By the time you read this, I will no longer be “above the clouds.” I will be descending from the peak of Mt. Jaljale, 14,700 feet up in the Himalayas, my eyes resting on some of the highest mountain peaks in the world—Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu.
As I write, I am still in a state of preparation for this incredible journey, and surprise of surprises, the preparation is a vast learning experience! The insights I have had while preparing to leave my husband, children, family, work, staff, all of you, and our culture for a whole month have come softly and profoundly, sneaking up “on little cat feet” (as Carl Sandburg described the fog rolling into Chicago).
Three years ago, the opportunity to go trekking in Nepal for thirty days presented itself, and I wanted to go. I evaluated my life and told myself, “I don’t have the time, and I don’t have the money” (the great American excuses for not having the life you want). I supported those going on the trip and went to the airport to see them off on their journey. As I watched them board the plane, my heart was breaking. I wanted so very much to be on that plane with them! When I saw the tires leave the runway, a little voice in my head said, “I belong on that plane. Next time, I am going!”
Three years passed, and the opportunity presented itself again. I still didn’t have the time and the money when I evaluated my life, and yet I wanted to go. My first insight came when I realized how I made the journey become a reality this time, instead of a dream that I have had since I was a child. I said yes to my dream instead of no! I said, “Yes, I am going!” every time I faced an obstacle, a fear, or a doubt. I said it out loud, I said it to other people, and most importantly, I said it to me.
And all of a sudden, amazing things began to happen. So many people supported me to go. They wanted me to have my dream come true. Family, friends, co-workers, participants in seminars, even my dry cleaner!
Everything fell into place. My business partner, James Newton, helped me in many ways: time away from work, finances, and encouragement. My husband, Kyle, knowing how important this trip was to me, told me he would handle home and taking care of our sons. Surprise, a dear friend, Meredith Bliss, who was going on the trip, had thousands of free miles and gave me a ticket. My intention was so clear, I could feel it. Sounds amazingly easy, right? Why, of course! That’s plain to see, and yet that’s not what I do consistently. Very often I have mixed intentions, part of me wanting to go forward and part of me pulling back. No wonder I was creating mixed results. I saw very clearly how I stop myself from creating what I want and how easy it is to turn around. Clear intention!
I found myself out in the future a great deal, anticipating, eager for new experiences and learning, and getting ready. My second insight came with a sudden shift of focus. As departure time came closer, instead of looking forward, I started looking back. The importance of leaving with my life in order became paramount—touching people, making phone calls, writing notes, paying bills, bringing incompletes to completion. And as each action was finished, something very deep began to emerge: how much I care about each part of my life, each person, each action. Sometimes I get going so fast that I forget to look back and savor the delights. Looking forward beckoned me to look back and notice all that is precious.
In asking myself the question, “Why Nepal?” another lesson came. The common greeting in Nepal is “Namasté” which translates to…
I honor the place in you
in which the entire universe dwells.
I honor the place in you
which is of love, of truth,
of light and of peace.
When you are in that place in you,
and I am in that place in me,
We are one.
Namasté is another way of saying what Wings stands for, a reverence for each individual and for the greater community. I want to spend time with people who live their appreciation for one another so simply and honestly. Perhaps that is why saying yes was and always will be worth the effort.
1. What are some of the things you have dreamed of doing that you have told yourself you couldn’t do?
2. What reasons did you use to convince yourself you couldn’t do them? Impractical, time, money, what will others think, etc.?
3. When you dream dreams and don’t do them, what is the impact on you and your life?
4. What is one thing you want to experience that you will take the risk to put yourself into 100 percent? When?
I encourage you to share your responses to the reflection questions in the comments section.
With love and gratitude,