Nepal Trip ~ Day 6: The Fire and Reflection

I have given up everything!

This is what I am meditating on today. I am thinking about all that I have given up to be here. I packed up my home, my personal belongings, my books, my altars, my clothes and my beautiful art and just left. I have left New York City to start anew.

I have given up everything for this…

Today I received a telegram from the states; it was from my beloved Lalita. She is so worried and scared for me. She wants to know why I chose Nepal. She wants to know why I have chosen to climb this mountain saying, “Alicia, this is dangerous. Why are you doing this? Why would you put your life at risk? What is this all about?”

I wish she were here with me. I wish she understood why I must do this. I sold everything to get here. I left everything and everyone. Yes! This is a huge risk. A very dangerous and expensive adventure, but so incredibly crucial for my life.

I HAVE… given UP…

In so many ways I feel this… that I have given up!!! What does that even mean Alicia?

I HAVE… given UP… everything for this because I know that in the end there will be something magical gained. This is my deepest desire and hope!

I believe this… completely.

I picked this expedition with intention…

40 days and 40 nights is something spiritual for me, almost biblical. And today we reached 2,070m and yes it was and has been incredibly difficult. I am starting to get a blister on my right heel, and the winds are brutal. I find the most comfort when we are all tied together during our hiking as we cross frozen paths that may be slippery. It feels as if… if one of us goes down… we all go.


Tonight we arrived to base camp and were greeted by the hosts at the tea house. And tonight we rest. I was mesmerized by the fire. I just sat in front of it thinking about all the things I want to burn out of my life, out of my story… things I want to see turn to ash and go up in smoke. I am thinking about my life and what awaits me when I return. I don’t want to return to the same story. I don’t want routine and a redundant life. I need and require something more. I want to be surprised and lifted. I keep hearing people talking about getting that “real job” how being an artist is frivolous, how I am not living in the real world… and how I am such a dreamer. And I suppose I am… I am a dreamer with so many dreams. So I breathe…

Tomorrow we are permitted to reach out to our loved ones and connect to the world if we so choose.

Chandani sat with me by the fire quietly and held my hand as she looked at me and said, “Alicia, its ok! Whatever it is you are going through… trust that it will be fine. You are not alone. You will find the answers. You do not have to deal with this alone. You have us and you can speak to me about anything. I am concerned about your spirit. Join me in my room I would like to show you something.”

Her room was beautiful. She has this beautiful tapestry on the floor and invited me to sit cross legged on the floor. She asked me to place my hands on my lap and close my eyes. She rang the tingsha and guided me through the most beautiful meditation. She spoke in soft breaths… and asked me to connect to and listen closely to the inner silence… reminding me to connect to my heart… she prayed over me and with me about a boundless life and internal light… I was lost in her voice… I could feel my breathing getting heavier… I allowed my tears to cleanse my face… she urged me to connect to what I may be interpreting as loss… and to hold it… to send it love… and then to release it to the heavens. Thirty minutes later, she rang the bell again and I went to my room and wrote.

Thank you creator for today’s conversation. Namaste ~ And so it is. Aché


Note to readers following our journey: Now that we have begun our climb I will not be posting to facebook as often. Please follow my blog at the top of the page. Thank you for your love and well wishes.

Note to newcomers accepting the writing challenge! You can begin the challenge at any point. There is no right or wrong way to participate. You are not being graded or judged. This is a gift we are giving ourselves. So be gentle during this process. We are about to climb a mountain, YO! Remember that. Remember we must be present. Release all self-defeating thoughts. You can do this. I do want to remind the new climbers that no matter what day you decide to join the challenge please begin at the beginning. It’s important to prepare! Please remember to post your daily responses in my comments on my blog. Sending you all love. See you at the top of the mountain.

