The man knelt at the foot of the mountain all night.
At first, his body clung to the remnants of the day's heat exuding from the rocks around him, but all too soon this heat was gone and the mantle of cold dropped insidiously on him like a malevolent spirit seeking to crush him.
A fine hoar frost began to cover his beard and cloak as he strived to focus his mind on maintaining his body temperature at a level that would enable him to survive the night.
The holy man had instructed him how to do this, warning him that many had tried and failed this test and had been found frozen solid by early morning pilgrims who themselves had sought shelter indoors for the duration of the night.
His limbs by now had settled protestingly into the kneeling position.
In the distance, out on the plain, he could hear the occasional cough of a desert tiger as it stalked it's prey. Closer at hand he tensed as he became aware of an all too-familiar sound;
A snake slithering towards him!
He felt a coil of fear touch the very core of his being.
God how he hated them! His grandfather had been killed by one.
He suddenly realized that the bone-chilling cold had driven the snake out from the rocks and it was now seeking warmth.
His was the only heat around!
His breath stilled even further as he felt the snake move in against his leg and stop.
He fought off an urge to snatch it away and hurl it against the nearby rocks.
But almost at the same time, as if some connection had taken place, he understood at a deeper level, that the snake was merely seeking an accommodation with another living creature and was of no threat to him.
He silenced the small fear chattering in his mind, mentally embraced the presence of the snake and focused on totally yielding to the harsh elements and conditions of the night.
It could have been minutes or even hours later when his mind had reached that small still point and his body was somehow insulated from the cold that he 'heard' the voice of the snake in his head for the first time;
"You wish to climb the mountain at sunrise, yet you carry so many burdens with you, slowing your progress or indeed stopping you completely. Place out in front of you, on the ground, in your mind, all the bits and pieces, the good and the bad, that make up the identity of the person that you now believe you are... do that now!
Startled, yet somehow accepting this direction, the man did so.
Mentally he started to pile up all the accumulated elements, events and pivotal experiences of his past life, from being a small child to the present moment.
He saw that many of these were good.
He saw his father's proud face as he succeeded after his fifth attempt, to ride the horse his father had given him for his seventh birthday: his wedding day and the birth of his children.
He lived again the uplifting recognition of the tribe for his hunting skills.
But the numerous destructive things that he had woven in equal parts into his persona shocked him.
These took on a visible form as he stacked them up alongside the good elements of his past life:
Huge bundles of guilt and shame for past deeds, actions and perceived inadequacies:
Resentment, anger and even hatred nurtured and fed from past memories:
Unforgiveness towards others and an elitist view of himself:
Regrets too about the many times he had not been true to himself and allowed others to dictate the path of his life.
The responsibility trap that had buried his need against the opinions of others.
In the pre-dawn stillness he became aware of the first intrusion of pilgrims as they moved past him on the way to the top. With some sort of inner vision, he could see the terrible burdens each carried on their shoulders, with buckled and bent knees.
As if by magic the stream of pilgrims disappeared into the mist and the snake spoke again:
"That was you yesterday when you got here - burdened down with the past. Now look at that pile and select only those parts that will truly edify you on the journey and abandon all those which in many cases were placed on your shoulders by others......do that now, then embrace the sunrise and continue up the mountain."
He did just that and was amazed at how many useless parts he had piled up, which he had no hesitation in abandoning.
Those good, that he finally selected were suffused with a bright effervesant light and he felt incredibly energized as he picked them up.
Just then the rays of the morning sun broke through the mist and he raised his arms in acknowledgement.
Power flowed into him.
He didn't hear the snake go.
He rose and started up the mountain, passing with light feet the pilgrims who had streamed past him earlier. Many were already beaten and sat cursing the mountain - his offers of help turned away with bitter grudging looks.
Finally he reached what he thought was the top of the mountain.
Gazing outwards he saw that it was not the top after all;
Spread out before him were magnificent vistas of further mountains going ever higher and higher.
He now knew he could climb those as well.
So... the questions I'm asking you today are:
Just how badly do you want to get to the top of your mountain?
Are you willing to pay the price of getting there?
What burdens and baggage are you carrying that are weighing you down?
Have you discovered the real authentic you and those transformational characteristics that you will take with you?
Finally, when you reach the top of your mountain, you will realize that it's not the journey that's important, but what you become as a consequence of it.
Transform Your Life
The Transform Your Life Journal came about when I was involved as an international life coach for 15 years. A number of potential clients were contacting me from various places around the world. I obviously couldn't visit all of them so I designed the Transform Your Life Journal which would act as a blueprint for future success in their lives. Basically, it's like having your own personal life coach. If you truly want to change your life, this success journal will do it for you... abundantly!
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