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COLUMN: Life is a journey, always

In this week's column, Cynthia talks about her most recent race

Okay I have had a few days rest after my weekend excursion to West Virginia. When I shared in this race, I travelled for 22 hours in my car. That didn't count toward my km total! What counted was the 5.5 km, 7.5 km., and the 10.5 km. that I ran on foot.

What lovely landscape I saw and what fun I had. I met great people and suffered through some personal anxiety and challenged myself to push through it. This anxiety was flashbacks to my days of drinking alcohol and the atmosphere of the camp pushed into my psyche creating a claustrophobic feeling. I was tired and needed sleep and so retreated to my bed. This was not before vowing to myself to never do this again! As I awoke the next morning, I opened the door to my heart and said to my spirit, "we got this, let's find a way to change that thinking. Join in and find fun, find joy and ask why people enjoy so we can enjoy too!" That is what I did. By the end of the weekend, I was already speaking to others about my desire to "do this again".

The longest run (10.5km) was interesting because I started in the dusk at about 7:30 p.m. The run was rocky and technical. It was challenging. Along the way I had a young mom behind me who stayed with me, and she told me I set a good pace. As we went through what I called a "keyhole" she lagged back to run with someone behind her. I pushed on. As I worked through the trail it became darker and darker. The light lingered and my eyes adjusted to the increased darkness. There was a moment when I suddenly realized I needed to turn on my light. This was profound because I realized I could have just sat in fear and stayed in the dark. I had to turn on the light. Often when we are in the darkness of life we sit down and stay there, in the dark, when we have a perfectly good headlamp, or third eye chakra, on our forehead. We must turn on the light to help us see our way.

The other runners had been talking about the "mother of a hill" alongside of the keyhole. After turning on the light, I looked at my tracker, I was at the 6 km mark and realized that was about where the hill would begin. I was prepared for it. It required pushing myself and a continuous incline. In life we often encounter places where we must push harder and press through. Thanks to my friends who had been on the path they had prepared me. I knew the hill would end even though they had said it felt like it would never end. I pushed through. The stress and the challenge was relieved only to be met by narrow footing and more technical challenges. Like this 10.5 km stretch life is always asking us to push ourselves. When we give up, when we sit back and watch life, or when we admire those who do and feel envy we miss out on our own strengths and abilities. We are all capable of reaching our own stretching, if we want to.

There was one other point in the darkness of this trail where I heard a growl. A noise in the night that felt frightening and foreign. I slowed up and looked around ... I was vigilant and quiet. Then I heard it again and realized it was my own stomach growling because I was hungry! It sounded like a bear in the woods grunting. Often in life we overlay what we think something is and then fear that perception missing the truth, missing the reality of what it is and out of fear we miss the journey of our spirit showing fear. Fear is allowed, if we feared nothing then we would walk off a cliff, walk into the traffic or jump from a building. Fear is our spirit saying watch out and prepare yourself for what is to come. My growling stomach was reminding me to pay attention to the trail.

Life is a journey, always. Journey on with purpose and with strength of your guardian angels who travel with you. Let go of the bears you dream up and stretch into your own truth. Sometimes you need to look at a piece of the puzzle that won't fit in for a while however it still needs to be looked at to know you are not ready for it. The bear, the fear, is real always.

All my work toward the goal of $1,500 for the children is my way of helping them find their strength and their courage to live their lives. Pull all the pieces together!

Cynthia Breadner is a teacher, author, grief specialist and bereavement counsellor; a soul care worker and offers specialized care in spiritually integrated therapies. She works as a LTC chaplain assisting with end-of-life care for client and family. She is the mother part of the #DanCynAdventures duo and practices fitness, health and wellness. She is available remotely by safe and secure video connections, if you have any questions contact her today! [email protected]

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Cynthia Breadner

About the Author: Cynthia Breadner

Writer Cynthia Breadner is a grief specialist and bereavement counsellor, a soul care worker providing one-on-one support at
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