What’s missing is “relatedness”. That’s what I was coming up with for the exercise I was doing in my Landmark Education program to explore next steps for growing my business. The assignment was to discover what was missing, the presence of which would make a difference in me getting what I wanted. I wanted clients signing up for my programs and my coaching. I wasn’t “relating” to women who might be interested in transforming their fears and doubts about hiking, so they weren’t available to sign up.
I sighed and took a break to check the daily snail mail. The stack included the latest issue of “AT Journeys”, the bimonthly magazine of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. The feature article was about a woman named Anna Huthmaker, founder of Trail Dames, a women’s hiking support group.
“This is amazing!” I laughed.
“This is just the group I need to talk with!”
I immediately contacted Anna at the email address in the article, telling her about my new endeavor. She responded the next day, saying, “Yes. I’d love to meet you too, and it so happens that this weekend is our group’s trip to The Hike Inn. It’s all full, but you could come up and meet us while we’re there.”
When I walked into the dining room a few nights later, Anna’s first words after hello were, “Hey, everyone! Here’s someone you need to meet! This is Regina Reiter, and she’s doing something really neat called Forgiveness Walks!” To me, as we got cups of tea, she said, “You’ll have to do one of our clinics at our conference in July. It’s going to be in Durango, Colorado.”
Since then, Anna has been a champion of my work, including me as a clinician in the annual Trail Dames summits and hosting me as the program presenter at the next two Hike Inn overnights. I’m grateful that the timing has been perfect to get to know Anna and her dynamic vision to serve women.
Anna is my healing angel too, giving me an opportunity to uncover and love a part of myself that I’m not so sure that I can love. That’s my reluctance to put myself and my business out in the spotlight, to put it right out there with clear programs and visible marketing. A few things have happened in my relationship with Trail Dames that have sparked some feelings about that. I’ve been feeling invisible and insignificant, unheard and uninvolved.
Well, guess what I discovered?
That’s my Story!
I spell it S.T.O.R.Y. which stands for Sustained Tale of Repressed Yearning.
For me, in this situation, that repressed yearning is to truly know myself as someone who has skills to offer others that are received and used and appreciated. The tricky thing about a repressed yearning, however, is that my ego is working so hard to keep it down that it’s like a beach ball that just naturally pops up to be free. Or, it’s like the Ring of Power, “It wants to be found.”
The dance is actually kind of comical, when I’m really willing to look at it. Anna’s trying to honor my gifts in the group and I’m subconsciously sabotaging them by playing small and not fully participating, then blaming her for leaving me out or mixing things up. And it’s not even something she’s doing, or thinking, or being! It’s my S.T.O.R.Y. taking the stage of my play and only noticing the parts that reflect my limited view!
Today, I’m willing to stop this play and invent a new story!
This would be my New S.T.O.R.Y. That’s Spiritual Truth Of the Real You (or Me, in this instance).
That New Story is that “The more I show up as me, with my gifts, skills, and clear offerings, the more I am involved, included, visible, prosperous, and joyful!” And THAT’S what Anna’s true nature is as well. When I’m living out of THAT story, I can appreciate all of Anna’s wonderful qualities of leadership, imagination, humility, generosity, and a long list of other dynamic qualities as well! The miracle in this shift in energy is that I’ll probably mirror all of those qualities back to myself too.
Today, I want to thank you, Anna, for playing this role for me and for being your wonderful self, living right out there in the open where I can learn from you! You ARE an amazing, brilliant light!
Let me introduce you to Anna Huthmaker and her Trail Dames!
From the Trail Dames website: “Simply put, the Trail Dames is a hiking club for women of a curvy nature. These days you can find us on top of many a mountain, laughing and making new friends… But you can also find us dancing, kayaking, traveling and a thousand other things. In short, you will find us celebrating life. We hike slowly, looking closely at the beauty that is all around us. We stop to rest when we need to, but then we keep going. Because a Trail Dame knows that there is no feeling in the entire world like the feeling of accomplishing your goal. We also know that the only people that get to truly experience the view from the top are the ones that climbed up there to see it.”