Today, I’m walking with my client, Mary, who has completed her training for her dream walk – 57 miles in Scotland! She has taken this journey one step at a time. Today, she’s walking 11 miles. Tomorrow, 16.
What does it take to walk into a dream? Small steps. Consistent steps. That’s the walk of creation.
It starts with a fantasy. That’s what a dream is. There’s nothing real about it! Absolutely nothing! It’s pure fantasy. Do you have fun fantasizing, or do you resist it because there’s nothing real about it? I invite you to take a different look at fantasizing and consider that all the great inventions started out that way. Dreams became plans. Plans become actions. Actions become reality.
Play with your dream. Write it out long-hand with details and feelings of having it. What does that look like? Here’s an example. Here’s my fantasy for a grand adventure of five women doing a Forgiveness Walk of the Appalachian Trail. Enjoy!
And, if you resonate with any of these “imaginary” women, check out The Amazing Appalachian Trail Walk at the bottom of this link:
Five Women on a Journey
A niche-finding imagination story
August 18, 2010
It’s June 25, 2014 and I’m standing on the summit of Mt. Katahdin with five other women. What it took for us to get here is nine months of reframing stories and miracles. Each woman is unique, yet all have a bond in desiring more than any other adventure, to walk the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia. Now they were at the northern terminus of the AT that pathway in nature, the walking of which is a quest, an ordeal, a blessing, a pilgrimage. It’s been done by many, and yet only a small percentage of the world’s population. For those who get bit by the AT bug, it’s a dream that won’t lie quiet until the deed has been accomplished, until one stands, arms raised in a victory stance, on the opposite pole of the chosen starting point, north or south.
These five women are here today because they transformed their old stories of NOT walking the AT because of this or that obstacle. Not enough time. Not enough money. Too much responsibility to others – jobs, children, husbands. Too weak. Too sick. Too scared. Too alone. Just getting here today has been a journey in itself. Empowering themselves through each challenge, each obstacle, each excuse, in the strong company of Regina and the other Hiking goddesses in this company. They started with doubts about even taking on this journey and now here they are having climbed the highest mountain on the the trail in Maine. That in itself IS a landmark accomplishment, an achievement worthy of accolades and awards.
Allow me to introduce you to these five.
There’s Joy,Walking, PerseverancePays, D.D.Dedication, EndlessEndurance, and Tolerance.
JoyWalking has dreamed for a long time about hiking the AT. For years she’s hiked on weekends. She put off the AT hike until she retired from her teaching job, but just didn’t get around too it. She’s been retired now for three years! Although she’s hiked with a hiking club, none of those people could get away either. Finally, she realized she wasn’t going to do this on her own, but she just couldn’t stop thinking about it. She had hiked almost 300 miles of the trail on short walks, dreamed of hiking the whole thing, but just wasn’t doing it alone. Reading Trail Journals, she realized that one can start solo and meet other hikers, but she just didn’t want to take the chance of meeting a compatible hiking partner on the trail. Given that the average age of hikers is 25, she couldn’t imagine herself meeting up with someone. The party atmosphere of the shelters and hostels just didn’t sound attractive. And what about bears? And hitching into towns? Better to have a companion at the start. So, she was delighted and ready to sign up right away, when she found out that she could hike the AT with other women just like her, with an experienced guide, with shuttles arranged, and zero days in nice hotels, and b&b’s! She can afford to make this a trip of her lifetime and get the best along the way. What’s retirement for anyway? Something lit up for her when she learned that this guide company also offers the spiritual component throughout preparation and during the hike! “Wow! Just what I need in my retirement! Hiking my dream hike AND transforming my old stuff – I sure have plenty of emotional baggage that’s been piling up through my years of teaching. OOO. Don’t get me started! It’s been hard being a single mom while teaching. Time for ME! Well, isn’t it?” She IS scared that one of the kids will need her during the trip, but the support offered by Regina during the prep months has been absolutely wonderful in clearing the path of guilt about abandoning her children. When she first told them she was thinking about hiking the AT for 6 months, all three of them seemed to fall apart! Crises just popped up and they NEEDED her! Thanks to Regina’s wisdom and the tools of Radical Forgiveness that she shares, Joy’s energy shifted from guilt and resentment of her children to empowerment, support and abundant resources. They love their new mom who can listen to their troubles, then somehow keep listening and asking questions and they realize they knew what to do themselves!. They take good care of themselves, creating support systems whenever they need them! Mom’s not the only one who can help them. Through the months getting ready for this adventure, not only Joy, but her children too, have become happier, healthier, more resourceful, and more connected than ever! That’s why she chose JoyWalking for her trail name because she feels lifted of all her motherly burdens and is ready to joyously venture forth! What a blessing to be standing on Mt. Katahdin, ready to start this life journey with gratitude, joy, freedom, and support!
