This spring, I had the opportunity to check something off my bucket list. I hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
It was incredibly beautiful, awe-some, and a journey I would absolutely recommend to anyone.
One of the highlights of the trip was the gift of reflection hiking for four days affords you. (Which is actually new to me as I’ve never spent that kind of uninterrupted time in nature.)
Because the trail was a rocky, rugged, centuries old trek, you had to stay focused upon it.
I became completely fixated on the ground in front of me, and where my hiking pole or foot would go next. I unconsciously had developed an internal mantra of:
At the end of each day, I was tired, but incredibly happy and fulfilled. I felt so grateful for the many things around me, and all there was to appreciate within my life.
Granted, Machu Picchu is the kind of magical energy place that can make you feel these intense tingly, happy-go-lucky, grateful kind of emotions en masse, but I felt there was more to it than that.
It became clear to me spending uninterrupted time being completely present in the moment brought me outstanding joy. My time on the trail was a deeply magnified version of the kind of gratitude and feel good vibes meditation gives me.
Now, no one is saying it is necessary for you to hop on a plane to Peru and lose yourself in the rhythm of a four-day hike to get similar results. But bringing awareness to “where your feet are” can have highly satisfying, calming and positive effects on your well being day in and day out.
When I’m feeling stressed, or just generally resistant, I take myself back to the trail. I get focused on my feet, where they are in this moment and breathe. It’s a key tool I use to remain present as I continue shaping my journey down the path to a larger life.