On Saturday I set out with some mates to climb Mount Beerwah. The highest of the Glasshouse Mountains on the Sunshine Coast. I set myself a personal goal this year to climb ALL the Glasshouse Mountains, it's the middle of the year and I've only ticked one off the list. So, when a friend invited for an early morning climb I jumped at the opportunity! Well, actually I passed, promising myself I'd do it in a few weeks (taking procrastination to a new level!). After politely declining, I got my shit together and locked myself in... already high-fiving myself for ticking off two of the mountains on my hit list.
Our party-of-three arrived at the base of Mount Beerwah around 7:30am. My friend had pre-warned me that climbing Mt Beerwah was different to my usual Noosa National Park walks and mountain hikes. And he wasn't kidding. As I approached the beautiful mother of a mountain (in aboriginal culture it's referred to as 'the pregnant mother') I was amazed that the beginning of the track was a vertical wall. As I looked around for a leisurely horizontal track, my mates assured me that this was our way up. Keen to give it a red hot go I attached my body to the rock; officially off ground level, woo! I put all effort in to searching for the next hand and foot holes, playing wonder woman mantra's in my head. "I'll prove myself, I'm strong, I can do this by myself, I don't need the boys to help me, failure's not an option...." The motivational tracks on repeat. Within minutes my wonder woman strategy had me high enough off the ground that I was well aware I was at the point of no return. I was high. Yep, I was high and... I was stuck. The fear washed over me. Wonder woman left the building. I couldn't move up, I couldn't move down. My friend called out "Jen, are you ok? Do you need help? " And I responded with a fake confidence of "yep, all good, just need a moment." No weakness here!
In reality I was on the verge of a panic attack, tears welling, fear increasing, heart racing and well aware that I wasn't in a position (hanging off a great mother of a mountain) to lose it. So I stayed still. Breathe against the rock. Body against the rock. Praying that I wouldn't fall. Praying that I could be anywhere but here. Praying and promising that If I can get off this mountain safely I'll never put myself in this position again.
Have you ever done that? Got yourself too far from your delicious comfort zone and just wanted to bail! Sorry, I'm not made for this. Who was I, trying to be brave? You got the wrong girl. Home please! Ha!
That was me on that rock, and given that I was too fearful to move, I was getting comfortable with the fact that this is me now. This is home, stuck for the rest of my years on the first 50 metres of Mount Beerwah. Once I came back to the reality of somehow climbing back down to the ground. I heard an internal whisper, "It's ok to quit this mountain, it's ok. It's ok to quit this. You've already challenged yourself. You have nothing to prove. You can be proud that you came this far. You don't need to reach the top to be proud". As I listened to the whisper, I felt the relief wash over me, I believed the whisper. Ok, I don't need to be wonder woman in this. Big exhale. Aaahhhh. The panic slowing leaving me. Yes, I have nothing to prove. I do not have to put myself through panic attacks and physical danger to get to the top of Mt Beerwah to impress anyone or for some badge of honour.
In that moment of release I felt a body next to me. A man. A stranger. He placed his body near mine on the rock and asked me if I was ok and if I'd like help. Noticing my state. He coached me. He showed me how to feel confident in my body and how to move with the mountain. He coached me on how to create peaceful energy on the mountain and trust the rock beneath my hands and feet. He and my friend then assisted me out of my position and further up the mountain. Even physically securing my feet to make me feel safe. With that lift, support and encouragement I moved my position and climbed another few metres up the rock. The mountain warrior (aka man stranger) then bounced away at great speed up the mountain.
What happened is a miracle. A miracle of kindness. The kindness of a stranger. A man that runs Mount Beerwah multiple times a day, up and down he goes. With a spring in his step and a smile on his face. He slowed down and he stopped for me. Just to help me.
I didn't quit the mountain (although I could have), his kindness teamed with my ability to accept help meant I kept climbing in faith. Faith that I could do it. Faith that I would stop if I needed to. Faith that I would accept help, from my friend or strangers. Faith that this wasn't an ego trip but a soul experience.
My friend and I continued to climb and we were embraced by more strangers, a women around my age and a man in his 50s/60s who were helping some first time climbers. They offered to take us to the top with them and cheered me on the whole way. The climb continued to be difficult for me but it from there always felt possible because I wasn't doing it alone.
I proudly made it to the summit and it was divine. The air up there was clean and fresh and the energy is high. And I'm happy to report I am no longer on that mountain, the decent had it's own challenges and I there was an abundance of kind strangers on the way down (and a fabulous view!).
I learned from this experience that in order to reach new heights and get to the awesome highs in life we need people around us. We need a tribe, in fact it actually feels better doing it with people. I learned that it is powerful to accept help and kindness from people (even strangers). I learned that our prayers will be answered in unexpected ways and that the higher power knows what you're truly capable of and will provide you with what you need for that journey.
Pay attention and notice the miracles. Notice the little moments when God is reaching out to you. Notice the miracle of kindness, it just might be the lifeline you need.
What area/s of your life have you been trying to do it all by yourself?
How can you get ask for help or allow others to support you?
Who can you feel in your life is struggling?
How can you be the miracle of kindness for them?