Two summers ago, I went on a hiking tour in the northwest corner of England led by distinguished poet, David Whyte.
Due to the unusually warm season, most of our excursions were in the evenings, when we took advantage of the long hours of sunlight at that latitude. Mornings were spent in dialogue and contemplation inspired by David’s wise words, often channeled through the poetry for which he has become so well-known.
Spending time negotiating nature late in the day as we moved into night, provided an opportunity to contemplate that morning’s offerings and expand ourselves beyond the limits of our comfort zone as we negotiated some of the challenges of nature.
The 20+ participants came from various parts of the world—Australia, Europe, and America—ranging in age from twenty to seventy-five with various degrees of capability and endurance. Even so, most participated in the demanding expeditions. The first outing was a 5-hour afternoon hike up and down the face of a rugged, hilly trail. We were fully exposed in the blazing heat with no shade available—definitely testing ground for our stamina and proficiency. On day two, we set out for even more demanding terrain at 6 pm. Our goal was to finish before dark at about 11 pm.
Dealing with the unforeseen…
We reached the summit at 9 o’clock. Parts of the landscape, which required rock climbing in some places, had been steep and challenging—not to mention the surprise of dodging goats and other unforeseen obstacles. In calculating the amount of time it had taken for us to approach the top of the ridge, I wondered how we could possibly descend with enough light to return to our starting point.
Going down, felt merciless in places. I quickly fell behind. Soon, I was completely alone at dusk, in a foreign country, on a rocky trail that I could barely see to navigate. About the time I went into stark terror—praying my heart out for support—I felt a presence behind me that soon became a voice, and then a real person. As he approached, I realized that voice belonged to a kind, compassionate young man who was fully capable of running down that trail. Instead, he slowed down to my cadence and rhythm, sensing my fear—silently committing to accompany me to safety.
His remarkably calming presence had been an immediate answer to my prayers of supplication. Just about the time I felt myself nearly swallowed up by the darkness, he appeared—literally out of nowhere. The phrase, “Everything is safe in God’s hands,” held new meaning for me on that pivotal evening when I gained a higher level of trust and awe for the Divine than ever before.
By the time we connected with the rest of the group, the deep indigo blue of night had eclipsed any lingering slivers of light. David discouraged the use of flashlights on our phones, suggesting that cultivating night vision would actually support more sure-footedness. He was correct. It was utterly amazing to witness our innate steps, synchronizing with the natural forces that would guide us back. As the last of the stragglers approached, someone with a map and tracking device confirmed we were on the right route.
From then on, we traversed two-by-two with everyone now engaged in a similar gait. Remarkably, we all arrived at our starting point just after 1 am, completely unscathed—not one twisted ankle or even as much as a scratched knee. The group energy had been fully engaged in recruiting enough inner light to see our way through the darkness. Upon returning to our little bungalow, my roommate, Wendy and I sat up half the night, re-orienting ourselves to what we believed really mattered in our lives—trust in Source and loving kindness to self and others—the effects of which we’d just experienced first-hand.
Nearly two years later, as I write to you this evening, the Earth is literally shaking under my feet due to several aftershocks subsequent to an earlier earthquake. While I repeatedly stand on unsteady ground, I am contemplating the epidemic of fear that is sweeping the world due to panic regarding an unseen enemy on the loose. The rattling of the floor just beneath me is another reminder that I am not in charge of what’s going to happen—virus, earthquake, or whatever else could come down—even though I can always invoke Divine support to see me through any and all dark nights, real or metaphorical.
After my experience on the Ridge that particularly dark night in the Lake District of England, my faith in the Divine has increased exponentially, never failing to lead, guide, direct, and protect me, both before and after that journey. When I asked yet another time for Divine protection for my family and me as the ground continued to tremble underneath us tonight, not surprisingly, my request was granted.
Something to consider…
With all of this time to pray and meditate, isn’t it entirely possible to invoke that Divine love and protection to help us move into higher states of consciousness as we individually and collectively consider what really matters in our lives at this pivotal time? And, while doing so, can we join together and connect heart-to-heart in steering the world toward a more positive direction? My lifetime of study and research has confirmed that we are pre-wired for a human upgrade. All we have to do is pray and meditate to achieve it. In 2014, I wrote about how to Maximize Your Happiness Potential, a post that explains how it is possible for anyone to participate in this upgrade.
Each and every one of us has enough light to outshine the darkest shadows that seem to be penetrating planet Earth at the moment. Evidence shows that we are primed and ready to do so while moving into the next phase of human evolution—one in which our hearts (instead of our heads) will take precedent.
Taking time to contemplate…
If you are inclined, please listen to the Tibetan singing bowls, which provide beautiful and harmonious tones to help relax you and put you into a meditative state as you engage in a daily practice of your choosing—following your breath for a few minutes, doing yoga asanas, or focusing on a single word such as “love,” or “peace.”
One of my favorite practices is Compassion Meditation, which is suggested to be about fifteen minutes total:
- take five of those minutes to send compassion to those you love, including yourself,
- five minutes to send compassion to people you feel neutral about,
- and five minutes to send compassion to everyone and everything you resist.
As you wrap up your contemplative time, take a few moments to consider what you are grateful for. Day-by-day, if you simply engage in something—anything that you find will calm your mind, you will absolutely be contributing to the human upgrade. It’s guaranteed.
Now, the world is depending on you to achieve spiritual mastery. This is an epic and unprecedented time for transformation. So, if you are willing, polish up that light of yours and let’s begin to outshine the shadows. We can do this.
Believing in you!