One step at time
- Do you find yourself running around sometimes like a “headless chicken”?
- Do you stress yourself out by overthinking?
- Does it seem like you are not in control of your life?
If you answered yes to the questions above, you will definitely relate to a story about my recent trek to a mountaintop, even if you are not a mountaineer.
I climbed “Giewont”, a pick in the Polish Tatra mountains with a characteristic steel cross, marked on the photo below.
Together with a neighboring range, makes an impression of a laying man, widely known as a “Sleeping Knight”.
For me, every trek recalls a life journey, where each step is vital to reach the destination like every moment is essential to have a life. Each trek has got a purpose, requires effort and is worth the pain! Every life is worth fighting for, and each moment to be lived to the fullest!
My trip had three main turning points.
For me, each mountain is inviting you to climb its highest point 😊. I always want to have the sense of achievement. However, it was quite late when I set off for this trek and what’s more, I had to be back at a specific hour.
I doubted I could reach the top, especially because on the way I asked two girls going down how far it was to the mountain pass (40 min. distant from my destination pick). They mentioned half an hour. As per my calculation, I did not have enough time to make the whole circle up and down. Like always though, there was a desire to reach the top, despite the cost.
It was at that very point I stopped …
I took a few deep breaths and started tapping into my consciousness.
I have looked at my thoughts that pushed me to GO-RUSH-RUN-REACH. The usual argument when I want to achieve something, in this case, the pick. Just to please my ego.
… I decided to STOP this flow of thoughts, to CALM my mind. I sat on a rock, started breathing deeply and consciously. With all my senses, intentionally, I started listening to nature, the birds, the trees, I was looking around. I entered the stillness, the presence. I connected with God. I accepted the fact of not reaching the pick, to be praised, admired, to feel good. I just desired to BE, enjoy every moment and be back on time. Once I decided so, I felt peace and joy inside me.
I looked at the watch, it was 3 o’clock, so I reached into my pocket, pulled the rosary out and started praying with the chaplet of Divine Mercy.
… I decided to continue climbing up until I finished the chaplet.
I just got a text message from my cousin, who, the night before, suggested a great website for planning mountain trails. He asked whether I was climbing. I confessed that most likely I would not be able to reach the top which I had already decided to. He climbs mountains too, and he knows what it means to be close and decide to return.
Literally, I started saying the chaplet when the mountain pass, which I had asked about, appeared just in front of me. The trail information indicated “Giewont” 40 min. away. My cousin’s text message motivated me to keep sending him pics documenting my progress.
I kept walking and praying. Hardly a few minutes passed, when I could see the next trail indicating “Giewont” 20 min. away. I could not believe my eyes!
As long as I was pushing myself because of my egoic reasons, I felt stressed. As soon as I decided to be present in the moment, focus on every step, I felt blessed. It seemed that I was climbing but the time stopped or it was like my steps were twice big, although I made one step at a time.
I experienced that the change of focus can make miracles. Making one step at a time, living in the moment, objecting egoistic desires, changed me, changed my journey, I conquered my mind, I grew.
I have reached the top of the mountain, but I knew that is was not only me. I was making one step at a time, but God multiplied every one of them and I felt the sense of achievement because of Him, through Him and in Him. I recalled the quote from the Bible: “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13
When you feel STRESSED, just STOP, like I did. Stop your mind! And go to the ‘now’, just BE. Breathe deeply, close your eyes, listen to the world around you, OR look at the nature, animals, people.
Then, recognize the thoughts that make you stressed. Realize, they are only thoughts. You can control them. If it’s too hard, surrender them to the One who „hast searched me and known me” Psalms 139,1. Enjoy being free and celebrate living the moment.
TRUST in the power of God who can double, triple, and multiply the efforts you make.
I would love to listen to your experiences of changing focus, of deciding to be present and winning the moment. It would be fantastic to hear about those moments which made you grow. I appreciate every comment.
It would be great to see you on Facebook. Join our community (Amazing Catholic Travelers Group) and meet other like-minded travelers who search for deeper spiritual experiences and want to enjoy life to the fullest.
In a short video and my recent blog post, I also compared a step to a moment.