Imaging a Reset

It’s January 20, 2022 and my first blogpost in a while. I’m taking a week’s vacation from my park job in the warm, sunny desert of Southern California to create time with my family. I flew, literally from sea to sea, to downeast Maine where the temperature is just above zero degrees! Brrrrr! And, to top off the challenge, my family is living without their furnace because they don’t want to keep fixing it, but wait til Spring to install a new system. I’m getting to let the warmth of my heart overpower the cold air! Hat, gloves, sweaters, and tea help too! read more

Walking into Your Dream!

Are you yearning to walk the Appalachian Trail?

You wonder how.
You wonder if you can do it.
You know there’s a lot to prepare, but don’t know where to start.
Everyone you know says that’s a crazy thing to do!
You want someone who’s done it to help you navigate the journey.

Hi. I’m Regina Reiter and I know exactly what you’re thinking! I was in your shoes before completing my thru hike in January, 2008. I’m a long distance hiker, Nature interpreter, Radical Forgiveness Coach, and entrepreneur with a passion for helping women over 50 walk the Appalachian Trail as a pilgrimage.

Here’s my story! Looking back, It’s 2007, and I’m in Wind Gap, PA, at mile 910 on my southbound trek of the Appalachian Trail.  I’ve just walked into a convenience store and I meet a woman who says, “Are you hiking the Appalachian Trail?  I’ve always wanted to do that but my boyfriend doesn’t want me to.”

At that moment, my vision of helping women move aside all their excuses
and accomplish their own walks – the walks of their dreams – lights a fire in my heart.  I want to snatch her up and take her along.  “You’ve got to do this walk! It’s phenomenal.  It’s beautiful.  It’s challenging.  It’s rewarding!”

Several months later, I had fulfilled my own dream of walking the entire Appalachian Trail. It’s fourteen years later, and I’ve been moving aside my own resistances, obstacles, and challenges to bring this vision into reality.  Business creation has been my own wilderness, but I’m taking it on with the same step-by-step fashion as I took on the Trail. The
fact that you’ve found this website indicates that I’ve transformed my own shyness
and self-doubts as the 4th child of ten who would always tell myself, “What I have to say makes no difference in the world because I don’t matter.”

My current endeavor with Forgiveness Walks is to help at least 22 women walk the Appalachian Trail by 2025. That’s my next project in a line of jobs and careers that have had one purpose in common – to entice others to come  outside and rediscover their radiant fulfillment as spiritual beings having a human experience. We are beings of energy moving between Earth and Heaven.    I’ve been a Girl Scout Leader, a Biology student, an outdoor education program director, a canoe camp counselor, the mother of three sons, a summer camp Naturalist, Native Plant Garden Assistant, Homeschool Biology and Science Teacher, long-distance hiker, and Park Interpretive Specialist.  Oh yes, there was a short season as a classroom teacher in a Waldorf school, but that only lasted 6 months.  Outdoors is where my heart, my skills, and my creativity thrive.

Getting out there professionally has taken me on a journey of Radical Forgiveness
and working with Colin Tipping, creator of the Institute for Radical Forgiveness to
become a certified Radical Forgiveness Coach.  Blending that easy, quick, and
practical approach to personal transformation with walking in Nature makes my
heart sing and gave me my success as a long-distance hiker.

And believe me, I’ve had plenty of Radical Forgiveness to do in my family, my
Waldorf Community, my marriage, and in my relationship with people in general!
Most of the time, I’d rather be hiking with my favorite hiking partner on a long
trail, but I love making a difference for others as well.  Balancing the two is my
life’s work!

Are you yearning to fulfill your own dream of walking with a purpose? Contact me today, and let’s get started!

email: regina@forgivenesswalks.com

OR read my free report presenting the Five Essentials for creating a radiantly fulfilling walk – of any length!

Click this link: Five Essentials for Creating a Radiantly Fulfilling Walk

How to Start Your Appalachian Trail Walk

I’ve walked the Appalachian Trail twice, plus another 2,000 miles working as an Appalachian Trail Conservancy ridgerunner for seven seasons.. How did I start all this? By locating the nearest trailhead to my home and setting foot on the trail. That one hour greeting let me hear my call to the trail “If I just keep walking, I can get all the way to Maine!”

Next step: a half day walk with my husband, exchanging the car key in the middle as we walked in opposite directions. Over the next four years, we built up to a full month on the trail, two trips per year, from over night to three nights, a week, two weeks. There are landmark steps, I think:

  • Connect to the trail.
  • Stay out overnight.
  • Do a resupply and go out again.
  • Walk 100 miles.

I would focus on training on the trail, itself. What I discovered by talking with thousands of hikers is that those who have a connection with their Inner Journey more than the physical athletic accomplishment of the trail feel fulfilled by their walks. In addition, those having a true connection and an enjoyment of Nature seem happier and more fulfilled.

So much to talk about! Oh! One thing that makes a big difference is having a method for easily climbing mountains – a breathing technique. Contrary to a familiar saying, which I will not repeat here – “Virginia is not flat!”

Here’s the method I came up with:

forgivenesswalks.com/reginameetsmountains

Why is Walking in Nature Important?

May 22,2020

I was challenged with this question yesterday.  I caught my breath in response because I realized that in my heart I KNOW!  It’s one of those things that I’ve never had to explain to MYSELF because I just know that walking in Nature is important.  So, here’s the beginning of what might be a long discussion – at least I hope so!

What are your thoughts?

