Climbing Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale, AZ before sunrise is not something that was on my bucket list. And yet, last Saturday morning, I did exactly that with some of my Sotheby’s colleagues from around the country. I was up at 4:30 a.m. on the trail at 5:45 a.m. and then up to the summit and back in 3 hours. Even though my group did the “less challenging” Chollo Trail, it pushed each one of us in different ways. Public service announcement – there is no easy trail up Camelback Mountain 😉
I was having a wonderful time bonding with my colleagues, and then just when I thought I totally had this I saw the final ascent…the trail to the summit was an unrelenting rock face that required one to seek out handholds and footholds while trying not to think about how the hell to make it down! I started telling myself that “it is about the journey”; “it’s already been fun”; “I don’t NEED to summit” etc. There were a few others who would have gladly turned back, but our host encouraged us to keep climbing. Thank heavens we listened - the reward at the top was more than anything I could have prepared for.
The last part of a climb is always hard and after 20 years in CO with a husband who loves to be on a mountain no matter the season, I thought I already knew this. Doing this outdoorsy thing that is a core part of who he is, and a part that I support because I love him without him was eye-opening and revealed much about me that had been dormant under the role of wife, mother, daughter, and friend. At the top of that mountain, I remembered that I AM A BADASS. Over the last two decades of my life journey, I somehow lost connection to this part of myself, and I am so grateful to have reconnected with her!
Later that day, we were treated to a Sound Healing and Gong Bath and what had cracked open with a few tears at the summit that morning, completely broke loose inside me. I could feel the armor that I had wrapped around myself over the last 18 years of being a mother begin to crack. This protective shield had served me and my family well, but it was time to put it down to find new ways to be there for the people I love most in the world. This new way, the new “me” is as ancient as my soul – I KNOW her because she is part of me. I just needed permission to let go and make space for her to come forward with all her love, knowledge, compassion, and curiosity.
In the devastatingly beautiful desert, I learned that this version of myself is 100% about LOVE. This “me” is an ocean of boundless love and a woman who leads with love, always. As I sat in reflection, looking up at the mountain that helped crack me open, I was overcome by gratitude for all that I am and all that I have. When you are brave enough to conquer fear and open to LIFE, it comes rushing in with all the juicy lessons and delicious gifts! I am so grateful to have received some of these blessings high on top of a mountain when I least expected it.
As fall approaches, and trees shed their leaves what old stories and limiting beliefs can you release to make space for a new adventure that is meant only for you?