A good friend just asked me a question about the religious and spiritual intentions behind my journey… hard to answer.
I believe explorations in human connection through kindness, compassion, and reflection to be spiritual, insofar as how I understand spirituality. I’m generally not a deep believer in an external G#D (other than the mysterious forces that cause the elements to be in or against my favor at various times in the wilderness). Wait. That’s not entirely true. There is another layer out there that I’m working with. There is a belief in an order to things, that there is some force that makes things work out in certain ways, but it’s a loose, vague belief… For the most part the religious and spiritual components of the journey are things I’ve already shared. Working with finding peace, finding a sense of ‘enough’, and sensing who I want to be in this next phase of life. So far I don’t feel like I’m such a different person than who I had been. I am often firmly reminded of how important it is to just say the things you want to share with people, even if they are vulnerable; do the things that I long for so long as they don’t hurt anyone too much (not always easy to determine this). A big theme for right now: The ways in which I have spent much of my life living within a set of limitations that were never tested or confirmed, but just assumed. Like what I can and can’t say to people I’ve just met, what I’m allowed to do with the time I have in a day, week, month, or life.
Example: I was riding through a particularly inspiring stretch of road last week called the Top of the World Highway which connects Alaska to Canada via the highest elevation border crossing into the US. I came to the top of a pass and looked up at a beautiful mountain before me and thought, “I’d love to see what it looks like from the top of that mountain…” I stopped and considered it for a few moments and decided to ride on. It was late. I was tired from already riding 60 miles that day. I needed to find a campsite at some point. I wanted to get to my next destination and I’d planned to cover 80-90 miles that day in order to do it. There might be bears up there. I’d be off the road and off trail and alone, and maybe that was a little scary. I.E. I had lots of reasons why it was not a good idea. So I rode on. HOWEVER, I know that all those reasons for not going were just stories. The truth was that I can manage those dangers, and evaluate them as I hike. It was the Solstice in Alaska… longest day of the year and it doesn’t get dark there AT ALL. I actually had plenty of food and energy to do it and the mountain wasn’t THAT high… Above all else, this is MY journey. I don’t have to be somewhere by a certain time. And ‘going for it’ by doing little things like that, little detours of inspired experience, is part of this journey.
I think I’m actually a little afraid of having the degree of freedom that I yearned for, that I’ve now created. Learning to live into that potential. Learning that I can indeed JUST SAY YES in those moments. So far though I’ve said no more than yes in certain pivotal moments, even on this trip. But the scales are STARTING to shift, slowly. It’s definitely a process.