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October 15, 2023

As Part 2 of my Himalayan adventure, we embarked on a short but spectacular 4 day trip to discover the tallest mountain in the world, Everest, right on the border between Nepal and Tibet. Trekking to Everest Base Camp is not on my life experience list, but I really wanted to see the mythical mountain first hand.  

The start of this Everest journey was a little rocky, with delays due to weather, helicopters diverted for mountain rescue, a helicopter crash (not ours thankfully!), illness, and a few other unexpected complications.  I had to dig into my repertoire of tools to let go of the frustration of these setbacks to to simply embrace the journey as it was unfolding, obstacles and all.

We finally made it up to our destination, Everest View Hotel.  And the next day, we took a helicopter for a bird’s eye view of Sagarmatha National Park, home to dramatic mountains, glaciers and valleys, rare flora and fauna, and the unique Sherpa culture.  We had an extraordinary 360º view of the mountains, including Mount Everest (8,848M) and Lhotse (8,516M, 4th highest peak in the world). You can’t get much higher than this except by summiting the peaks!  We were literally on top of the world!  And it's truly magnificent, breath-taking, inspiring.
Nepal is home to 8 of the 10 tallest mountains in the world. And of course Mount Everest is the tallest. The Tibetan name for Mount Everest is Chomolungma which means Goddess Mother of the World. The Nepali name is Sagarmatha, which means Goddess of the Sky. It’s most certainly the mother of all mountains with an inherent quality of divinity. Just to see it and to be within a few kilometres is an exhilarating yet humbling experience.  This majestic mountain feels like a connection point with the entire universe and also connection with my higher self as I embark on this extraordinary journey.

We had a taste of trekking, down the valley for two days with our guide and our porter, following the Milk River which begins at the Khumbu Glacier on the flanks of Mount Everest. Extraordinary!

One of the most difficult jobs I’ve had was described to me as “like climbing the North Face of Everest without an ice axe”.  Meaning almost impossible to succeed.  At least they told me this before I took the job.  I took it.  It turned out to be true.  I’ve faced many obstacles, big and small, on my journey.

Every journey that is worthwhile will bring difficult challenges and many obstacles. Finding your way through the obstacles is a beautiful and sometimes frustrating dance.  You will often find yourself far outside of your comfort zone, and there will always be a new skill to master. This part of the journey might be difficult, but it will be extraordinarily enriching and rewarding.  This is where the real learning happens.  Here are some TIPS to stay positive as you figure things out and move through any obstacles:

  • Stay grounded and focused and remember…you can do this!  
  • Learn to shift your perspective, to look at things differently in order to find the solution.
  • Be flexible and open, because new and better ideas may be the result of the challenge.
  • Be patient, persevere, never give up.
  • Trust yourself, trust the process, trust that the right people will come along when you need them, trust that the Universe is there to support you.

Mindfulness practices can help will all this.  In fact mindfulness is one of the most valuable tools you can take with you on any journey.

Mindfulness is paying attention to all of our experiences (inward and outward), in the present moment, with kindness, curiosity, and without judgement.  It means paying attention to our body sensations, our thoughts, feelings and our experiences without believing they are right or wrong, good or bad.  They just ARE.  
By paying attention in this way, we can develop a better sense of awareness of what is happening in our own minds (i.e. our perceptions, thought patterns, reactions) as well as a better understanding and connection to the world around us. This helps us to shift our perspective, to SEE THINGS DIFFERENTLY, and to transform the way we think, feel and act.

Here are some mindfulness practices to help you SEE THINGS DIFFERENTLY:

  1. Listening meditation - This is one of my favourite ways to practice mindfulness meditation is also a wonderful way to memorize and embody the places I visit.  It’s a sensorial meditation.  Click HERE to learn how.
  2. Breath awareness meditation - There are many ways to practice mindfulness including meditation, mindful movement (yoga, qi cong, tai chi), mindful eating, body scan, walking meditation. Breath awareness is one of the core mindfulness practices. Learn more, and try this easy guided mindfulness meditation to help you to stay grounded and steady as you are embarking on this journey into the unknown.  Click HEREto access it.
  3. Fun ways to see things differently - Mindfulness truly helps us to see things differently.  Click HERE to discover 7 fun ways to practice mindfulness.

Mountains may be symbols for big obstacles we must overcome.  And it’s quite true that climbing a real mountain can be very daunting, exhausting, feel like it’s never going to end.  But the view from the summit is spectacular and inspiring.  As I contemplate Mount Everest today, I see mountains as a symbol of the strength, courage and perseverance it takes for each of us to conquer anything that stands in our way towards our purpose, towards living the best life we can.  And now I know that the Mother Goddess of the World is always there to support us.



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