Thru-hiking is a transformational experience.
Ask any hiker.
Spend a chunk of time on a long trail and the hiker returns to “real life” a different person, whether they were seeking that change or not.
Long distance hiking is a crash course in personal growth. With endless opportunities to remind yourself of the "essential truth" of your life.
And, as luck would have it, it comes with body odor, epic views and endless vats of pasta sides.
Becoming an Intentional Hiker
I’ve been thinking a lot about how to make the transformational journey of a long distance hike more intentional.
What if we woke up each day on the trail knowing we had a new beginning, a new opportunity to rediscover the sacred?
What if each step along the way is a tool for discovering our essential truth? For rediscovering what we hold sacred in life?
What if we choose to follow the thread of what reveals itself to us along the way and, in following that thread wherever it leads, choose to participate fully in what our soul wants to get out of our journey and our life?
What if we allowed our deep soul life to unfold, to be revealed step by step, and we actually embraced it, no matter where it leads or how weird and messy and improbable it seems to our rational selves?
What if we paid more attention to the things that make our hearts turn cartwheels with glee and did those things?
What if we could harness the transformational power of long distance hiking, while we hike, and harness the full potential that spending a month or more on a trail has to help us access and live the life our soul craves?
And, having discovered that deep soul life, what if we could leave the trail and bring our new curious, inquisitive, rebellious, self-sufficient selves back to “real life?”
My wayfinder friend Angie says, "The world desperately needs people who have come alive."
I know from my own experience that a long distance hike has the power to make us come alive.
This year, while I hike, I plan to be more intentional in making this happen. And to share some of that journey and many of the tools of the Intentional Hiker.
Lace up your trail shoes and watch this space.
Get ready to come alive.