Earlier this month I sat high on a mountain peak overlooking the ancient Incan citadel of Machu Picchu in Peru. From this vantage point the fortress ruins looked smaller than my son’s Lego blocks. Steep mountains ascended in clusters all around me, soaring to 11,000 feet+. When the sun rose into the sky it emerged between two sharp peaks as if the mountains were giving birth to the day.
At that moment I felt insignificant and incredibly inspired. Both the fortress below and the path I had climbed had been constructed by the hand of man. What enables a person to accomplish such audacious goals?
Vision? Certainly. Purpose too, plus a fair dose of courage. Ultimately though, it’s a willingness to persist, to chunk it down to daily effort. One must keep an eye both on the ultimate goal and simultaneously celebrate the daily victory in
small steps of progress.
Scaling the citadel’s ruins and hiking the path to the Intipunku (Sun Gate) high above challenged me in many ways. The air at that height is thin, my fitness level could have been better and though I don’t suffer from fear of heights, I do
have a strong survival instinct. (I consider myself a life-long member of the proverbial Safety Patrol.) My mouth was dry. My heart was racing. Was it the altitude? The exertion? The fear? Whatever … I was committed to getting to the top. As I climbed, I kept my eye on the goal not the edge and not the distance from my starting point.
Finally, I was there. I inhaled the moment, the majesty of it all, placed my gratitude stones and cast my intention to the mountains and engraved the moment on my heart. I will return to this experience whenever my Gremlins, What Ifs, and other distracting channels on my inner dialogue interrupt me.
I accomplished this so of course I can …