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Climbing mountains

“Climbing mountains teaches us to master ourselves before conquering the world.”

- Lamine Pearlheart

At the beginning of this year, I embarked on a trek that would unknowingly have a profound impact on my life. Little did I know that this journey would not only challenge my physical endurance but also force me to question my thoughts, feelings, emotions, and aspirations. The trek left me with invaluable insights and a fresh perspective on life, success, and self-acceptance.

The trek began smoothly, the initial terrain posed no significant challenges. However, just a few minutes into the trek, I encountered the first high point. Doubt and fear crept in, making me question my ability to overcome this obstacle. The climb seemed daunting, and I doubted my physical capabilities. Despite the feeling tired and scared, I gave myself a pep talk, “come on you can do it” “at least try” “we can go half way and come down again” and that way I persevered, and eventually I was determined to reach the top. The sense of achievement that washed over me upon conquering that small height was indescribable. It made me realise that even in the face of uncertainty, pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zones can lead to self-discovery and growth.

As the trek continued, with each subsequent elevation and a high point, I screamed at the top of my lungs, “ I DID IT” “I know I can do it”.

Gradually, I discovered a parallel to the challenges in my own life. I thought about the uncertainty of my future, the pursuit of success, and the internal conflicts I faced. The trek,

reminded me that my achievements so far, and like the elevations I was conquering, these achievements were are small milestones in a much larger endeavour, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t worth celebrating. And like the path up ahead, life would present me with many more obstacles to overcome.

However, I found solace in the knowledge that, just like the trek after accomplishing each challenge, it will be worth it cause, it is an opportunity for growth and self-discovery.

The trek went on and in the midst of physical exertion, my mind drifted into my past feelings and experiences. I remembered how difficult it was to express my true feelings to loved ones, especially my mother. Fear of hurting her or ruining our relationship kept me from talking about what was bothering me.

Yet, during this trek, I realised the importance of open communication, assertiveness and expressing one's emotions honestly. It became clear to me that, being true to oneself, which also involves standing up for oneself is an important aspect of a relationship.

While I was contemplating different ways to confront my mom, and playing various scenarios in my head, and coming up with ways to be more assertive in life, the trek progressed and I stumbled upon a hidden beach nestled between two mountains, an awe-inspiring sight that left me breathless. In that moment, time stood still, and all my thoughts were filled with gratitude. I realised how often I had overlooked the beauty around me while relentlessly pursuing success. I had become so focused on reaching my goals that I failed to

appreciate the blessings already present in my life. This revelation highlighted the importance of acknowledging and celebrating, different aspects and accomplishments of life, rather than solely focusing on the destination.

My trek after that beach, started moving in a different direction, I unknowingly embraced the principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). I became more acceptive of my thoughts, more understanding of myself, more grateful for my life. I allowed myself to be present in the moment and observe my internal landscape. This helped me shift my focus from dwelling on life's challenges to recognising my values and goals. I understood that life's journey, much like the trek, would be filled with both highs and lows, but embracing these downs and staying committed to my values will lead me to personal growth and

fulfilment. And so, the trek became a metaphor for my life journey - a mountain waiting to be conquered.

As I neared the end of the trek and approached the summit, a profound sense of accomplishment washed over me. Standing there on the summit, sweaty and exhausted, with a huge smile on my face, I marvelled at the breathtaking view before me. In that moment, I recognised the power of believing in oneself. If I could conquer this mountain, I realised I could conquer any obstacle that life threw my way. This newfound confidence, gave me the belief that my choices, regardless of their outcomes, would contribute to a beautiful and meaningful life.

And so, this trek, guided me towards self-discovery, gratitude, and a newfound perspective on life. I am determined to incorporate the lessons learned from this trek into my everyday life, like to embrace life's challenges, find gratitude in the present moment, maintaining a mindful perspective, acceptance, commitment, positive mindset and the most crucial of all, believe in yourself. This trek also reminded me to celebrate the small victories along the way and to appreciate the journey as much as the destination.

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