Some of my favorite places in the world can only be reached on foot. There's something so satisfying about reaching a peak or summit after having worked hard and pushed your body to get there.
I'm talking about hiking, of course. For as long as I can remember I have loved to hike. I've had some of my biggest emotional breakthroughs while on a trail, particularly if I am alone. I don't hike alone often, and if I do I tell someone where I am going. I also try to stick to familiar trails if I'm going alone. Safety first, folks!
I remember as a child my maternal grandparents were often looked down upon because they didn't attend church. I also remember my grandfather telling me that he went to church in the mountains. I was a little confused by that at first, because I didn't think there were any churches up there.
As I grew up, I started to understand what he meant. When I was younger I thought camping and hiking was boring - until I learned to appreciate it. The stillness of sitting on a mountain top really can't be compared to anything else.
For so long when I would hike I paid close attention to my feet. I made sure I was planting them solidly, not tripping over rocks or branches, and just overall having a sturdy foundation.
This was more or less what my hikes looked like:
Looks great, right? Yeah, not so much. I know my shoes are super cool looking and all, but it's not exactly this:
So what's my point? You may have figured it out already, but the point is that you really have to stop and look around sometimes. The high point of a hike is most certainly the peak or summit, but there is so much more to it than just that. Climbing a mountain is a beautiful thing. You have to stop and look around, or you're going to miss out on the majority of the experience.
Why am I telling you this? Lots of people don't hike. Lots of people don't have access to mountains. Obvs. But the lesson here is so much bigger. Hiking gives us life lessons.
We all have goals or things we are aspiring to do or to become. That's the peak or the summit of the mountain you are climbing. How many times have you said, "I will be happy when I get that promotion," or "I will be happy once I've lost 20 pounds," or "I will be happy once I find the perfect relationship, create the perfect family and live in the perfect house." Certainly at one time or another you have felt that you will be happy WHEN.
What about right now? What is amazing or wonderful or happy in your life as it is right now? What are you thankful for today? Embracing an attitude of gratitude for the daily things in our lives holds SO MUCH POWER.
Sure, there are times when you need to look down and get your footing. Maybe it's some technical terrain or really steep. Is it okay to look down here? Sure! You want to get to where you're going safely. Just remember to look up again once you've cleared it. :)