Here are a few of mine:

When I walk in Nature, even just stepping out my door, my senses open and I feel more involved in the World.
Why is it important to have my senses open?  Because then my physical body is more ALIVE!
And why is that important?  Because being alive is necessary for being on Earth. I have to have a living body to do that.
And why is that important?   Being on Earth?  Hmm.  To fulfill my spiritual purpose.  And that’s connecting with the Creator God Goddess, the nameless energy of all that is.

Gratitude Celebration 12: Generosity and Persistence

Generosity and persistence are my brother, Tom’s, virtues for which I am thankful. I’m celebrating my 60th birthday with 60 days of gratitude for people in my life. Enjoy! Please comment with your own stories, and feel free to read previous and subsequent essays.

Today’s gratitude goes to my brother Tom for his =&0=&. What I’ve noticed about Tom is that he insists on making sure that people have what they need. He goes out of his way to help people. He did that for me when I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. My trip started close to San Diego where he lives. Tom, and his wife, Mary, invited me and my hiking partner to stay at their house for our last few days of preparation. Tom opened his workshop to create a special mailing tube to send our food canister when we needed it.

=&1=& for the ADZPCTKO, which is the abbreviation for Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off, the 4-day camping gathering for PCT hikers. His support didn’t end there, either! He went out of his way at least four other times to support us on our long journey.

Tom and Mary came all the way from =&2=& to bring us our change of gear as we left the desert and entered the Sierra Nevada Mountains. For me, it was the closest we could come to “going home” while still being on the trail. They brought the comforts of a resupply at home out to us in the wild – our gear, sumptuous and ample food, and family.

There were other times that I remember Tom being a generous provider.  During the family’s visit to Idaho for our niece, Naomi’s, memorial, Tom coordinated and supplied a meal for all of us.

He traveled to Ohio to build a 25-ft ramp for my dad to get out into the back yard during his long degeneration.

And he gave my son, David a leg up by hosting him and giving him a job in his own construction company for three months. It was hard work for David and gave him a taste for figuring out what to do in his own life. It meant other things to him as well. When I oicjed him up at the train station at the end of his journey he said, “Well, I’m not afraid of life anymore and I appreciate my parents”. That was a pretty insightful statement from a twenty-year-old

I believe =&3=&had early roots as well. I may have this wrong, but wasn’t it Tom who secretly harbored a neighborhood waif, Papine, in our laundry room closet?

I love seeing pictures of Tom’s current recipient of his compassion and generosity. That’s =&4=&, who he pampers and enjoys as only a grandpa can!

Thanks, Tom, for your generosity and compassion. You made my walk through California comfortable and safe!

 

 

Sharing from the Heart Continued

What would I share more of if I’m “COMING FROM THE HEART” without worrying if I’m being judged or if I’ll make money at it? Here are some activities I’ll CHOOSE to share more starting today:

  • Stories about walking the Benton MacKaye Trail
  • Satori Games. Playing has been on sabbatical
  • Walks open to others
  • Thirteen Steps to Radical Forgiveness calls

What’s in my way is worrying that I can’t schedule them while I’m out on the trail because I can’t guarantee connectivity. Well, here’s a possibility:  What if the calls happened anyway even if I weren’t there?!!!!!

Here’s to sharing “carelessly”!

What might YOU share if you weren’t worried about how it turned out?  If you knew you couldn’t fail?

Please comment!

In joy,

Regina

Hiking Memories: Four Seasons

=&0=&

=&1=&

=&2=&

=&3=&BMTSouthbound – June, 2009; October, 2009; January, 2013
BMTNorthbound- April, 2010
BMT Davenport Gap to Beech Gap, January, 2010

Links: Photos, Journals, Reflections, Slide shows

http://www.trailjournals.com/mssnglnk     Pictures galore in many trail journals
https://forgivenesswalks.com/newsletter-archives/   Words for Winter Walking series

https://forgivenesswalks.com/benton-mackaye-trail/    First Winter Walk and Spring Walk slide shows

https://forgivenesswalks.com/benton-mackaye-trail-winter-thru-hike/   Second Winter Walk slide show

https://forgivenesswalks.com/free-resources/fabulous-foods-for-backpacking/  Upcoming Foods Course

 

 

 

=&4=&=&5=&

It’s milepost 119 from the northern terminus of the Benton MacKaye Trail.

The six men in the BMTA Fall Backpack Trip party keep their pace stepping over  the two small streams there. They keep chatting as their feet land firmly on the flat triangle of earth between the streams.  In just seconds, they’re stepping up the steep bank and heading south on the trail, bound for the night’s camp at Cold Spring Gap.

“But wait!” I call. “This was my Winter Camp! I thought I could have DIED here!”

No one heard me as I alone halted at this unremarkable spot. The Fall foliage and dark Earth blended pleasantly with the gently rushing streams with no fanfare. My mind was rushing though as I relived the memory of my first winter walk. I had camped here two years earlier as snow fell, choosing a site with a water source and a surprise phone signal.

The snow fell through the night and morning revealed a world of white.  Wrapped up in my sleeping bag, peeking out under the edges of my tarp, I questioned my preparedness to go on alone in this deep snow, past the Cherohala Skyway into “The Heart of Darkness”, the ominous name for the remote 10-mile section of the BMT along the North Carolina/Tennessee state line.

Delighted with the beauty of the snowy woods, I was satisfied with the plan I had been able to make with Brenda Harris, a BMT friend who lived nearby, to pick me up at Beech Gap, about 4 miles south, the next morning. “You’ll have to wait until they open up the road,” she had said.

Benton MacKaye Trail Winter Thru-Hike Slide Show!

Regina, founder of Forgiveness Walks, completed the 300-mile Benton MacKaye Trail during a walk in January, 2013. Follow her journey, photographed by John Lemberg in slides and music.

Please comment below!

Take your own journey!
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