The Mountain Road

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Several years ago my family and I took a trip through Glacier National Park, travelling the “Going to the Sun Road.” The road construction was completed in 1932 – and for the most part it remains consistent with the original design. It is an amazing drive – a glorious mountain road, crossing the continental divide.  I remember the breathtaking beauty of the scenery – but also the breathtaking road that clings to the side of the mountain with steep hairpin turns, no shoulders, sharp drop-offs and ancient roadside barriers. I huddled as far from the roadside edge as I could – eyes closed, knuckles white. Although I don’t know what difference that made – if our car went over the edge – I was along for the ride regardless of where I sat!

I am quite anxious driving on narrow mountain roads – but it is not like I have ever even come close to going over the edge. Nonetheless, the terror and perceived danger overwhelms my reason – and sanity. It is one of the times I readily acknowledge that I give into unrealistic and paralyzing fear.

I give into this fear many other times – I just don’t acknowledge or even identify it. Past, present and future – my fears have dictated and continue to dictate my life path. I have arguments to support the preservation of my fears that would fill an ocean! Right now I have a mountain in my life that is waiting to be conquered – but I am afraid. The next question is, why don’t I just rest at the foot of this mountain and be satisfied with my life just the way it is?

Because I know there is more … and I want to experience it!  Experiencing “the more” of life begins with pushing past ACCEPTED and ACCEPTABLE limitations. Today I feel like I am sitting at the foot of a mountain – and I want to experience the view from the top. So this is what I know about the mountain road I travelled several years ago…

  • Someone had the VISION to traverse that mountain.
  • Someone had the DESIRE to share it with the world.
  • Someone had the COURAGE to tackle the project.
  • Someone had the FORTITUDE to begin breaking the path.
  • Someone had the WILL POWER to push through rock.
  • Someone had the MUSCLE to move the stone.
  • Someone had the PASSION to see it through.
  • Someone CONQUERED fear, doubt – and reason.
  • Someone MADE IT HAPPEN.

I have a mountain that I want to be part of my life. I worry that I may not be courageous enough, or strong enough, or skilled enough … or fearless enough for the journey ahead of me. But here I sit, and I do know that I don’t want to experience the mountain from the bottom. Maybe I will have to carve through the side of the mountain. Maybe I will be a fearful passenger for some part of the journey, or maybe I will choose to take the wheel myself. I am not sure what the road will look like or what it will require of me – but I know I want to travel the road.

I guess that means I better get moving!

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Barricades – Outta My Way

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Last night, I listened to a young man speak about dreams and the self-imposed barricades that keep us from our dreams.  I loved it.  He is young, just beginning the journey of defining his life – and he spoke with heartfelt passion.

His words resonated with me.  It was a huge step for me to begin this blog.  I had a barricade that needed to be taken down.  I knew I had to somehow push words out of my introverted soul.  It was daunting and terrifying.   But I have enjoyed this new-found expression of my voice – and at times I have been surprised by the words that have appeared before me.

I have a friend, who trusted me enough to read me words from her journal one evening.  I encouraged her to be courageous and share her words with the world. Maybe I was cheering her on to do something I was fearful of doing myself.  But I DID believe in her, and her words – and she trusted me.  So she forged ahead!  I bounce up and down with excitement when I hear how her words are reaching out  – EXPANDING – and touching more lives than she ever thought possible.  Tandy – you ROCK!  She pushed past barricades – and is enjoying the fullness of living ON PURPOSE.

The words I write are not the same as what my friend pens.  My words reflect a different purpose and path – but I share the same JOY with my friend.  It is the joy of stepping out of my comfort zone and taking a chance.  When I began writing – I was afraid. But I kept hearing “take the step – just take the step….”  It was like stepping off a cliff!

I think our hearts know the path we should take in our lives.  I believe my heart has always held the truth.  But I have erected barricades to keep me safe.  I have viewed previous failures as proof of my inadequacy rather than opportunities to learn.  I have listened to my fears about the risk of failing.  I acquiesced to the voice whispering, “what will people think?”

The barricades I placed in my life have kept my heart imprisoned.  To follow my dreams and my purpose, has meant – and CONTINUES to mean – taking risks, being vulnerable, and being open to unexpected new directions.  In the past I would have said it meant being willing to accept failure.  But really, what is failure?  Maybe it is just an opportunity to do something different.   I used to believe that success was the absence of failure.  But I have changed my perception.

For me, success is pushing through the barricades.  It is being committed to an ongoing pursuit of dreams.  It is letting my heart express its purpose – and touching hearts along the way.  Success is being committed to THE PROCESS – taking another step!

I am in a time of transition in my many areas of my life.  At one point – not so long ago – the thought of “the next step” would have filled me with paralyzing dread.  But I am learning to embrace the rush, and the uncertain tremble inside.  The next step is calling – woohoo! Here I go!

As for my friend who inspires me so …. here is a link to her blog  timewithtandy.com