Usually, I go on daily hikes with my wife Laura to the nearby mountains. It's our way of connecting with each other and grounding ourselves in the present moment. Every walk begins with a simple but powerful question: "What are you grateful for today?"
During today's solo hike on the Baquiano trail, with each step, I felt a deeper connection with the mountain. Suddenly, I was engaged in a heartfelt conversation with the mountain as if speaking to an old friend.
During our conversation, I asked the Apu (mountain) for advice on two main topics that have been troubling me lately:
1/. How can I decrease my insecurities and start trusting myself more?
2/. How can I reduce negativity in my thoughts and cultivate more uplifting thinking?
After a long walk, I started feeling self-conscious about talking out loud to the mountain, so I switched gears and played some music on Spotify. A few minutes later, I received a text from my dear friend Whitney wishing me good luck on my upcoming Vipassana retreat.
Her message deeply touched me, and told her I would send her lots of Metta during my retreat. Metta is used during Vipassana meditation to cultivate loving-kindness for ourselves and others, which reminded me of the concept of unconditional love.
While contemplating these concepts, I found myself creating rhythms and impressions in my head, with various voices singing about "Unconditional love." In fact, I started freestyling with the following words:
Unconditional love is what I need,
Unconditional love is what I seek,
Unconditional love is what we all need,
Unconditional love is how I feel.
An entire Broadway show seemed to unfold in my mind with these words until I was about to leave the mountain and suddenly realized that she had answered my questions about insecurities and negativity with unconditional love.
I stopped and stood frozen, realizing the profoundness of the moment. The mountain next to my home could be one of my Apus; she has always answered my questions about life and my existence.
Immediately, a wave of gratitude washed over me, and tears escaped my cheeks. I felt loved and couldn't help but laugh at my two-hour conversation with the mountain.
Cultivating unconditional love for myself will help me decrease my insecurities and nurture more uplifting thoughts.
Tip: When in doubt, remember the mantra "RULE" — Radical Unconditional Love Every day.
Gracias, montaña hermosa!
Ps/. I also talk to the trees near home :)