This is my story, but adjust the age, gender, or the specific fear holding you back from feeling fulfilled and whole, and it is likely yours too.
Just after my 40th birthday, I hit an emotional bottom. I was in a very unhealthy relationship, a high-stress job, and living completely out of alignment with my truth. On the outside, I was a vibrant woman with a successful career. On the inside, I was dying — paralyzed by my intense and life-long fear of being alone. Then one morning I woke up and realized that I’d become a shell of myself, existing but not living.
With all the energy I could muster, I willed myself out of bed and headed into the bathroom. The woman staring back at me in the mirror was unrecognizable. I saw the reflection of my own pain. I knew in that moment that my heart and soul were calling me to make a change. I prayed, I pleaded, I surrendered, trying desperately to summon the courage to take the leap. In that moment, the fear of staying stuck was greater than the fear of leaving and facing the unknown. I tapped into 20 seconds of insane courage, and I left. That was the day my healing journey began.
Soon after leaving, a Golden Retriever puppy found her way into my life and my heart. I aptly named her Grace and she became one of my greatest teachers. Everyday, Grace and I hiked in a preserve near my house. One particular spring day, I watched her as she leapt through a field of tall grasses and wildflowers. She was happy, exuberant, and free. I yearned to feel what she felt. I wanted to live so fully in the moment as she did so effortlessly. That very day I went home, pulled out an old atlas, and made the decision to travel with her.
My Life Changing Adventure
I made a CONSCIOUS CHOICE to once and for all face my greatest fears. Within weeks, with no itinerary, we set out on our adventure. Leaving home, family and friends behind, we entered the vast wilderness of the United States and immersed ourselves in unnerving solitude.
I knew the only way to free myself of my fears was to face them head on. So Grace and I hiked over 1,000 miles. It was not easy. The shadows in the forest mirrored the internal shadows I had been running from. I had to face the darkness, both around me and within me. There were moments of sheer terror and times I wanted to give up. But instead of breaking down, I broke open. Instead of running from my pain, I began to understand what it had been trying to teach me. With each step I took and each tear I shed, I felt stronger as I began to release the fears and doubts that had once consumed me. In my own darkness, I found a light. I found me.
The wilderness afforded me the ability to face everything that I had spent a lifetime running from and to get quiet enough to hear the beckoning of a still small voice guiding me to go out to teach other what I had come to learn. From that experience I created The Wilderness Walk.
Now, I guide others on a journey through the depths of their pain and fear, so that they can uncover their deepest truth. This is my purpose—to create a path of individual healing that can lead to the healing of the world.
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