May 4, 2017
I know I must have limiting beliefs about relating because I feel entangled, stuck, resistant. He even says, emphatically, “No, we have not achieved all we can in our relationship!” However, when I contribute that what I want in a relationship is transformation of Old Stories, he says, “I want to support you getting that.” (Not, “yes, I want that too!”)
It occurs to me that individual fulfillment could be achieved solo! My biggest resistance to committing to partnership with him is forfeiting my preferences. I’m enjoying a lot about being solo.
I can write when I want, watch my media choices, eat my favorites, visit others, manage my finances. Would I even be concerned about being solo in this setting? With a car, I would probably even do some exploring, although would often seek out companions or group walks.
He says, “Looking forward to walking together soon.” I cringe, unwilling to say, “I’m enjoying being solo for now,” projecting that he would make that mean that I don’t value him. It’s that I enjoy choosing my preferences more than being together, where I settle for being discounted and invisible.
How long do I want to string him on? Here’s a belief: I better settle for him because no man would be an ideal partner for me and I’m not open to having a woman for a partner even though that idea has entered my mind. He insists that he wants to be with me, then discounts my preferences when we do something together!
I’m open that THIS is my story to transform, and that there is a new perception to have.
The New Story I choose is “I am fulfilled in and by my marriage relationship.”
May 5, 2017
I’m willing to take responsibility for my stories. In service of transforming that old story, I played Satori -twice! On my day off I played with a friend, a first time being outright invited over to someone’s home in this place! She relished my offer of a game and our journey through the Satori board. That game invited me to delve into my Waldorf story. I retouched those feelings, found some lingering tension, and told her the truth that those feelings upset my stomach. She wants to play again!
Yesterday morning, I played a breakfast game. New Story: “I am strong enough to take on the world because I believe I can”. Mainly, I’m integrating the reframe, “I let go of my old story and refuse to put any more energy in it.” Today, I wake up catching myself thinking of the old story and practicing not buying it! I am willing to consider being authentic, visible, and committed to discovering and articulating my authentic, unique, and precious expression. With a partner!
I love and accept myself exploring the new, unfamiliar territory of imagined fulfillment.
May 1, 2017
I notice this morning that my awareness of my body and my quandary about physical fitness and energy occur as my authentic life. Preparing to participate in Steve’s memorial service amid the Park community occur as tangential occupation. My view is that the Park community is a superficial one, where I act, not where I share deeply, live authentically, reveal my true feelings, forge nourishing friendships. I have integrated Kathy’s admonishment that I shun the Park community as clients, revealing only my skills and interests in park interpretation, not Radical Forgiveness. So, I haven’t. And, just as in other times and venues, my full expression is diluted, and I keep my relationships shallow and pleasant. I go to the memorial as a support person, an observer.
I wonder now, having observed this, if I’m making it up that authentic sharing of my worldview and feelings is prohibited. Maybe it would actually be better to share space for Satori or painting or Touch for Health. Saying “yes” to that conjurs up a list of “yeah buts”. Hmm. That’s a good clue that the construct could just be mine, keeping me safe!
Later- guess what? I felt integral, connected, understood, and vital to the Park community, notably Eli’s family. Nobody knew how to be, how to understand. All of us are baffled, saddened, mystified by Steve’s passing! I’m right there in the group with everyone else!
April 29, 2017
32 more days solo. I accept my body stiff and feeling fat. I stretch, roll, chant, and breathe Life and Love and Ease and Flexibility into my body. I notice that I thought “precious body” and would not write that.
“I am not my body, but I love and accept the body I have.”
Here’s what I said to a woman struggling to lighten her pack.
“And now, if you’re game for an even deeper exploration, it has helped me immensely to delve into clarifying my purpose for walking. I realized that the trail is a blank canvas on which I paint my own journey, design my own fulfillment. Sure, a popular way to engage with the AT is to backpack long distances. That’s not the only way it can be visited, and, conversely, hiking might not necessarily be the best way to fulfill your dream. It might open up a whole new journey to explore what you’re thinking that hiking the Shenandoah section will provide… ultimately, in my own hiking, I want to create something that makes my heart sing!”
April 25, 2017
Solo, walking resolutely toward Maidenhair Falls, desert wanderer interrupts my inner conversation about how to entice others to desert enlightenment.
His words blend with and expand my own with refreshing validation and nourishment!
“Between the context of stillness and the occurrence of thought the noticing is the knowing.” Unknown
“I love the crunch of walking in the desert. Enjoy the crunch!” Thomas
I did notice the crunch and not I ed that I don’t enjoy it because it sound a noisy and disruptive to me. I’ll consider it.
I let myself stop to sketch a couple of times, and thoroughly enjoyed my personal pace. I loved my solo walk!
