When I moved to California, I was physically unfit for strenuous exercise. My legs were weak; my chronic asthma debilitating. In spite of this, I took on the challenge of hiking a nearby 2,500 foot mountain, Mission Peak. The objective: To improve this fragile state of health and strengthen my body.

The first time hiking I experienced significant physical distress just walking uphill as I left the parking area. Resting briefly, I recovered and continued. After 45 minutes of hiking, I decided it would take me five months to reach the peak. Hiking at least one hour three times a week became my training schedule. The third time on the trail I was making progress, but it was slow and arduous. I heard an inner voice say, "Let your mind take you there." I began imagining a string at the top of my head connected to the top of the mountain. The peak was pulling me to it. I also imagined myself standing on the summit.

On the fourth climb my body felt so heavy that I didn't know how I could pass the previous day's mark. I got the idea to focus on the affirmation, "I am light as a feather." I surpassed my marker that day and got a close look at the peak. I thought, "I know I can get there easily." Five weeks became my goal.

As I began hiking the first day of the fifth week, I was mesmerized by the peak. The mountain was calling me. Instead of looking down at the ground in front of me, I kept looking up. By the end of the week I accomplished the goal effortlessly.

The day I reached the summit I set out only to surpass the half-way mark I had reached four times. A quarter of the way up the trail I had to use asthma medication. I let go of the need to accomplish any goal. I decided to continue climbing as long as my body would allow. Thinking about the two hours it would take to reach the top was placed on hold. Before I knew it, I was three-quarters of the way to the goal. The awareness hit me, "I am going to the top." It felt right. It felt effortless. Even the sporadic gusts of cool mist and rain couldn't stop me. My vision took over and lifted me to the zenith of Mission Peak.

After three hours of hiking, the last hour in cold rain, I was back at my car. Drenched to the skin with fingers too numb to untie muddy sneakers, I had a smile on my face. Returning home I felt exuberant with energy and breath to spare. Life felt magical.

Reflecting on this successful outcome, I realize I did all I could to prepare my body for the climb; however, something greater than my physical body empowered me to reach the summit. I achieved the goal one step at a time; but it wasn't until I released my expectations and remained open to possibilities that it became effortless. The experience confirmed to me that we are connected to an invisible resource that is working with us to overcome obstacles and achieve goals. The unlimited potential of the mind and power within the present moment are amazing.

My body, mind, and the mountain were one that day. I thanked the mountain, cows, birds, and nature because they wanted me to get there. We all participated in this peak experience.

Author's Bio: 

Sandra is currently a personal life coach and certified Emotional Freedom Techniques practitioner. She was a holistic, body-centered mental health counselor for twenty years and has been a professional coach for 10 years. She gives seminars, workshops and teleseminars on a variety of wellness and personal growth topics and has written articles for magazines and newspapers. Her book, A Lighter Side to Cancer - An Extraordinary Healing Adventure, will be published by the end of the year.