I woke up pretty early this morning to climb 500 steps to reach what I’ve been told was an amazing viewpoint.
My traveling companion was stoked about the hike up and I was a bit lukewarm about it. But listen, I have a big ego and my ego was like, ‘Bish, get up the stairs and prove you can do it and take pictures for proof.’ But let me be honest, I was not physically ready to climb that many stairs or partake in that journey.
So I woke up, at 645 am after a rough night of sleep to make the climb. We first came across this beautiful field of open lotus flowers at the base. If you know anything about lotus flowers, they only open in the early morning. And it would seem, that they were putting on a show just for me. So, there I was looking at this spectacular field of lotus flowers and pads and the misty dew on the mountains in front of me while psyching myself out for the journey up. Truth be told, a journey I really wasn’t looking forward to because I personally hate stairs, but one I was going to do because I wanted to be a good travel companion and, well, prove a point, to my ego.
A little back story so that you understand why it was or used to be important for me to prove a point to my ego. I am quite competitive. Not with others, but with myself. I always feel that, if I am not out doing myself or my previous accomplishments then I am failing. But, while at Shri Kali Ashram, it was instilled in us to drop all competition, including with ourselves.
With that being said, when we arrived at the base of the stairs, I put on João Gilberto to motivate myself for the journey. I made it up 30 steps, then stopped to catch my breath. When I looked up at my friend, she was snapping a picture of me taking a breath and I really wanted to keep going at that point because according to my ego, ‘I ain’t no punk.’ Instead, I took a beat, took a breath, and said, ‘I’ll meet you when you come back down.’ I then turned around and walked back down those thirty steps to go enjoy the field of lotus flowers before they closed again.
It was at that moment I had an epiphany that this was not my journey. I don’t believe that our journeys are meant to necessarily be easy, but I do believe that we are not meant to torment ourselves for something that is not for us or that the Universe didn’t prepare us for.
I started to understand why I’ve always felt like an imposter in life for the last two decades. It is because I HAVE been an imposter. I’ve been consistently misrepresenting myself by either living my version of someone else’s life or living someone else’s version of my life. And occasionally, feeling the twinge of jealousy that other’s lives seemed more amazing than my own or that mine was flat and sporadic.
Saying, ‘No, this isn’t for me,’ at that moment this morning, was one of the many times in the last few months, I’ve honored myself, by choosing my path and it felt good. It felt good, that I didn’t allow myself to get talked into doing something that I KNEW wasn’t for me.
My companion came down with beautiful pictures of the view from the top and her story of inner stillness and joy of the view and I was genuinely happy for her experience. And I, too, had beautiful pictures of my view from the bottom, and I was genuinely excited about my experience. It was a rare moment that I didn’t have any regrets or feelings of jealousy because I didn’t join someone on their journey because it seemed more amazing than my own. Nor did I feel as if I missed out on anything. Instead, I allowed myself not to detour from my own path and just enjoyed it.
It has been refreshing the last few years rediscovering myself while learning that some journeys are not mine to take. And that living the best version of my life, is what makes the view spectacular.