I am a morning person by nature so whenever I go to visit friends or family I have created a morning ritual to get up early before people wake up and to walk around the neighborhood. It is wonderful way to connect with myself while satisfying my curiosity about my new surroundings. On this morning I am visiting family in Phoenix and they have moved to a new home since I last visited. This home is near the foothills of Camelback Mountain. Today I decide to explore the mountain and see what life looks like from the top. I stroll out of the neighborhood and up to the base of the mountain. I notice the gravel path and head up it. As a get about half way up the mountain I start to realize that I can only see the path about 15-20 feet ahead of me as the path is dipping down and around the contours of the mountains. The thought hits me that this path is not so different than my life in general and as a business owner in particular. What I mean by that is that even when I plan for things I’m never really sure what is coming up in front of me. As a small business owner I have had to learn that there are always unexpected miracles and obstacles ahead and I just have to take the path in front of me and be ready for what comes. I just have to trust that taking one step at a time I will get to my destination.
So I keep walking and I see as I get around the turn that now the path is starting to look overgrown and even more difficult to follow. So I start looking more closely for signs of where to place my feet. I realize that every time I look down I find a place to put my foot. Once I have become surefooted with one foot I find the place to put my next foot. This very simple exercise fills me with extreme appreciation and gratitude knowing that there is always somewhere to plant my feet – a path is always being created for me. I see this great metaphor for my life - if I just take one step and trust that I’m headed in the right direction then I will see the next step show itself immediately.
I am basking in this wonderful discovery continuing up the hill until suddenly I see no clear path. Oh no! I just found this happy moment and now I’m being challenged again. A totally new decision - do I turn around and go back or step off the path and create my own way? I’m stumped and starting to feel momentarily disappointed and then I look out and see the view from the mountainside. It is lovely and I just breathe and relax exactly where I am.
I look up the mountain and the way up looks a little dangerous. I pause momentarily and decide to continue up the mountain. After all, I am a risk taker, so I push up to three quarters to the top. At this point I don’t feel dressed appropriately to continue. I stop and look down again at the view - even more beautiful. I just rest, taking deep breaths, and take in the sights. I decide I have reached my limit for today and decide to descend.
On my next visit I will wear better hiking gear and be able to get to the summit, no problem. I take the triumph and lesson for the day and carefully find my way back to the path and back to my family’s home. Besides, I’ve worked up a an appetite and it’s time to make breakfast.