearing more about Wilderness Hikes as projects evolve in the future? Let me know here, so I have a list of those interested ready to go, by clicking here (and page all the way down to click “Sign Up” at the bottom):
Join the “Wilderness Hike” list.

If you’d like to hear about my “Getting Unstuck” book as it gets closer to release, let me know by clicking here (and you’re welcome to do *both,* of course–page all the way down to click “Sign Up” at the bottom):
Join the “Getting Unstuck” list.

October 2012 is a series of daily posts about “A Wilderness Hike,” taking readers through the healing of wilderness experience and glimpses of my work at Kwan Yin Healing and of my book, “Getting Unstuck.”

You can read the series from the start via the links here:

Oct. 1:    A Wilderness Hike
Oct. 2:   The Sixth Hour
Oct. 3:   Snowy Mountain
Oct. 4:   Letting Go of Baggage–the Wilderness Way
Oct. 5:   “Bear” the Thought
Oct. 6:   Mountain.  Buddha.  Impermanence.
Oct. 7:   The Rewards of Rain
Oct. 8:   Finding the Keys
Oct. 9:   “I’d love to, but times are bad.”
Oct. 10:  Attracting the Law of Attraction
Oct. 11:  We are not our thoughts
Oct. 12:  Honesty, Forgiveness, Healing
Oct. 13:  Getting Unstuck:  Feeling Overwhelmed
Oct. 14:  Money is remarkably easy to come by, if that’s all you want.
Oct. 15:  To be Time Rich, Learn to Be
Oct. 16:  Changing Thoughts for Changing Work
Oct. 17:  Finding and Sharing your Gifts
Oct. 18:  Do you want to be the boss?  Be sure you want to run the show.
Oct. 19:  Finding jobs within jobs
Oct. 20: Bright Mountain Dream
Oct. 21: Escape the Wilderness of Addictions
Oct. 22: The Importance of Spiritual Direction
Oct. 23: In Search of Enlightenment
Oct. 24: Relationship Thoughts from the Wilderness
Oct. 25: We learn in realtionships
Oct. 26: Chrysalis
Oct. 27: Self-Healing, part 1
Oct. 28: Self-Healing, part 2:  Time for a new perspective
Oct. 29: Dix Mountain
Oct. 30: The Mist-Filled Path
Oct. 31: From Wilderness to Wondrousness

Enjoy!

 

Chrysalis

So much of what occupies our days and thoughts are simply outer things passing by.  Time hiking in the wilderness allows what you’d think should be obvious to us to become gradually apparent.  What’s left is the inner—and ironically, most of us have very little idea what lies inside us.

I’ve been blessed from time to time with seeing the true innermost being of people close to me.  As a healer, I see people’s highest selves when working in their energy.  It’s very humbling.  I used to think that it’s a pity people don’t show others their higher selves…then it occurred to me to wonder this about myself.   Did I know my own energy?  My highest self?  That beautiful vision inside I’d seen of others?  And do I show that to others?  I realized I had work to do.

A mentor once explained overcoming character defects as a process of removing layers of debris so that the better qualities could grow up through.  I love that.  It speaks to a life not of self-criticism, but of constant growth and discovery.  It’s a transcendence.  It’s also not a “doing,” but an allowing.  We worry so much typically about what’s the right thing to do, or are we attracting the right things, or why aren’t we attracting what we’d like.

In the quiet and calm space of a wilderness hike, I can start to focus instead on being.  Not whether I’m doing the right things, or being attractive, or manifesting the right dreams, but simply what I am.  Seeing the inner beauty that I’ve seen in others.  Letting that light speak for itself.  Allowing what is to grow and flourish.  When I do, it feels like a continual cocoon, with the outer layers falling away, the inner light growing and expanding.

What happens becomes immaterial—it’s the outer debris falling away.  I remember to look to the divine—the source of that inner light and growth.  This is how the natural world grows, yes?  Gradually, continually, shedding the outdated, growing outward from within.  Not striving, not worrying, unconcerned, just being.  And in so doing, ever expanding and renewing.

Once in that space, however, it’s hard to imagine how we could ever get away from this.  How did we get so far from our own nature?  That’s the power of mind.  And if it can bring us so far separate from what we truly are, imagine what it could do if used positively instead.