With all my love,

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3 thoughts on “Nepal Trip ~ Day 6: The Fire and Reflection

  1. Day 6: Who we have met. The Way of the Gods.

    We all broke into sets of two today. This part of the climb required we have partners to assist with moving ahead. Anil and Peter explained how we were to use our rope. I listened like my life depended on it. Well it did and after listening to Anil and Peter, my skills apprently also depended on my partner’s life. My partner was Mr. Chen, who didn’t really pay much mind to their teachings. As they talked, he prepared his rope and boots. He is going to kill me I thought. If he falls with me atrached to him, this beast of a man, we will roll, slide and plummet to our death for sure. This fool. He thinks he knows it all.

    “Mr. Chen could you please just watch them. This is how we’re suppose to hold the rope….look,” and I demonstrated but he just grunted and started walking.

    “You have no trust. No faith” he said. “I will take care of you but you must trust first. That’s how you climb. That’s how you get to the top.”

    “But Mr. Chen….” I began but he grabbed my hand and pulled me closer.

    “I know what I am doing. They know what they are doing. You need to know what YOU are doing or you’ll never go anywhere. I’ve done it all. I’ve done sports climbing, ice climbing, indoor climbing and a lot of mountains. Come now….you must trust me and I will trust you” and this time he did not pull my hand but waited for me to come to him. I stepped closer and he smiled, his pink cheeks high on his bones, “see, you begin trust now.”

    Mr. Chen explained about the rope, about it being sacred and about the cracks in the rocks and how their weakness would be our strength and the use of the harness and how to slowly feed the rope to him for safe, controlled movement. Three hours later, exhausted, thirsty and spent, Anil and Peter announced our first break of the day.

    Everyone sat down. They checked on wounds, fed themselves, adjusted their clothing, admired the scenery and talked about their success. Mr. Chen however sat away from the group. His huge diamond rings still on his fat fingers. He pulled out the same pile of papers and photos he had during the bus ride to camp. He moved through each one slowly, as if they were new to him.

    I carefully walked over to him and asked to sit down with him. Once close enough he shared one of his photos with me. In the photo Mr. Chen was dressed in a mawashi with five white zig zag strips of paper on the front and a twisted string tucked inside his belt. No shirt. He said the strings represented the sacred ropes of the shrine at home. He said all rope was sacred. Our climbing rope was sacred. He paused. I looked. He looked the most powerful out of all the men in the circle of the photo. He turned to me and says, “I am Yokozuna. Five years now because I believed, because I trust. You are Yokozuna today because you believed. You trust and you made it to the top better than any of us. We have ways from where I come. The way we move, think, trust, share and honor will make us Yokozuna. It is the way of the Gods and that is why you did so good in your climb today and that is why you will do good in your building a bond with your teacher, your father.”


    I still can’t believe it was that easy. All I had to do was believe, to trust. That was all Mr. Chen asked of me and I’m so glad I did. His balance and focus was admirable. Out of all of us, we were the only ones who didn’t experience any slips, any falls, scrapes or scares. Whenever he saw Zion trip or Kamala lose her footing or heard Brandon yell he would say that they didn’t have trust. And I agree. They didn’t.

    Mr. Chen made me think of my relationships and whether that was all it took, a clean slate opened to the possibilities. A relationship where I trust that what I bring is enough. That papi will see me, truly see me.

    I now suddenly realize that Mr. Chen was not fully asleep that night we share our reasons for climbing. I think I like him the best. He let me keep that photo of him. He didn’t tell anyone else there that he was the great Wakashima Hiroshi of Japan. Five time sumo wrestling champion.

    Dear Hunt (my journal’s name),

    Today I met Mr. Chen. Today I met the way of the Gods. Today I learned how to get to the top of the mountain and to the top of my relationships. There’s so much doubt holding me from the things I want. I will try more trust from here on on out. This is my challenge and gift to me.

    Last night Mr. Chen didn’t share why he climbs but I already know why he climbs. He climbs for me. There are no coincidences. Thank you universe.



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