Walk a Sacred Path #2
How does one find this mystical Sacred Path?
"Who looks outside dreams, who looks within awakens."
In a time already passed I lived in the beautiful Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa on a farm called 'Ekuthuleni' - a place where you may find peace. We used to have WWOOFERS (Willing workers on organic farms) come to volunteer their services and one night myself and two of the wwoofers ended up at a friend's place for dinner and a few drinks.
Our intention had been not to stay late but dinner time soon became late evening and our host, who had brought us to his house in his car, had taken it upon himself to get rather, shall we say, trashed! A dilemma eschewed as midnight approached - how would we get back to Ekuthuleni? Given that he was in no state to drive his car I asked to borrow it and bring it back in the morning but he wanted us to stay - especially since his interest had been taken by one of the wwoofers who happened to be a fit young German backpacker. Needless to say, she wasn't keen at all and wished to get out of there as soon as possible.
What to do? Harsh words followed. By road it was a drive down the ridge where my, by now almost former friend's house was, to the valley below and then along the road deep into the valley to where Ekuthuleni was situated - approximately 15 kilometres - not a short walk at past midnight. No taxis in the Drakensberg either and a general warning to most not to stray out at night for fear a being robbed or mugged.
But there I was with these two young girls - so - off we went out of the house up to the road and within a few short steps away from the security lights we were plunged into darkness so deep that one could not literally see the hand in front of one's face. Navigating the narrow bitumen road was an exercise in feeling for the camber of the bitumen and finding the high point in the middle.
But 15 kilometres?
There was a short cut of course.
The Drakensberg is Zulu country and with cars in short supply there is a network of goat tracks that criss cross the mountains allowing kids to get to school and adults to get to work or visit friends and relatives.
The problem was the short cut went down the side of the mountain directly into the valley below to where Ekuthuleni was - crossing a narrow bridge over the river at the bottom. I'd walked the trail many times during the daytime but never at night.
Faced with a 3 or 4 hour walk on bitumen or a 1 hour walk down the trail we chose the latter.
But who counted on the moon being in its darkest phase and the cloud cover so thick we had to grope our way from boulder to boulder? Who imagined that the various intersections of trails, so innocuous during the daytime, would become such a source of confusion and despair at night? And no torches of course - not even a match or cigarette lighter between us!
So we groped, stumbled, tripped and blundered our way along. Each time we came to an intersection I battled with my inner demons that voiced a thousand and one fears. Courage, calmness and self belief were met head on by fear, doubt and accumulated stories of woe. My resolve was tested most when the young German girl began to cry. I daren't voice my own fears.
"If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you like to win, but think you can't,
It is almost certain you won't.
IF you think you'll lose, you're lost.
For out of the world we find,
Success begins with a fellows will -
It's all in the state of mind."
Walter D. Wintle
I held in my heart the desire to reach the bottom, knowing that regardless of where we came out we would eventually hit the river and then be able to find the bridge. But one last challenge awaited us when we reached the bridge and found that after the last floods all that was left of it was a slippery tree trunk that had to be negotiated on all fours.
And the lesson as we bumbled into Ekuthuleni and fell into our beds physically and emotionally exhausted?
Life is like that trail on the side of the mountain. Sometimes it is so dark, we can't see the way ahead, it is easy to give up and retreat but although harder the road ahead leads to our dreams.
It is easy to fight another, but the real battle, the battle of the Spiritual Warrior - is the battle between the self and the self.
On one side is fear and doubt. On the other courage and love.
To find the Sacred Path we must begin within by finding the deepest love of ourselves and having the courage to speak our truth.
Too much of our current society feeds our fears and encourages us to deny our truth so we can be embraced by what appears to be comfort and safety. But is it really? Are we walking our highest path by denying our truth? Are we creating the World that we truly wish for?
So begin by making a choice. Choose to love yourself unconditionally. Choose to begin to honour yourself by tuning into your deepest inner guidance. Choose to make decisions based on what you feel rather than what you think you should be doing. Choose to have the courage to act. Choose to release your fears and choose to deny those who would wish you to be fearful.
"A human being is part of the whole called by us Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
In peace and love always.