Anxiety, Excitement, Love, Gratitude, Spirit

                 Every shift is getting longer and longer. It is getting to be very challenging to stay present at work and not stuck in a PCT daydream all day. My job is very emotionally demanding and I am doing my best to give as much of my intention and attention to my clients as I can. At Second Nature Cascades we use a wonderful tool called the "I feel statement", which is a tool to help understand our emotions and our beliefs surrounding them. In practice we call the "I fell statement" a "check-in" and recently I realized that a lot of my check-ins in the last couple shifts have been of anxiety.
                When I am not actively focusing on remaining in the present moment, my thoughts wonder to places of worry. I worry about the 'what ifs' on the trail and the fact that I am a broke ass mother fucker! I worry about my partner or myself getting hurt on the trail and not being able to complete our thru-hike. I worry about fatigue and boredom. I worry about the after math of all the debt I am most likely going to acquire from hiking the trail with very little money in my bank. I worry about my fitness level and what others are doing to prepare that I am not. I worry about all my gadgets that I'm bringing and the reliability of my gear. I WORRY!
             Then I stop....I breathe...................In...............Out! Oh thats better. I let go of the 'what ifs' and the money concerns. I let go of it all and breathe. One of the sustained truths I have come to realize about life is that the less present you are right now and the more you worry about past and future events, the more likely you are to create those events or repeat the past. When we are thinking of the past or future we are mindlessly going through motions here in the present. When we mindlessly go through motions we are more likely to act upon impulse and habit. we are more likely to act upon that which has been troubling our thoughts. We are more likely to be guided by the ego instead of the heart. Although in the scope of eternity, the ego is a part of our ultimate awakening, it is still another tool to be shed before absolute realization. 
             It might sound simple, but it is a profound and challenging practice to remain in the present moment. Challenging only to let go of old habits, completely effortless once you are HERE! Billions upon billions of people have been trying to describe and refine this practice since the dawn of time....Meditation!...in all its forms, has an end goal of raising our awareness of now. Focusing our lens through which we perceive the world to a finer and finer scope until complete stillness in the present moment is achieved. Complete effortless action propelled by love! Free from ego! Complete awareness of the absolute miracle of NOW, the absolute beauty and magnificence of our current spiritual state and place in our physical and spiritual existence. 
            So, money concerns? It's all ok. I will do my best right now in the moment to save and create opportunities for myself, but whatever the outcome, I will not allow my financial standing to determine my happiness. I will find happiness and fulfillment in the irrational and remain detached from expectations as best as I can. The best way to find happiness is to be happy for no reason, for if there is a reason, it can be taken away. Also, a healthy practice of gratitude will create abundance in our lives. 
As for our physical safety and fitness....Take it as it comes. Stay present and accept pain as a beloved friend and teacher. 
            Boredom? "Everything is ceremony in the wild garden of childhood." - neruda. Live each moment with the awe of a child. We get so used to looking at the world as something we've seen already or something ordinary. Been there, done that. I am putting forth the intention of appreciation and fascination with this magical and mysterious world we have dreamed for ourselves. I truly am fascinated by the seemingly magical ways in which reality unfolds in front of our eyes. 
              My gear will fail....or it won't! Again, I will prepare as best as I can now and accept that I might have to deal with some things failing. I don't know how everything is going to work with my style and flow on the trail and I am open to figuring it out once I am out there. It's all a part of the adventure! 
I believe that a healthy spirit results in a healthy body, a healthy mind, and a healthy and fulfilling life. 

So what are some of the ways that Amy and I do prepare for the trail?

 Soaks, Floats, And Saunas!
The Sauna at the Everett Healing House is incredible! It feels like a hot sacred little hobbit hole. 

We did an hour float in a deprivation tank! They have 10 inches of water and hundreds of pounds of salt. The water is body temperature and is so salty that you float effortlessly. It is completely silent and completely dark. It was one of the most incredible meditations I have ever experienced. I lost myself completely. Time lost its meaning and my body faded away into a dream. All I was left with was the ocean's swell of my breath. Bliss!

Sunsets, Pie, And Smiles!
The Oregon desert and Sweedeedee Dessert!
Taking the moment to appreciate where I am at and stay present is what helps me prepare for the trail. My wonderful partner, Amy, is the perfect mirror that reflects the blessings in my life every day! She is encouraging, motivated, thoughtful, organized, and so so so inspiring. I am so incredibly grateful to have her by my side with each adventurous moment of this life!

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