What happens when you drop a stone lover (that would be me) in a place like Tecate, Mexico? I was overwhelmed, but in a good way, by all the beauty surrounding this incredibly sacred area of Mexico. From the time we left the border and started the uphill ride to Tecate, there were humongous boulders imbedded in and throughout the hills. I’d never seen anything like it.
Once we arrived at The Ranch (Rancho La Puerta) I realized I’d be able to see Mt. Kuchumaa from anywhere on The Ranch, like a guardian angel it seemed to be watching us as well. Every morning there were several scheduled hikes up the mountain. Each hike is based on level of experience and ability. By my third day at The Ranch I felt rested enough to make the commitment to be up and out by 6:00 a.m. I chose the Coyote Hike. I didn’t realize that the Coyote Hike is considered an advanced hike, I just chose based on the mileage. There are two, four, five and seven mile hikes. I thought a four mile hike would be modest, a breeze.
Half way up the mountain I was breathing so intensely and my heart was pounding so hard that I decided to stop to catch my breath. When I did, I felt sick, nauseated. But thank goodness, that feeling quickly passed and when it did, I decided to change my perspective. I was lagging behind big time, actually the last one of my group; everyone else was way ahead of me. My ego jumped up asking, “how can this be, me being last?” At that moment I decided to put my ego in check and instead of rushing to catch up, I would instead go at a pace that suited my body, practicing the old adage that states, “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.” I realized I could do this. I just had to do so at my own speed. Check out my stats calculated that day 17.2 miles, 17, 093 steps, 44 floors!!!
On the hikes there is a guide at the front leading and setting the pace for the advanced hikers, a guide at the middle and a guide at the very end who is called a shepherd, for the stragglers. To my shock and awe, I was the lone straggler!!! I’m in shape, how could this be? But I went from being a straggler to being happy in the moment. I started taking photos in an attempt to capture some of that beauty and having meaningful conversations with Roman (pronounced Rrrrrroman).
We laughed and took in the majesty of the mountain and my pace naturally increased. As we ascended the mountain, I felt no less accomplished. That hike offered my heart and lungs a good workout. Instead of being distressed, I found peace in the position I found myself and embraced its lesson, observed more beauty, and gained acceptance of what was.
As one reared in the South, I’ve always enjoyed walking and have been longing to take my walking to the next level, not by jogging (been there done that in my 20s and my knees still remember it) but by climbing, and hiking. Brooklyn is rather flat and so the opportunity to climb is not that available. This hike was just what I’d been longing for. It was a soul-filled experience to be in this peaceful place, to see the mountains in the early morning seemingly floating in the clouds, the ones in the far distance looked like water paintings, mirages.
I was excited to be around these grand, natural structures ~ steady, solid, stable ~ not moved by anything and offering a feeling of groundedness, solidity, steadfastness and calm. This is why I chose to have our beaded, stone bracelets photographed on larger stones; because they are of the same elements that complement one another.
Check out our stones and see which ones speak to you. And if you know of any great hiking areas in and around the New York area, please let me know. I’m willing to travel by car 100 miles from Brooklyn for a great hike.
Tadasana / Mountain Pose is the foundation for all standing yoga poses and
is also one of the four qualities for happiness in Thich Nhat Hanh’s “Pebble Meditation”
Mountain Solid ~ Solidity and Stability – Breathing in I see myself as a mountain, breathing out I feel stable, solid. Without solidity you cannot be a happy person. Cultivate stability.