Mountain of Peace

This is a recount of adventures in Japan last fall. I’m a little late posting but wanted to share this wonderful journey.

After a week in a high energy big city, I found myself so excited about hiking up a quiet mountainside that I woke up super early. I stared at the clock, willing the time to pass. Filled with positive energy, I couldn’t wait to put on my hiking boots.I had thoroughly enjoyed all the activities that we had been engaged in. Seeing a totally different part of the world had been fun and adventurous. But my being was craving nature and a different energy wavelength. The hike that I was about to do would offer that and more.After a couple of trains and filling the pack with water and food, we started our climb.As per our experience so far, every local person we encountered went out of their way to make sure we were on the right track.As soon as we stepped into the forest and started our trek up the trail, my inner being sunk into a peaceful energy. The climb started immediately and it was steep! I fell into that old pattern of finding my flow. The one where my physical, mental and spiritual beings all align with each other, and with nature.The sounds of nature sung around us. We relished in the squeaking of monkeys and the otherwise silence. Occassionally the trees would crack and creak in the breeze.No people. No buildings. Just us, the monkeys and the forest.The trail had many steep stretches. It was hard work, but it felt good. I fell into the rhythm I knew well. My husband told me of the 1000 day challenge. The trail is a pilgrimage path, and monks do it every day for 1000 days, fasting for 10 consecutive days during the challenge. I couldn’t believe it. I thought I was working hard.Reaching the peak was rewarding. The view was stunning. We rested and had a picnic. No fasting for me.The real reward, however, was quite unexpected. A little more hiking took us to the Dai Ko-do temple (beside Bell Tower). We removed our boots, slid the door open and entered. We sat cross legged. I closed my eyes and breathed in deeply. The scent of incense filled me. It calmed me. My mind was clear.Before leaving, I participated in the purchase (by donation) of an incense stick that you light and place in a bowl among others. It is intended to be in memory of someone. I took a moment for silent reflection.The descent was awesome. There was a bus that took us down the mountain and within blocks of our hotel!A shower and happy hour were waiting for us. The zen feeling lasted into the evening. Now I’m going to crave meditation on every mountain peak.

Quote Challenge Day 1: Face Your Fear

Thank you to Natalie from But Why for nominating me for this wonderful quote challenge.

“You call yourself a free spirit, a ‘wild thing’, and you’re terrified somebody’s gonna stick you in a cage’.

free spirit 5

I love this quote.  I love it for many reasons.  I love this quote because it so accurately captures the essence of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  She is a young woman, living alone in New York City, putting on a brave face as she struggles to look after herself, let alone the cat that she has taken in.  The cat’s name is Cat to symbolize her belief that we as people do not own each other or other living beings.  She displays a fierce attitude of independence, yet, she is terrified and barely making it.  Her biggest fear is depending on someone else.  Fred Baby, her only real friend and the man that she is falling for, bravely looks her in the eyes and tells her the truth.

I also love this quote because I think that many people can interpret it through their own eyes and within the context of their own lives.

It reminds me so completely of my own fear.  I want more than anything to get on my bike and climb another mountain.  Before a climb day, I am full of fire and complete confidence.  When I get to the mountain, and look up at the monstrous beast staring me down, my true fear seeps from my pores, and I am reminded of how insignificant I am.  Yet, I refuse to be caged inside.  I would rather face my fear of what can happen on that mountainside than stay home.

Check out Natalie’s insightful quotes starting with Natalie’s Quote Challenge Day 1.

I now nominate Anthony from Today’s Perfect Moment and Paul from Life Changes.

The rules: Post three quotes across three different days, link to my blog, and nominate two new folks, if you choose to do so.

 

{Guest Post} Finding Myself

But Why?

{Hi all, Natalie here. Today’s post was graciously written by Julie from Just a Girl and a Bike. You don’t need to be a cyclist to appreciate her ruminations on meaningful living — enjoy! 🙂 }

I used to strive to reach my full potential by checking things off a mental to do list.  Despite the unexpected challenges that life presents, the unplanned paths that appear, physical situations or mental states of mind, I simply could not let go of focus on the plan.  If I did not accomplish the things that I had set out to do, then I would not be successful.

I truly believed that self-realization could only be obtained by force.

handsI now believe that self-realization is a very personal path.  It is different for each unique being.  For me, I will not obtain it unless I live more purposefully.  I must stop constantly looking…

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{Guest Post}: Sexism

{Hello to all my readers.  This post was written by a very talented fellow blogger, Natalie.  I know that I have readers out there that will really enjoy this very insightful post.  Happy reading :)}

Let’s talk about sexism.

It sounds simple: there are boys and there are girls, and everyone should be treated equally. Telling women they should have children instead of work? Sexist. Telling men they shouldn’t show emotion or cry – ever? Also sexist. And pressuring girls to wear pink and boys to wear blue? See previous statements.

No one wants to admit that they might be sexist, but maybe we, as a society, need to talk about. I confess – I’m a recovering sexist.

Tomboy
Image Credit: Chris Murphy, creative commons

If I had to summarize my personality in one word, I’d choose “tomboy.” In high school, I played competitive tennis. In college, I bought a motorcycle. No one taught me how to apply make-up, and pink, sparkly clothes aren’t my thing. That was my style, and everyone told me that was A-Okay.

And it was. What they forgot to mention, though, was that being a tomboy didn’t make me better than other girls. Continue reading “{Guest Post}: Sexism”

When You Know it’s Time to Push

Memory Monday Repost

Just a Girl and a Bike

Mt Bachelor - Me SummitWhen you know it’s time to push, don’t be afraid. Find a way, and just do it.

There are times when you don’t feel up to it, you aren’t sure if you’ve got it, and you have doubts about whether or not it is a good idea. But, deep down, you know you can and you know you should. There are also times when you simply know that you shouldn’t. There is a very distinct difference between these two scenarios. In both of them, you feel weak. In both of them you may be suffering. In one of them you know you should and it would be good for you. In the other, you know that you shouldn’t and that it is time to nurture and heal. You absolutely must get in touch with your inner being and your sense of intuition to enable yourself to distinguish between them.

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Guest Post: Oblivion by Arti

One of the best things about blogging is that you get to connect with such amazing people and some are taking the experience further with things like a guest post!

This ‘girl with a bike’ is one of those people! I stumbled upon her blog through the community pool and she has a lovely site-inspiring and enthralling! And she is continuously working on it to make it even better! As part of this, she invited me to guest post on her site and I’m so very excited about it as this is my first guest post 😀

So for the post, we decided to go for this old favourite of mine (I hope you all enjoy reading it):

Guest Post

I don’t remember when exactly I came across the words, life and death, and the concepts behind them. In fact the only conversation I remember distantly related to this is the one I’m recounting below. It happened a very long time ago, with my dad and I’m using my imagination to fill in the gaps which I’ve forgotten:

Me: Papa, do you believe in immortality, ‘life after death’ or anything of the sort?

Continue reading “Guest Post: Oblivion by Arti”

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