April 24, 2017
He says, “I feel at home where you are with me.” I cringe. I’ve written this year about feeling empty of myself when we are together. My reply, “I feel at home where I am, too.”
What an irony! “At home” in myself feels so different from “at home” together. Yes, when we’re together, it’s familiar, as I’ve described. I stop talking and sharing. I defer to his preferences. I watch separate entertainment. I go to gatherings he chooses – mostly. I put aside preferred energy-shifting tools. “At home” in myself enjoys indulging in my kids, classical music, slow contemplative walks, especially at sunrise, allowing Forgivenesswalks to form.
Being together feels safe, physically expanding, logically sustaining, but not fulfilling, not “heartsinging.”
What would being in partnership that fulfills both of us look like? I immediately argue that it can’t be done! “Our preferences are not additive!” I balk. I am not interested in marathon driving, end-to-end mountain climbing, drinking alcohol, working year-round seasonal jobs, hanging out with vociferous complainers, avoiding deep consideration of philosophical nuances of life.
I scoff at his likelihood of journaling and drawing, painting, singing, playing Satori, examining emotions, working together as entrepreneurs, exploring energy medicine and balancing, committing to regenerative food habits, talking about spirituality, politics, money and finances! Could he possibly be “At home” with those activities?
Who is the woman he names as me with whom he is at home? Have I become someone who isn’t really me with whom he feels at home? Did I vacate myself to become that person who means “home” to him and “not home” to me?
Whoops! That would be my own creation!!!
I took a solo adventure. I rode the bike he left to a nearby canyon and walked slowly. I stopped often, I sketched a tree. I turned around before it got hot. No summit. Not “just one more bend”.
I rode out and to the post office to mail my sister’s copy of energy balancing back to her. I had made a copy for myself. I got back home by 11a.m. just as the wind gusts started. I feasted on stocked up food.
April 22, 2017
39 days solo remain. I got up at the usual alarm time and took a walk! I headed east on the dirt road. Coolness and sunlight bathed me. Stiffness relaxed somewhat. Quiet and ease, contentment at designing my morning, lightened my step. “I can wander as I want!”
Projects to accomplish flooded my mind, begging a list. “Not today. Just walk.” I watched ants forging a broad path in a short time. Resolute.
Solo, but definitely not lonely!
April 21, 2017
Yesterday evening, I enjoyed the luxury of solo after completing Be Crepuscular. I felt bonded with the participants and fulfilled by a leisurely walk home. Visiting Duane, camphost, lost its charm when he started complaining that no ranger had said goodbye to the others who had left. Time for solo!
Today starts my 40-day solo journey! Feeling eager, sleepy. I started with one round of Chakra Chant. I’m planning to ride my bike to the VC. Today’s question is “What are the practices that would be fulfilling during my solo journey?” Painting, morning riding, conscious eating, energy balancing, satori, journaling, visiting…
I received a text message from a friend: “My sister and I want to begin a hike at Springer Mountain in mid-July. Do you have maps we can borrow or recommend the best maps?”
My maps are in storage in Virginia while I work out in California! Besides, once you step on the Appalachian Trail, you’ll fall in love with it and want your own set of maps for fanning the flame of your new passion and recording your memories! Here are my recommendations
Maps are helpful for spatial orientation, road crossings, and for locating nearby towns and highway routes. They can also show topography, shelters, and points of interest along the way. I also enjoy perusing a good map for bedtime reading! Here are suggestions for maps for the southern section of the Appalachian Trail:
The National Geographic Trails Illustrated Maps are excellent with detail and scope. A new series since I walked the AT has come out: the Appalachian Trail series (#1501-1513). 13 maps cover the entire trail. Before this series, it took two maps to cover the trail in Georgia. If you’re planning to walk trails in Georgia in addition to the AT, including the Benton MacKaye Trail, Brasstown Bald, and Bartram Trail, among others, you might prefer #777 and #778.
#1501 covers the southern 200 miles of the Trail.
#777 covers Springer Mountain part way through Georgia.
#778 covers the north Georgia section
Guidebooks are good companions for maps because they round out the information on the maps with data points specific to the trail, distances between landmarks, shelters, and water sources. In addition, current guides also include details about trail towns, post offices, shuttle providers, gear vendors, and even trail profile guides. Currently, there are two popular guides available. Both are updated annually and have dedicated followers who swear to the accuracy and helpfulness of the guide they chose.
The AT Guide (“The AWOL Guide”)
Thruhikers Companion and other planning guides from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
MOBILE PHONE APP
If you prefer a digital guide to the Trail, the Guthook Guide has become quite popular since its first release in 2012. The app and the demo guide to the Approach Trail are free. In-app purchase of 9 sections gives hikers everything they need to navigate the entire 2,189.2 miles of the Appalachian Trail and 273 miles of Vermont’s Long Trail. Each section costs $8.95, with a bundle price for all the sections.