Gratitude in Advance

May 17, 2017

Huzzah for speaking up for basic services! My “basic economy” ticket on delta left me with a seat “assigned at the gate”. What an uneasy feeling! At 3:30 am local time I called delta saying, “I really want to know that delta cares about me by assuring me that I have a seat before I get to the gate. What would it take to get that?” “Buy a different ticket next time,” Debbie said. “How about for this flight? Can you tell me if the flight’s overbooked? ” She replied, “No, but I’ll check the seating chart. “Wow!”, I said, “Having a seat would really make a big difference for me! I’m feeling like you really care about me!” Well, she found seats for both flights, and changed my status! I now have seats and a boarding pass! Rachel Rossiter Trabelsi, I was thinking of you as I practiced what you helped me learn during my Introduction Leader Program – affirming my value and being grateful in advance. And, Debbie Unterman Deanna Hohnhorst Colin Tipping for creating the Satori board game that helps me practice the words and feelings of New Stories like “I’m worthy to receive what I need”.  I thanked Debbie, then asked if there was someone I could tell about her service. I assured her supervisor that it really helped me to get that service and will now board the flight believing that delta cares about me. That’s my contribution today toward creating a world of generosity and service. Basic Service. Gratitude in advance.

It’s Not Him

May 11, 2017

Feeling unfulfilled has nothing to do with him. Being solo has shown me that. It’s clear that my disappointments, low energy, scattered focus and distraction are not caused by him. I’ve done it to myself!

In my solo month, I’ve hardly accomplished any of the things I thought were so important – doing touch for health, painting, journaling. Tiredness has pervaded me. Attraction to the political drama playing out in the country saps my time and dominates my attention.

On the other hand, I have been delightfully focused on my schedule of evening programs, spending quality time with a handful of visitors in the evenings. That, at least, has been an admirable focus. I have done my job well. 

I’m willing to love and accept myself and honor what I HAVE done, accepting that my list of desired activities just may exceed the capabilities of my current schedule.

And I do have a quandary about Life energy. It’s been good to be solo to sort out what’s my responsibility to myself in contrast to my responsibility to another.

Stretch

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.”

My Message

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!”

Self Righteous

November 9, 2016

I truly want to grasp what Marnie means here! I would love to sit together with friends Vera, Roger, Kym, and others who envision unity with all, to listen and understand!
She says:

​”Yesterday morning I predicted Trump would win. Want to know the main reason why? Over the last 7 years I have watched the preparation of Light Bearers with messages of freedom to share (spiritual, physical, financial, and emotional restoration). But these people have gone through a lot of hard things in the last few years. We’ve just been trying to survive. 
Maslow knew that people can’t self actualize when the basics are threatened. Lighting the way for others is the last thing on your mind when you’re in survival mode. 
I knew that if we continued along socialist paths, our society’s days were numbered.   Light Bearers would not have the opportunity or time to deliver their foreordained messages. Millions would not be set free and healed. Surely God would not place a good desire in your heart and then not create a way for you to achieve it. 
As we united in prayer to save America, God created a window of time for us to step forward and deliver our messages. And Trump’s boldness paved a way for our voices to be expressed and heard as well. 
We are bolder now, and we have a work to do and a window of time in which to do it. The light bearer chandelier, which had been taken down for cleaning, will now be hoisted back to the ceiling to illuminate the world with Christ’s light. 
Do your work now, my friends. Shine, teach, liberate the captives and bind up the broken hearted. You are Christ’s healing hands! Step forward and rescue and triage the wounded while this season of liberty lasts. #LightTheWorld”

and here……..

“We united in humble prayer, we fasted, we turned to our God, we sought His face, we repented. True to His Word, Our Father heard from heaven and gave us a miracle…. an opportunity to truly heal our land. Any festering wound must first be lanced and cleansed before ointment and a bandage placed upon it. Time. It takes time to heal, but the process has started. 
Thanks, first and foremost, to God and His holy angels who were hard at work answering our prayers to sweep corruption from high places and restore our liberty. God heard our prayers and the cries of the slain and unborn. 
Let us continue to repent and seek His face that He will protect our new leadership and help them ferret out the secret combinations wherever they may be and restore truth, justice and the American way! 
Praying for a smooth transition in what I imagine will not be a pleasant experience for some. Lancing and cleansing is never the most pleasant part of healing a festering wound. Hold still, America. Let the God of heaven do His work and our land will be healed.”

