THE 8 LESSONS I LEARNED ON THE INCA TRAIL
I felt the urge to write about this experience. An experience that totally and utterly changed me. A deeply spiritual and heart-opening journey.
Let me just take you back for a moment a set the scene – this experience on the Inca Trail happened in 2010 before I even started this blog.
My husband and I had both had a dream to visit Machu Picchu and complete the Inca Trail trek in Peru. We decided to take 6 weeks off and travel around South America. The Inca Trail was our first stop.
For those of you that have read my ebook you’ll know that I describe 2009, the year prior to our South America adventure, as being one of the most challenging in my life. A dark year, in fact. I won’t go into the details here but feel free to get my ebook if you want to learn more.
So, 2010, and in particular this trek in Peru, ended up being a life-changing experience and one that really showed the other side of the coin. If 2009 was black, 2010 was white.
Christopher (my husband) and I had both envisioned an amazing experience ‘together’. And for all intents and purposes we did. Nothing quite compares (when it comes to bonding with your partner!) to traveling for four days up to 13,000 ft above sea level with no shower, horrible toilets, battling with altitude and some of the most challenging climbs I’ve ever done.
But, what we hadn’t banked on was how truly personal and deeply spiritual the experience was going to be. We both had very different experiences unfold, despite walking side-by-side.
We egged each other on. Supported each other. Shared words of motivation and inspiration. As we walked there was alot of silence. Talking in high altitude is not a very good idea – you need to conserve your energy. But it was also the sheer, mind-blowing beauty of the mountains we were in. It was so incredible it would bring me to tears, frequently!
In that silence there was alot of deep self-exploration. In fact, the simply act of keep planting one foot in front of the other forced us to face up to alot of different things. We had to dig deep to muster the strength and focus needed, whilst simultaneously experiencing deep shifts.
So what did I learn in the end?
- My connection to my body and breath saved me. I found my yoga practice became the most important skill I had – remaining in the moment, breathing correctly, utilising my physical and mental strength.
- I was also so incredibly overwhelmed by the beauty of mother nature (or Pacha Mamma as they call her in South America) that I developed such a deep respect and appreciation for my LIFE and the lives of everyone I had ever crossed paths with, including a friend (Edgar) who had taken his own life the year before. I found myself, more than once, talking to Edgar on this trek trying to commune with him on the joys of this human life he chose to leave.
- I also found an acceptance for the things in life I cannot control (Edgar’s death being one of them) and felt that, for the first time, I understood the timelessness of time. There is no beginning and end. I finally found peace with his death because I realised he hadn’t left this beautiful earth, he had gone back to being ONE with it.
- Love is so important and vital but more than that, love for myself was my saviour. Chris had his journey and demons and I had mine. We both had to find a pure love for ourselves in order to keep going. It wasn’t the time or place to ‘carry’ the other person, which made me realise how important it is to not ‘carry’ people in my normal life.
- There are no limitations to what we can achieve, we just have to drop deep down into the truth of who we are.
- Who we are is born from and forever part of this ONE universal force. I felt part of the sacred earth earth we walked on, not separate from it
- That we each have a deep connection to the universe and to mother nature, and if we listen in she often has something important to share – I dreamt of snakes every night on my trip and our guide told me that this was a direct call from Pacha Mamma who was personally inviting me to the sacred and ancient site of Machu Picchu and would keep me safe. All I had to do was provide an offering. My uncontrollable tears were the offering she wanted and I was kept safe throughout the whole trek.
In the end the biggest lesson I learned is that, as human beings, we really only have ourselves but that is ok because we are pure power – PURE LOVE – and we have all that we need.
Always remember this. You are complete, just the way you are. You are strong, powerful and all that you’ll ever need exists within you. That doesn’t mean you can’t have love, relationships, friendships, experiences, challenges, projects…. (you get the idea) but within all of that look to yourself first whenever you need strength, or answers, anything! You are whole and perfect as you are.
Love + light to you,
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