I’ve heard it said that the five closest people to us are who we are becoming.  I think that’s true of where we hang out as well.  Sometimes we just outgrow where we used to feel comfortable—not necessarily as a negative rejection, but rather simply as no longer a fit.  I think the wilderness serves this purpose as well.  By hanging out in that purer, clearer, unclouded mirror, we gradually begin to clear as well.

When we do, our true inner selves can shine.

Growth springs from within, though we often look for it from without.

 

Are you interested in hearing more about Wilderness Hikes as projects evolve in the future? Let me know here, so I have a list of those interested ready to go, by clicking here (and page all the way down to click “Sign Up” at the bottom):
Join the “Wilderness Hike” list.

If you’d like to hear about my “Getting Unstuck” book as it gets closer to release, let me know by clicking here (and you’re welcome to do *both,* of course–page all the way down to click “Sign Up” at the bottom):
Join the “Getting Unstuck” list.

October 2012 is a series of daily posts about “A Wilderness Hike,” taking readers through the healing of wilderness experience and glimpses of my work at Kwan Yin Healing and of my book, “Getting Unstuck.”

You can read the series from the start via the links here:

Oct. 1:    A Wilderness Hike
Oct. 2:   The Sixth Hour
Oct. 3:   Snowy Mountain
Oct. 4:   Letting Go of Baggage–the Wilderness Way
Oct. 5:   “Bear” the Thought
Oct. 6:   Mountain.  Buddha.  Impermanence.
Oct. 7:   The Rewards of Rain
Oct. 8:   Finding the Keys
Oct. 9:   “I’d love to, but times are bad.”
Oct. 10:  Attracting the Law of Attraction
Oct. 11:  We are not our thoughts
Oct. 12:  Honesty, Forgiveness, Healing
Oct. 13:  Getting Unstuck:  Feeling Overwhelmed
Oct. 14:  Money is remarkably easy to come by, if that’s all you want.
Oct. 15:  To be Time Rich, Learn to Be
Oct. 16:  Changing Thoughts for Changing Work
Oct. 17:  Finding and Sharing your Gifts
Oct. 18:  Do you want to be the boss?  Be sure you want to run the show.
Oct. 19:  Finding jobs within jobs
Oct. 20: Bright Mountain Dream
Oct. 21: Escape the Wilderness of Addictions
Oct. 22: The Importance of Spiritual Direction
Oct. 23: In Search of Enlightenment
Oct. 24: Relationship Thoughts from the Wilderness
Oct. 25: We learn in realtionships
Oct. 26: Chrysalis
Oct. 27: Self-Healing, part 1
Oct. 28: Self-Healing, part 2:  Time for a new perspective
Oct. 29: Dix Mountain
Oct. 30: The Mist-Filled Path
Oct. 31: From Wilderness to Wondrousness

Enjoy!

 

We learn in relationships

When you take your confusions to the wilderness, among those are going to be relationship issues.

Ever hear of the Johari Window?   Imagine a quadrant.  The first row is things you can see (i.e., recognize), and the second is things you cannot see (recognize).  The first column is things your partner can see/recognize;  the last column is things your partner cannot see/recognize.

So there’s an area where you are both on the same page.  There’s also an area where both of you are clueless.  And there’s an area where you see what your partner doesn’t, and another where your partner sees what you don’t.

That’s the first problem–and the first need–with relationships and learning.  We think we’re on top of it, but we’re largely clueless, and much of what we think we know is not only mistaken, but also arrogant to pretend we could know it at all.   Our individual vision is limited.

But the strength of a healthy relationship, one with trust and communication, is that second pair of eyes, that second mind, bringing extra information and perspectives from different vantage points than any person can ever have alone.  “I know and you don’t” is simply always wrong–at the very least, an incomplete and hence flawed picture of reality.

To get to that communication, that trust, that free flow of knowledge and perspective–we need to let go of ego.   You simply cannot stand reasonably above or ahead or in place of another person–you must stand side by side.  And isn’t that what you wanted from the relationship?  If you can’t do it, learn to do it.  No relationship can happen without it in any real and lasting terms.   If this is not a person you can or choose to do this with, that’s fine, find another.  But take responsibility–personal responsibility–for the change and the reason for it.  Otherwise, you’ll just repeat the same patterns with new people.