Marnie Marcus

In a spirit of willingness to discover our common ground of Love, what is the meaning here?

Regina

Projection

Fulfillment Partnership Journey

November 1, 2016

I noticed this morning that John asked, “How can I make your morning special?” My response was, “talk with me.”

I ventured into expressing my ever-present imagination of having a life partner who shares my fulfillment. I spoke about that and John listened without balking.

What I noticed is that as soon as I had shared a bit, I balked! I thought, “whoops! There I go again, talking too much, laying out my impossibly demanding, far reaching, complicated, outlandish life-purpose thing that no one else could ever live into! Why can’t I just settle for being loved and cared for?” And then I apologized.

“Sorry I say too much.”

And then, John met me. He said, “Well, I support you in living that purpose, really being it and attracting that partner, and maybe it can be me.”

I noticed that I really don’t believe that I can HAVE my fulfillment partner. I pull back in embellishing the vision, receiving it, believing that I “already have it” as a manifestation in the implicate order.

I project on John NOT having it, that he has to shy away, stop talking, balking. And then I act as if unfulfillment is my reality.

I now know that I have a CHOICE about what to project! 

Step. Step. Step.

Later. We took a walk in a beautiful canyon for a few hours, talking the whole time! Well, we stayed in conversation, but what I got was that the words “life purpose” stirs John’ s unworthiness story!

Countdown

September 17, 2016

9 a.m. 26 miles to go! 

Yesterday evening, we reached our goal, the Spruce Peak Shelter. It was a nice shelter, but it was only 5:00 p.m.! There were still two hours of light. We kept going.

First, through Devil’s Gulch, a short scramble through huge craggy boulders covered with ferns. I was glad we were exploring that as an evening activity rather than first thing in the morning. 

We kept walking. The trouble was that the trail skirted the side of a mountain, so no flat spots for tenting were available. “There’s one” would reveal lumps and bumps on closer inspection. Another quarter mile. Now, the trail headed straight up the mountain on narrow stone steps, up and up to Ritterbush Overlook. Now, we’d gone another full mile and darkness was soon to arrive. The trail leveled out. Yay! A decent spot appeared, but John had already moved on. Keep going. Another hundred yards, and John says, “Here’s a spot.” It was a very good spot – flat, with two trees for tying the tarp, and off the trail down an old road about twenty feet. Yes! It was a good spot! We had walked 17.3 miles too! 30.1 miles from Canada!

We almost slept in this morning in our comfy spot. We were surprised it was already 5:55 when we noticed that the sky was getting light. We packed up quickly and got on the trail by 6:30, an impressive start!

And that got us up to our 9 a.m. milemarker – just 26 miles to go from Mt. Belvidere.

Mt. Belvidere provided a view of Jay Peak, our last high mountain. We’re making good time. Yesterday, the trail was mild – we even walked rather than constantly scrambling on rocks!

View of Jay Peak from Mt. Belvidere

We were enjoying our morning oatmeal when another hiker appeared at the Mt. Belvidere summit. As we talked, I rejoiced in another happy synchronicity of the trail – getting just what I need at just the right time from a surprising source! I had asked Suzie, the other hiker, “How did you get to the trail to start?” She answered, “The owner of North Troy Inn works in Burlington, so he gives guests a ride. I flew into the airport, rode to North Troy with him and stayed overnight.” 

Bingo! That’s a perfect answer for our quandary about how to get away from the trail. Later, we called and made a reservation to spend Monday at the Inn. Our ride to Burlington, where we can get to Enterprise car rental, will leave Tuesday morning – at 3:30 a.m.!

Now, it’s 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, and we chose a bunk in the Hazen’s Notch Canp shelter to be out of the predicted rain storm. Even though staying in shelters, usually crowded and noisy, isn’t our favorite sleeping choice, we like the idea of a dry place. 

We’re in a really good position to finish the Long Trail with just 17.6 miles to go! We can do it all tomorrow – if the weather and terrain are congenial. Or, we can go 12 or 13 miles tomorrow, then finish up on Monday. Either way, we have a room at North Troy Inn where we can  clean up and begin our transition back to urban life!

Canada 17.4

Devil’s Gulch boulders and ferns

Corliss Camp Shelter

Hiker Friends

September 12, 2016

“Hiker Friends, we need a hiker friend, to pick us up at this trailhead and take us to town.”

