Skip to main content

Five Steps to Happiness - The Glorious Table

I fight the urge to hyperventilate as we get close to the trailhead. I wish the cause was adrenaline and excitement, but that’s not the problem. Self-recrimination runs wild. How could I do this to myself again? What was I thinking when I said another yes to this kind of trip? Did I forget that I’m not in my twenties anymore? I take deep breaths and force a tremulous smile as we disembark from the van and I’m quickly thrust into the role of experienced, calm hiker with our group.
I zip my comfortable flip-flops into my pack with my other thirty pounds of essential supplies, slather myself with 100 percent Deet, and lace up my hikers. There’s no turning back now. The only question is how much happiness I’ll be able to wrestle out of the climb. The first section is always the hardest, I tell myself. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, taking one more step and then one more.The hot sandy trail leads through streams and slowly slants uphill, becoming rocky. As I take what must be the 18,209th step, I draw in another deep breath, look up, and pause to fully soak in the beauty around me. The snowy peaks of the Wind River Mountains rise above the trees on either side of me. My heart swells as I hear birds chirping, and I feel the soft breeze on my skin. All this must have been here as I was trudging along, but I hadn’t noticed until I looked up. Only 18,209 steps could bring me to this beautiful place near the Continental Divide, where purple flowers push themselves out of rocky cracks. Only a change in my gaze could allow me to see the flowers and the mountains instead of just the ground at my feet. Only a change of my gaze could bring happiness.


Every single day of my life is like that. Moments happen. Circumstances swirl out of my control. My feet get wet, I have miles left to go, and the load is heavy. But often, at those very same moments, birds are singing, a warm breeze is softly touching my skin, and a view I forgot to notice is before me. The simplest path to happiness most often requires only a shift of my eyes. When I apply the lessons of the Wyoming wilderness, I’m surprised by how much happiness lives in each of my routine, everyday moments. Hop on over to The Glorious Table to read the five steps to happiness I learned in the Wyoming wilderness.
Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What You Need, When You Need It - The Glorious Table

We ate steak at the fanciest place in town, me and my sister, our husbands, and our parents. Around the table, we joined Mom’s reminiscing. We retold our favorite stories of family vacations and holidays. We revealed some silly childhood secrets. And we listened to Mom’s stories from fifty years she and Dad spent together. One of our favorite stories is of the birthday Mom expected a diamond ring but went home from their swanky dinner with a shiny new set of hot rollers. Whenever Mom tells that story, instead of making fun of Dad for his slow-moving ways, she praises his serious, methodical decision making. She points to it as proof of his dependability. My mom told stories. I told stories. My sister told stories. Even our husbands had memories to share. We retold some of the stories Dad put on paper in his journal for us. The thing we missed most was Dad’s voice in the storytelling. Rather than telling the stories himself, he locked eyes on the teller and responded, “By golly, that ha

How to Be OK When You’re in a Funk - The Glorious Table

My favorite jeans are starting to cut into my waist in an uncomfortable way. The grocery order keeps getting delayed when we’re already out of milk. The dog has gotten into the trash again. My kids carry individual sadnesses I can’t fix for them. It’s rainy and cold. My hip aches at night sometimes. People I thought were dependable turn out not to be. I’ve turned out to be not as dependable as I thought I was. My dad is sick. I suddenly need reading glasses for the fine print. It’s impossible to predict which of these disappointments will have the power to push me into a full-on funk. I have days that feel so full of hope and possibility that I have the juice to face the big stuff with faith and trust. Other days start out already negative, so even good things feel bad. Funks and feelings don’t submit to the scientific method. They often multiply uncertainties and disappointments until the weight of dark clouds feels too heavy for my one set of shoulders to bear. I have a feeling that

Fear - You're Not the Boss of Me Anymore! - Part 1

I had a recurring nightmare as a child. It woke me in the middle of the night and kept me awake worrying about whether it would fill my mind as soon as I closed my eyes. I thought I would outgrow it. I hoped my adult brain would be able to see things my child’s brain couldn’t and I would be free. Instead, a panicky fear of my Dad dying followed me into marriage and parenting. I’m 49 years old and until recently, the nightmare still showed up in various forms. This year my beloved Daddy died. I watched him take his last breath in front of me and imagined him arriving with the next in heaven. My whole life I’ve been clenched up around the fear that watching him die might break something inside of me and I couldn’t survive.  It didn’t happen. I’m more okay than I ever thought possible. My dad isn’t living anymore, he’s not here on earth for me to talk to or touch and I’m sitting upright and in my right mind. Today I’m amazed at my okayness. Finally being free of this fear I’ve lived with