I’ve been trying to move mountains for 20 years and frankly, I’m tired. Aren’t you tired too?
There are a million ways to travel from the beginning to the end of your life. Some trips are longer than others, some paths are more intense. It seems to me that of all of the lives that we could possibly experience, there is one path for each of us that is the most… true. There is a specific path, a certain series of conditions and decisions and circumstances, that will allow us to cultivate our best possible lives.
I can now see that as far as my health goes, I missed a turn, or a series of turns, somewhere along the way. This body, my body today, and my true body (me without the consequences of not eating well, using food to medicate, and learning then living a relatively sedentary lifestyle) are living miles apart. Today, my body is heavy. My muscles are tight, and my joints sometimes ache but, I know that this isn’t true for me. I know that this body is the result of a life lived out of alignment with who I really am.
My true self is strong, healthy, and vibrant.
I want my reality and my truth to be the same. I believe we all do. After spending all of this time fighting to move the mountain that lives in the gap between the two, suddenly I see how the old way of thinking has failed me. The old way is not working. In fact, it never works. We have to find a way to get back into alignment with our truth.
For me, that means a great deal more movement in my every day life – stretching, muscle building, and lots and lots of sweat. I means dancing and gardening. It means more water, more living foods, less sugar, and eventually making the final transition from vegetarian to vegan (darn cheese). It probably means a bunch of other stuff that I don’t know about yet because we can’t see the entire journey from the beginning.
If your mountain is finances, you might be learning to create and live according to a budget, establishing a savings plan, furthering your education or pursuing a passion in your spare time (in order to cultivate extra income), etc. If your mountain is relationships, you might make more phone calls, write more letters, play more games, plan more dates, etc. If your mountain is health, we might be looking at some of the same terrain but yours may also look very different.
It may be that drinking hundreds of gallons of water is necessary for you to make your way over this mountain but you only have to drink it one glass at a time. Instead of freaking out and declaring that you’ve had your last diet soda, a strategy that falls flat with dietary changes every single day, perhaps you can drink a bottle of water before each soda. It would both increased your water intake and slow down the incoming soda.
While I don’t drink soda anymore, I realized recently that my water intake fallen quite low again (it happens every winter). I’ve got get more water in there. Also, I signed up for a 5k in March and started the Couch to 5K training (referred by my brother). I intend to eat more living foods. Oh, and I haven’t mentioned this before have you ever heard of the bound lotus? It’s killing me… in a good way (and I’m doing a profoundly modified one, by the way).
This is about walks in the park and the roar of my juicer–not once and certainly not all day, every single day of the rest of my life–but again and again and again. This is about me being willing to feel whatever comes up, instead of stuffing my feelings back down with food. It’s going to take all of these things… one at a time.
For the last 20 years, I’ve attempted to close this gap between my reality and my truth in the move-this-mountain way more times than I know how to calculate. One radical declaration after the next led to nothing. “I’m never going to do so-and-so again,” resulted in much more of the same. I’ve committed to half marathons (from the couch) and watched as the event flew right by. I joined and failed two shady weight loss programs, plus one really good one. I’ve even taken weight loss drugs (an epic fail from my late teen years).
And I’ve done lots and lots of nothing… primarily because I couldn’t do everything. That’s what we do, those of us who see that other path in the distance and want to undo years of wandering in one gigantic shove. We try and fail. We get stuck on the other side of the mountain.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
When I tried to climb the mountain, I found out that it takes strength that I don’t have to climb and conquer the mountain (and when you slip, the fall is vicious). I tried to go back to the fork in the road, hoping to undo my missteps but it turns out, those old signs are all grown over now. Going backward never took me anywhere I actually wanted to go.
I’ve tried to keep moving forward on the not-quite-right path with the hope that eventually that path would curve around the base of the mountain and run into my true path. I still slip into that old complacency sometimes but if I’m being honest, it never actually takes me home. It just gives me more time to recognize my suffering. Ironically, that is always the same exact amount of time I need to build strength for the journey home.
Okay, that probably sounds a little hopeless but don’t worry. There’s one more thing.
Every time you make a promise to take action that brings you closer to yourself… and keep it, your life changes a little bit. Every time you forgive someone else, your life changes a little bit and when you forgive yourself, it changes a great deal. Every time you are gentle with yourself, you get to be more you.
The truth is… the mountain between reality and truth isn’t a mountain at all. It’s a pile of pebbles and every single action you take closes the gap a little more–every glass of water, every walk, every moment of kindness and understanding you give yourself. Every single song you dance to, every single piece of art you create, every time you wait to answer until your truth bubbles up…
Every single pebble takes you home to you. Suddenly instead of a promise to move mountains, this feels like a wonderful race. What little pebble can you move today to bring you back to the one you were born to be?