That’s my new thought when I have to hitch a ride into town for resupply. I accept that most of the drivers passing us by don’t know anything about the Long Trail and why backpackers would be hitching a ride. I pass by all the self-hating things they could be thinking about me. They are not who I am signalling with my thumb.

I’m signalling one of the Hiker Friends, who know that long distance hikers need a ride into town every few days. 

And here they are! A car pulls over. The driver hops out and coaxes the dog to the back, puts up the back seat. His wife smooths a cover over the seat, apologizing for the dog hair. Our backpacks go quickly into the back stowage and we’re off.

“I hiked the Long Trail a few years ago,” he says. Yep. He gets us! He’s our Hiker Friend. Waterbury, here we come!

In joy,

Regina

Completion!

September 4, 2016, 1:00 p.m.

Tadah! John and I reached our goal of Killington Peak, Vermont, the point that marks where we have walked all of the Appalachian Trail at least twice!

When I set out to do a thruhike of the AT in 2007, my aim was to start in Maine and at least make it to Catawba, VA where I had left off walking the trail in sections with my then husband. I wanted to be able to say, “I’ve walked the whole trail” in one quick sentence.

I reached that milestone in November, 2007. That day, when I reached that nondescript road crossing, I burst into tears. “I’ve walked the Appalachian Trail!”

Then, I kept walking, 693 more miles to Springer Mountain, Georgia, completing a “thruhike”, walking the whole trail in one year.

My original plan was to finish the trail to “get it out of my system” and get on with my next career. I was 53. My husband thought I would do that too. He said something about that a week or so after I got home. To appease him, I dramatically stuffed my beloved thruhiking gear into a big box and stashed it in the attic. “There! My hiking persona is put aside!”

The next day, he excitedly invited me to meet him near his office in downtown Atlanta for lunch. We sat at Olympic Plaza, he expounding on the beauty of the place and the glories of being outdoors. I gaped, stunned by the noise, the garish scenery, the puny trees. “This is my fate as a former thruhiker! Nooo! I can’t do it!” 
And I didn’t.

I did keep hiking. I had realized that I did not get hiking out of my system, but that hiking IS my system.

There are eight years of walks between that day and today, many other trails, and even six summer seasons of paid employment on the AT. 

Today’s fulfillment signifies another milestone in claiming hiking as my system. I am brimming with gratitude for the privelege of getting to choose walking this amazing path, both its physical aspects and its spiritual ones.

There’s a lot more to say, and to reflect upon, which I’ll do in the upcoming months. For now, I’ll bed down for another night out, then open a new chapter.

Thanks for reading, affirming, and cheering me on. I’d love to hear of YOUR own life’s discoveries, milestones. What’s your “system” that you had thought you would outgrow yet found out is fundamental to your authentic expression?

Reply by email to

regina@forgivenesswalks.com

The comments function isn’t working right now, and I can’t fix it on the trail.

In joy,

Regina

Sleep on it

September 2, 2016

We are 52 miles from completing our goal of walking the Appalachian Trail twice! Camped just 1/2 mile from Manchester Center, we’positioned  ourselves to get down to the road, hitch into town, pop into Food Chopper for  a bite to eat, shop at Eastern Mountain Sports, pick up our last food box at the Post Office, then hitch back out to the trail with enough time to walk 10 miles.

We have a choice to make, though! When we reach Sherburne Pass and celebrate our second traverse of the AT, we have to (get to?) choose what to do next?

Here are the choices we’re seeing right now:

1) Go to Ohio for my  cousin’s funeral. I found out this afternoon that my 76-year old cousin, who had been in hospice care for the past week, passed away last night. The funeral would be next week, and there would be time to finish the AT walk and get there.

2) Go on hiking. Our completion point is very close to Maine Junction, where the Appalachian Trail and the Long Trail diverge. The AT turns east and continues its route to Maine. The LT continues north for another 178 miles to the Canadian border. Although we wouldn’t have time to do all 178 miles before my next family visiting date, we could walk for about 8 days.

3) Split up and go separate ways, me to Ohio and John to the trail.

4) Something else we haven’t considered. There’s ALWAYS another  choice! 

We’ll sleep on it tonight in our cozy site that’s partially hidden between a couple of boulders, and see what the morning  brings. In fact, we can wait until we complete our AT walk and choose then!