Some very cool things happened on yesterday’s hike in the Adirondack High Peaks…
First, to do one of these hikes, well… it takes some doing. It means getting up at 5 AM or so after organizing and packing your gear the night before, and then driving a couple hours north. And then, you gotta hike the dang thing and none of the High Peaks are cakewalks. Sometimes they can be a real slog, challenging your mind, body, and heart, but in the end they all end up being adventures… That’s the allure.
So shortly before reaching our destination for the day, we stopped off at the lone Stewart’s convenience store for a few supplies. On my way in, a man sitting outside in the morning sunlight caught my eye. I thought I knew him.
On my way out I asked his name, and sure enough it was him — one of my favorite authors. I don’t think he gets recognized much and he seemed to light up as I expressed my appreciation for his work. Catching him in his element, deep in the north country, enjoying a quiet cup of coffee and a morning cigarette, well, it was a very cool moment for me on a lot of levels I struggle to put into words.
The best way I can express the feeling it is that I knew this moment was created for ME. And I knew I created the moment. The times when I recognize my life unfolding for me like this? I just feel wave after wave of the goodness of life… Spine-tingling goodness.
So we preceded to our hike which was filled with pumping hearts, sweat, mud, and good conversation. There are 46 High Peaks in New York (mountains over 4000 ft) and to be a “46er” you need to climb them all. Today’s hike was about knocking off a couple unsexy peaks that offer no rewarding views at the top. As the saying goes, you climb it because it’s there. That, and the whole adventure thing…
Near the beginning of this hike there’s a brook that requires crossing, and on a previous attempt in late fall, the water was too fast, deep, and cold for us to cross anywhere, and we had to turn back. So this day, I packed my trusty old pair of Crocs along if I needed to change out of my boots. Turned out that they weren’t necessary as the brook in summer ran brook was low and we crossed easily, but ya gotta be prepared.
As we reached the top of the mountain, we met up with with a father and his three young sons. Distinctly American, everyone had blonde hair, bright eyes, and wide smiles. I offered to take their photo under the summit sign and we congratulated the boys for their efforts. They just had a very pleasant energy about them and when our party descended at a faster pace and we passed them, we wished them well.
As we neared the end of the 9 miles for the day, I began to think how good it was going to feel to put those ugly, comfy Crocs on my feet. Bringing up the rear of our quartet, I reflexively patted the webbed pockets of my backpack to check on my shoes.
Ugh. One was missing, who knows where on the trail. There was no thought of going back (these are supremely ugly shoes), but I felt reluctant to give up. While I admit having an emotional attachment to these Crocs (we’ve been through a lot over the years), there was something else going on. I hold the intention “I don’t lose things” pretty powerfully in my life and so I never lose things. I misplace things like my wallet all the time, but my stuff always finds its way back to me.
So as we completed the hike, I thought of the father and his sons coming down behind us. I decided they would have my shoe, so I sat by Heart Lake and waited for them to finish their descent. A teenage girl (whom we’d crossed paths with on the trail, hiking with a different party) came by first. I asked her if she’d seen my shoe, but I already knew the answer having caught her vibe from the trail. She likely would not have noticed it and if she did, I doubt she would have thought to pick it up. I’d been waiting for 15 minutes and that was enough. Time to give up and move on.
While changing into dry clothes at my truck, the dad and his boys appeared about a hundred yards away. I walked toward them and the dad pointed to me. Sure enough, one of the boys held the ratty shoe I’m wearing as I type this, just as I knew he would be. I shook the boy’s hand, thanked him on behalf of my feet, and rewarded him with some delicious ginger snaps my friend Jeanne shared with me.
While I am happy to have my shoe, the thrill of retrieving it had little to do with the shoe. The power of the experience was getting to see my intention unfold according to my direction. I know of no greater high in this life better that recognizing your power as a deliberate creator. (So it follows that this is what I’ve spend the last 15 years studying and teaching.)
Finally, when I got home and checked my e-mail, hey, cool! I’d created $1500 during the day. I didn’t work for the money. I didn’t earn it. I didn’t figure out how to get it… I created the money. It was there because I wanted it to be there… just like my encounter with the writer, just like my shoe.
It’s a fun way to live.
And it all keeps getting better and better.
But it’s not luck. It’s not random. And it’s not magic.
Seeing your intentions manifest is the result of having a clear philosophy + focus + practice.
Like climbing a mountain, deliberately living into the Law of Creation is a great adventure. In fact, I think it’s the greatest adventure life has to offer.
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