Last weekend, my partner and I along with our two canine companions, enjoyed a gorgeous hike along a coastal trail which we do quite regularly, especially on beautiful days when playing hookey from everyday responsibilities takes precedence. It’s magnificent. Stunning, quiet, and majestic. Our usual hike ends at a lighthouse where we pause for a few moments to fully absorb the breathtaking scenery before heading home.
On this particular day however, I felt the strong inner guidance to “go further”. It wasn’t a voice in my head. It was more like a powerful “pulling” feeling in my body which was interpreted by my mind with those two words – go further. Throughout my lifetime, I’ve learned to never ignore these messages. As a matter of fact, the few occasions where I have regret in my life are the times when I didn’t listen to my intuition. I learned the hard way that the gut (or, in my case, the heart center) is always right – 100% of the time.
There were two significant occasions on this hike where the “go further” pull led me to places I haven’t yet been. The first occasion was near the beginning of the hike where I felt called to walk down a steep slope leading to a rugged rocky outcrop closer to sea level.
When I arrived at the place that felt right, I looked towards the ocean and out popped the head of a curious harbor seal who looked at me as if to say “what took you so long?” I absolutely love harbor seals! They’re so curious, playful, and graceful. I always feel so happy whenever honored by their presence.
We admired one other for a few moments before she vanished into the expansive depths of the great unknown. Curiosity satisfied – at least for now.
I turned around with a smile in my heart ready to head back to the trail – but not before noticing a number of small tidal pools that had collected in the rocks around me. With the curiosity of my seal friend, I crouched down to examine the miniature aquatic ecosystem of a pool near my feet. I don’t know about you, but I can easily spend hours watching the bustling activity in these tiny oceanic kingdoms. What I saw was stunning. Tiny hermit crabs. Tiny fish. Tiny limpets. Tiny barnacles. Tiny clams. Tiny snails. Tiny bits of seaweed. You get the picture. An entirely diverse community living cohesively within the simplicity of a rocky crevice.
Go further. New worlds await when we lead with curiosity.
My hiking companions and I made our way back to the trail and continued onward. I was feeling grateful, energized, and full of immense love for the magnificence of this beautiful planet.
As we approached the lighthouse – our usual turnaround point, I felt it again. That inner pull. Go further. This time, the feeling was even stronger.
I haven’t yet gone further than the lighthouse for a few reasons. First, it’s very rugged, rocky and steep beyond this point. Secondly, there’s a sharp drop-off that falls directly into the chilly northern Pacific ocean. I don’t like heights so admittedly, this drop spooks me. Lastly, one of our dogs, Jessie, is 12 years old. She’s extremely fit and nimble for her age, however, I’m very energetically tapped into her needs. She’s never shown any interest in going further in any of our prior hikes and I’ve always respected that.
…until last weekend that is.
When I felt that familiar pull once again, I looked at Jessie while holding the question in my mind…“should we?”… She looked right at me with piercing determination and a fire in her eyes that has become very familiar over the years. I smiled. Go further was meant for all of us.
We cautiously made our way down the steep, rocky hill – hearts pounding, eyes focused. It slowly leveled out and when we finally landed on more stable ground, I looked up to see the most magnificent grove of gigantic arbutus trees that I’ve ever seen (see title photo). I love arbutus trees! They’re so…expressive. Gnarly, crooked, resilient, rugged, exotic, and so unique. I was in a complete state of disbelief with the sheer magnitude of beauty before my eyes (and yes, my jaw did drop).
The arbutus tree is a beautiful work of art. It has a very unique personality. It sheds its bark at certain times of the year to reveal a smooth, strikingly beautiful reddish wood color just below the thin layer of bark. The arbutus tree excites me. And seeing an entire grove of gigantic arbutus trees was spiritually overwhelming.
I could go on and on about the arbutus tree because of its incredible magnificence, but there’s more to tell so I’ll carry on. If this fairy-tale like creation of beauty interests you, here’s a great website with a wonderful description of this incredible tree.
The inner pull continued guiding me onward. “Go further” was so big now that the inner pull had taken over my body. So we continued hiking along a beautiful ocean bluff. Up and down rocks, roots, moss…stunning and rugged. We finally arrived at a place where I felt compelled to just stop, breathe and take in the full oceanic panorama for a few moments. We had just stopped and all of a sudden, I heard a loud “kafuffle” high up in a tree that startled me. I looked up to see 2 giant, mature bald eagles having what appeared to be an argument. The tree was shaking violently with the flapping of their massive wings. I was concerned that this was not going to end well. Fortunately, it was short-lived and one of the eagles took off and soared directly above the dogs and I in all of its wild glory. It was soon followed by a juvenile eagle while the remaining eagle chattered away in the tree (sounding quite pissed off). Needless to say, my heart was singing with gratitude, joy, and so much love for everything that was unfolding in today’s “go further” hiking adventure. What an incredible experience.
We finally reached a point in the hike where the only options were either to scale a sheer rock face or to swim across a small channel of water. Neither of which were appealing. Fortunately, I no longer felt the pull to go further.
As we slowly made our way back in heart-expanded silence, I was inspired by the meaning of it all. The nudge to “go further” that day was not only to show me the magnificence (the arbutus trees), beauty (the expansive ocean) and freedom (the eagles) found in going where I’ve never gone before, but it was also a metaphor for this time in my life. It’s time to go further, play bigger and spread the message of compassion, love, authenticity and purpose in an even bigger way. I’ve already been feeling the need to up my game with a more elaborate website (already in the works) and to serve my higher purpose in even greater ways through workshops, retreats, and online products where portions of every dollar earned goes back to worthy charities to aid in the co-creation of a better world. Ultimately though, it always comes down to service – with the guiding question – how can I go further with what I give back to the world. How can I always be a better version of my highest self?
I’ve been pondering the go further message over the past week and I’ve been feeling that this message is much greater than myself. It’s one that I feel we must all invite into our lives – especially at a time when there is so much personal and planetary transformation.
On a personal level, I’ve said yes to whatever guidance comes my way to inspire me into action for a better world. I already feel that 2014 is going to be a very important year. Not only personally, but globally – for everyone.
With that, how will you go further in 2014? What are your dreams for a better world and how will you act on them?
As I say at the end of every Unplug podcast: Live with passion. Live with purpose. Change the world.
And never fear going further.
Have a fantastic week and stay tuned for an exceptionally inspiring podcast episode coming to you this Thursday!