#186: Yes is the First Step
I'm taking a personal walk next week in the UK Channel Islands.
Tomorrow I’m leaving for a full week of walking on the English Channel Islands of Jersey, Guernsey, and Sark. This journey began last year when a long time pie student shared with me that her dad has been leading pilgrimage walks for years as part of Core Gift Institute, a program that he developed to help folks “discover and follow their unique and purposeful path in life.”
Pilgrimage? Purpose? Walk? My ears perked right up. I asked for more information. Pilgrimages are week long walking tours in beautiful places with small groups. The pace is a leisurely one—2 to 2.5 miles an hour and in the evenings everyone gathers for a sharing time. This sounded more than just interesting. It sounded like an experience I would love. But for me more research was needed. I met her dad (and the rest of her family, too), asked lots of questions, all the while continuing to hear my inner voice saying, Yes.
I looked at my calendar. It was clear. I looked at my savings account. There was enough. And so I said,Yes.
Saying Yes is the easy part, but it’s also a little scary as, until I’m actually on the path I have no real idea of what’s to come. I know I’ll be walking in places I’ve never been before, seeing beautiful vistas, meeting new people, and learning about myself. It’s also an opportunity to leave my expectations behind and look towards what saying Yes may bring, even if that takes me out of my comfort zone.
I took a deep breath when I put down the trip deposit and bought myself a plane ticket. Then I looked over my travel gear to see that I have most everything I need and what I didn’t have—walking sticks and light-weight daypack— have been loaned to me. With each task checked off the list, Yes was becoming more real and I could feel myself committing more deeply to stretching my wings.
A Setback or Step on the Way
Then unexpectedly I tweaked my back out…badly…and hobbled through the ER doors at my local hospital which I wrote about in July.
Set backs are all part of a journey. I was also thinking,
What does this mean?
Will I be able to go?
Am I still hearing, Yes?
To get to my goal, I needed to rest, recuperate, and then slowly take some first steps to test the waters. I had registered for a 35-mile bike-ride through the lavender fields and offered my place to another. Over the last six weeks I have taken slow walks to build back up to 4-5 miles at a stretch. Now that YES is loud and clear and I feel ready to go.
On the Road to Find Out
Learning is why we’re here, right? When I close my eyes, I see a door that is waiting for me to push open and walk through. I honestly have no idea what I will find when I do, but my affirmation is to be open to everyone and everything along the way…including myself.
You Come, Too!
At the Women’s March in January 2017 in Seattle, there were people who weren’t able to attend that day so I carried their names with me on a piece of paper. I would like to do that again on this walk. If you would like me to carry your name with me, let me know in the comments and I’ll place your name on a list and tuck it in my daypack.
When Will I Be Back?
While I’m walking, I’ll be taking a newsletter sabbatical and, when I return in mid-September, I look forward to sharing photos and stories with you. It will be time to bring in and process the tomato harvest and plant next year’s garlic crop then, too. And if you would, please hold me and all those who travel in safety.
See you later!
Recipe for the Road: Oatcakes and Follow the Directions
Oatcakes are good for the road and for the soul. I’ve opened up this recipe for everyone to enjoy plus a humorous take on what happens when you don’t follow the directions.
Song for The Way
May the Longtime Sun Shine Upon You
I love this version by Amrit Kirtan.
Here’s the link to September’s Kindness Calendar for you to download.
Be sure to say Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit before you get out of bed tomorrow morning for good luck all month long!