“See the mountain ahead?” Marco asks. Yes, I do. “Look at the very top just below that cloud on the left, do you see that temple?” He guides me towards the cloud as I squint searching for what he wants me to see. Then I find it. “Yes, I see it,” I say. “Well we’re gonna hike up to that temple,” he says. “Sure we will,” I replied sarcastically, thinking he was just pulling my leg. Turns out he wasn’t!
Up we go, a group of 5. Up we go for almost 2 hours! I was the youngest of the lot, at 35, and definitely the most unfit. I was huffin’ and puffin’ all the way. Had to take a few dozen breaks to catch my breath and drink some water and kick myself for accepting the invitation to go on this hike.
Now, just to give you some background information about my fitness level at that specific stage in my life…my idea of climbing was limited to ‘climbing-into-my-sofa-with-a-bowl-of-popcorn’ to watch a movie… my idea of a marathon is watching several CSI or Sex in The City episodes in a row! My workload was too much. I did not have the time to go to the gym or even look at myself in the mirror. I had just gone through a divorce. My mind was not in the right place. The exercise was the last of my priorities. I was basically letting myself go… health-wise.
So this hike was my wake-up call. How could the others–one who was 50–race past me like they were taking a stroll in the park and not this treacherous hike up to the 9th heaven?! Marco would whizz by and say ‘let it go, with every step, shed it and you will feel lighter.
By the time I was optimistically hoping I was closer to the end of this torture session and looking at the view in this picture, I just had it. Poor Randa sat down by some boulder and cried. I cried because I wanted out. I cried because of the shame that I was to go back. I cried because I looked ahead and saw the crack between the 2 mountains that was even higher in altitude. I had no idea how much longer the hike was going to take. I couldn’t see the end. I cried most of all because I was feeling sorry for myself. I was thinking of how pathetic I was. That break to catch my breath was the longest.
‘Let it go, let it go, let it all go’.
Those words kept ringing in my head. I decided to continue the hike. My friends must be at the top of that temple drinking mojitos by now. I had to join them. I decided to push myself and let go of every step.
Let go of my past. Let go of the failed marriage. Let go of long hours of work. Let go of an unrewarding life. Let go of ignoring my body. Let go of an unfit life. Let go of all the negativity and the tears. Let go of what other people think or say. Let it all go.
I was received at the top by a cheering band! I finally got to the friggin’ temple. We stayed there for a while. No mojitos, but they did have some refreshing lemonade-like beverages that I gulped down in 2 seconds. Marco led us through an awesome breathing meditation with sounds that echoed beautifully against the rocks. At that moment… as I was ooing, eeing, and awwwing, I realized that when it gets tough, you need to push through the hardest. And that the pushing can be something as simple as… LETTING GO.
One of the first things I did do though, as soon as I was back in Canada, was to go to the gym almost on a daily basis… oh and yes, I cut down on the popcorn and junk food in front of the TV. In fact, I sold the TV altogether!
What do you need to let go of in your life, that will make you feel tons lighter? What is the wake-up call that you need? What is the mountain hike you need to take?
A few months later, I’m on a spiritual journey … yet another one, this time deeper than I’ve ever gone. All triggered by the fantastic vacation for my heart, mind, body, and soul that I took this past July. This time I’m dealing with deep-rooted issues. Things I wasn’t even aware of and definitely unaware of how they are affecting my present life. I’ve been feeling a shift ever since I came back. Issues that deal mostly with self-worth, how much love I deserve, money, and old beliefs installed in my mind since childhood. Things were wandering about in my subconscious mind… where all the debris of all the shit in my life resides!
Questions roamed my mind with no answers for such a long time. Questions that took me to the land of ‘I’m lost and ‘I don’t know.’ The shift is teaching me to get comfortable in that land. What you resist persists and I no longer want to resist. I’m okay with I don’t know.
Ever since I saw the card set on the chair I picked at the couple’s retreat my ex-husband and I went to, I’ve been digging deeper into its meaning. It said Release & Let Go. I didn’t know what it meant. It took me a couple of years to realize I had to let go of the marriage and embrace being single again in search of love, something I feared. Took another couple of years to realize I had to let go of Canada and embrace the idea of going back to Abu Dhabi, something I feared. I had to let go of my fear of money and embrace starting a new business from scratch, something I feared. And the process is ongoing … the awakening to what else to release and let go of. We fear letting go and we fear jumping into the unknown. It’s like hanging on to the safety of a buoy in the middle of the ocean with all the discomfort of being there instead of swimming till you find land. One is passive (even though it looks like a ton of effort) and the other is active.
My comfort zone is my worst enemy. With every course, experience, or relationship, I keep pushing myself further and further out. And when I don’t push enough, I’m lucky to have great friends who kick me in the ass and challenge me to do more. And more is what I can do.
I’m now at the edge of a cliff and I’m just about to jump from darkness into a blindingly bright light… only I’m hanging by a thin thread that I’ve to let go of, I’m holding on by two fingers only. This is now. It used to be a titanium pole I was handcuffed to. All I have to do is just separate my two fingers and into the light, I go. Funny how awareness and being totally conscious, even at that cliff’s edge, makes it all euphoric. Knowing that I have the power within me to do what I like. It’s being fully aware when I can cherish the moment, the right before and the right after of every moment too… even of the moment of realization of what it truly is that holds me back. With the letting go, comes the tears, comes the mourning, and the shaking off of all that doesn’t serve me anymore.
It can take a minute, a month, or years… it’s totally up to me. I just have to be mindful of the pact that Time and Pain have signed together. You can take all the time you want, but along with time comes pain. So the sooner the better and there’s no better time than NOW.