Rediscovering my "faith" at Yosemite

· Nature,NVC,Wild Heart,Conscious Living

I spent 4 nights backpacking in Yosemite, returned last night. I learned a few things about myself, including a rediscovering of my sense of “faith”:

* my body needs 1-2 days to get acclimated to the altitude > 8000 feet elevation.

* symptoms of altitude sickness are nausea, headache, fuzzy thinking, clouded judgment, loss of appetite — which leads to low energy, making it more difficult to carry 45 pounds on my back.

* antidote: a full day of rest while celebrating the beauty all around, having some faith**, drink lots of water, slowly increasing food consumption while spiking food with electrolytes, and eating as many calories as I plan to burn the next day.

During this day of recovery, I had thoughts of not having the strength to get out of the wilderness; I was very weak, sleepy and lethargic. My mind wondered: “What if this is it?”

And yet, while I resting on top of a rocky dome (see pic), I considered what I did have available to me: unlimited water from the Tuolumne River, clean air from all the trees, enough food for five days, shade from trees during the day, and a sleeping bag to keep me warm at night. If I actually got hurt, I could blow my emergency whistle to get help.

As my strength slowly returned during the day of rest, I felt a deep gratitude for all of the different systems and organs in my body. I acknowledged and thanked all of the ones I could think of, including my gear: my boots allowed me to walk on rocks of all shapes and sizes; my feet and legs supported my staying upright; my hat, clothing and sunscreen kept my skin from getting too much sunlight; my lungs took in the air needed by all cells in my body; my digestive system took in nutrients that came from the Earth — turning them into enough energy to power my thinking mind and my ability to move from place to place while carrying a 45 pound pack. The truth is I don’t really know how all the organs work — but they seem to function best when provided with what they need.

As I took in the majestic beauty all around me, I began to relax — to trust that everything is going to be fine.

** i had the insight that “faith” is a trust that my needs will be met somehow — by any mysteriously wonderful means. It’s a way of releasing strategy to the unknown— to mystery, to Spirit — to the universal loving consciousness I sometimes call “God.” Having faith can be a way of life — or it could just be a slogan to fit in with your community. If I do choose to live a life of faith, I’d want to live congruently with the spirit of love that binds us all — we depend on each other — we’re interconnected.

A way of life that considers the needs of the Earth from which life springs forth, and the needs of all beings is what I’m striving for.

How do you feel reading this post?

Footnote: Separating universal human needs/values from strategies/wants/preferences is a foundational principle of Nonviolent Communication (NVC).

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© 2022 Jaime L. Prieto, Jr.,, All Rights Reserved.