The second way we learn (and the second problem) is through growing with another person.

We don’t really grow by ourselves.  Yes, we can work on ourselves, and that’s beneficial, but we are always going to grow in our own image by ourselves.  To some extent, that’s helpful, because we can follow our own vision without distortion.  But very, very few people ever actually do that.  Fears, excuses, time constraints, justifications, all very human, all very common, chip away at most people’s dreams and visions.   Day to day redundancy thrives instead.   But a second person shakes out of those self-made ruts, those worn paths we follow not by inspired choice but by established habit.  Do follow those dreams, but the interaction with others keeps you from creating a pretty fiction for yourself.

We tell ourselves all kinds of things that don’t really hold up to careful scrutiny.  The mere presence of other people quickly shakes that foundation.  And while that can happen negatively, as in “the turkeys are dragging you down,” it also wakes you up to mediocrity, error, and self-delusion in ways that can clarify your thinking and direction and purpose, leaving you better able to follow your dreams.   Now, in a relationship–this is, I would hope, by definition a person you see as a positive influence in your life, not a dull anchor, so assuming you chose someone positive in the first place, let that person in.

Lots of people tell themselves they do just fine by themselves.   I’ve said that myself, more than once.  But those periods of retreat are periods of abstinence from growth.  Isolation is helpful for a time, but a detriment long term.  It is easy to be a holy man on a mountain.  Only when we can take who we’ve realized and share do we really move beyond where we are stuck.  We don’t live as well alone as we think…we just live as we are telling ourselves, and support the myth.

We are meant to be together.  Our physical selves are made not only to fit, but also for that union to be pleasurable, with hormones driving us to the pairing.  But our emotional selves also are driven to come together–the stereotypes of strong and nurturing are simplistic, but underscore that we recognize a dynamic here.  The same applies to our mental approaches;  again from the stereotypes of single-focused and broadly-focused to a more complex reality, we recognize a dynamic here as well.  Male and female energy differs as well, and even flows differently.  Between two people tuned to each other, an amazing cycle of energy flows naturally, each increasing the energy in the other, she increasing his masculine energy level, he increasing her feminine energy level, higher and higher, a beautiful synergy building taking each far beyond any level either will reach alone.  And we’ve all felt this, at least at times.

It’s so perfect.  So why do we have so much trouble with this?   We even institutionalize those problems in our culture, assuring ourselves they are real.  They aren’t.  They really, really, aren’t.

Image

While life might seem grand from the heights of 5114′, the reality can be barren and bland.

Maybe we all just need to get away to the wilderness for a while and re-find our natures.  Or at least calm down and stop creating problems where there are none.

October 2012 is a series of daily posts about “A Wilderness Hike,” taking readers through the healing of wilderness experience and glimpses of my work at Kwan Yin Healing and of my book, “Getting Unstuck.”

You can read the series from the start via the links here:

Oct. 1:    A Wilderness Hike
Oct. 2:   The Sixth Hour
Oct. 3:   Snowy Mountain
Oct. 4:   Letting Go of Baggage–the Wilderness Way
Oct. 5:   “Bear” the Thought
Oct. 6:   Mountain.  Buddha.  Impermanence.
Oct. 7:   The Rewards of Rain
Oct. 8:   Finding the Keys
Oct. 9:   “I’d love to, but times are bad.”
Oct. 10:  Attracting the Law of Attraction
Oct. 11:  We are not our thoughts
Oct. 12:  Honesty, Forgiveness, Healing
Oct. 13:  Getting Unstuck:  Feeling Overwhelmed
Oct. 14:  Money is remarkably easy to come by, if that’s all you want.
Oct. 15:  To be Time Rich, Learn to Be
Oct. 16:  Changing Thoughts for Changing Work
Oct. 17:  Finding and Sharing your Gifts
Oct. 18:  Do you want to be the boss?  Be sure you want to run the show.
Oct. 19:  Finding jobs within jobs
Oct. 20: Bright Mountain Dream
Oct. 21: Escape the Wilderness of Addictions
Oct. 22: The Importance of Spiritual Direction
Oct. 23: In Search of Enlightenment
Oct. 24: Relationship Thoughts from the Wilderness
Oct. 25: We learn in realtionships

The series continues through Oct. 31.