Patty was trapped in a relationship with a man who smothered her sense of adventure. How she, a biology major in college ended up quitting a job at a nature center and marrying a man who loved staying home, she could just never figure out. She met Regina on one of her afternoons at the State Park where she had escaped for a few hours’ walk alone. About once a month, she’d just explode at her husband, sitting reading a book inside on a perfectly sunny day. For years, she would feel a pang of resentment, but just shove it down and pick up a book of her own and read it. She never was much for reading, though, so took up knitting to occupy herself while he read. It always bothered her too that even though he read hugely thick books, he never could come up with anything to share about them. “What did you find out in your reading?” always got the reply, “Oh nothing much.” So, there she was walking, almost blindly, so fed up with this life that she was almost not aware of her body, how far she was going, or where. She crossed paths with a woman, dressed in purple shorts with a flowing scarf, who smiled so magnetically, that Patty stopped dead in her tracks. “Hi.”
“So glad to see you out here!, responded the purple lady.
Such a perfect day for a walk. I’m always amazed that so few people are walking on this beautiful trail! What brings YOU out?”
Patty’s stuck emotions were no match for this welcome and she just burst into tears, crying, “I hate my life! I’m stuck and trapped, and don’t know what to doooooo!” She cried, surprising even herself by this surge of emotion and tears. She was usually pretty good at keeping it down. Regina listened, encouraging her to tell her story, let it out. She made nothing of Patty’s crying In a few minutes, Patty felt done. The crying stopped and Regina asked her a curious question. “Are you open to the possibility that this happened for a reason?” she asked.
“What? Meeting you here?” Patty clarified.
“Yes. That we were meant to meet. Here. In this park.”
“Well, maybe. You’re certainly the first person that I’ve cried on in a very long time.
And, strangely I didn’t mind it. I felt safe with you without even knowing anything about you.”
The two women continued to talk while they walked together on the path. Time seemed to stand still, the trees and the green canopy felt immense, spacious, and uplifting. It was so easy to talk out here!
Regina stopped at the next fork in the path and Patty realized that they had reached the turnoff to the parking lot. She’d be going that way. It was at that moment that Patty noticed for the first time that Regina was carrying a backpack. “You’re backpacking out here?” Patty asked. “Yes. I’m training for a walk of the Appalachian Trail.” Patty was stunned. She’d heard of the trail years ago and thought that 6 months outside sounded like heaven to her, but never gave it another thought because she’d never be able to get away from her husband for that long. But now, seeing Regina, fit and strong, radiant in her purple shorts, the idea flashed like a streak of light in her mind and a little laugh bubbled up surprising her. “I could do that,” a voice came from her mouth. She caught herself then and corrected this random, unreasonable thought. “But I probably won’t.”
“Well, when you’re ready to explore that possibility, join me. I help women who are recreating their lives feel the joy, lightness, and empowerment that comes from claiming their dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail. In fact, I’m leading a MeetUp group here next week, same time, to listen to other women’s stories. You’re definitely not alone! Can I get your email and send you that reminder?”
Still a bit overwhelmed with this slight tingly, bubbly sort of feeling in her belly, Patty, said, “Sure. Why not?”
She had managed to get to that MeetUp and kept coming to them every other week. Gradually, by claiming HER dream of hiking the AT, playing weekly Satori Games (one of Regina’s energy shifting tools) with others and by herself, she grew the confidence she needed to share this dream with her husband. Of course, he rejected the idea, but using the tools of Radical Forgiveness in Regina’s teleseminars and coaching, Patty transformed the intolerance and lack of compassion in her marriage to creativity and exploration. In fact, one of the many miracles that occurred over the nine months in Regina’s program was that Patty’s husband bought her the whole set of AT maps, hung them up on the wall, and read ALL of the guidebooks himself. He became her most ardent supporter, and couldn’t wait to send her food drops and visit her at some of the town stops. He’d be her ongoing trail support.
Now, with a firm step, here was Patty, claiming the summit of Mt. Katahdin, and her trail name for the continuing journey, PerseverancePays.
Are YOU one of the five real women to take this journey?
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