But really, what is next for me? Freedom, yes. But what does that look like? I figure it’s high time for an update.
On May 21, I realized that I had been #hikingmyfeelings instead of eating or drinking my feelings in times of celebration or soothing. This container allowed me to explore deep deep trauma and I carried this with me on our second hike across Catalina Island.
The day before the trip, I was journaling and started sobbing hysterically. I knew this trail had the potential to bring transformation, it did that the first time. I bargained with the Universe, in a state of complete surrender:
“Take it all. Whatever it is that I’m supposed to be doing on this planet, I’m ready. I’ve been through hell and back and I’m not dead. I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been and I’ve been waiting a loooong time to do a lot of things. I always told myself I’ll do that when I lose weight, and here I am. Everything I’ve ever wanted, show me what is real. Everything I’ve ever questioned, show me what is real. If I have to lose everything to find this, I am willing to do that. I’ve stripped everything back as far as I can. I don’t have a job. I don’t have one lined up. There is literally nothing in my way,at least not anything I can see. So show me if there is, so I can deal with it. And in case I need to say this out loud to unlock something: if I have to lose Barry to find myself, I’ll do it.”
I wrote out all the things I want to do before I die. I wrote out my last words to the people I care about most, what was important to me, what I stood for before I took this trip, and the stories that I want to be sure get out there.
I silently screamed while sobbing hysterically. Mouth wide open, nothing coming out, open as if I were screaming at the top of my lungs. It felt like an exorcism, a death, and a rebirth all in one.
And then the trail happened.
When we got back from our second trek across Catalina Island, I walked into our house and said:
“This house is too big and we have too much stuff,” I told Barry.
I had just carried everything I actually, truly, definitely needed on my back across an island, on foot, for the second time.
My body didn’t fail me. My diabetes was a non-issue after several months of elevated blood sugar levels due to the stress of the changes I was making in my life.
My mind didn’t fail me. As my now stronger body carried me up and down the untouched terrain, my mind was free to explore the depths of my soul.
Up every steep climb, heart and legs pumping, I was still answering the question I asked myself in an REI dressing room before the first hike, when I looked myself in the eye, wearing a size 16, the largest I have ever been and the largest size they carried at the time:
“GIRL. How did we get here?”
When I got home, I realized that identifying that I had been hiking my feelings instead of eating and drinking my feelings was just the tip of the iceberg.
If this is true, what else is true?
Why was I eating and drinking my feelings in the first place?
Hiking My Feelings explores just that.
SO WHAT IS NEXT?!?
LAUNCHING SOON: #hikingmyfeelings Speaking + Hiking Tour
This fall, I’m doing a speaking tour with REI, telling the story of my two hikes across Catalina Island and all the lessons learned along the way. I’ll share links and dates and more info on this in the coming days, so keep an eye out for that! We start in SoCal and we are testing a speaking/hiking format; speak one day, hike the next. I am so excited to be hiking my feelings with some rad people I haven’t even met yet!
IN PROGRESS: Book
I’ve been giving periodic status updates on this, and writing this book has been the greatest gift I’ve ever given myself. If you’re an author friend or have gone through the process of finding an agent and you have a few minutes for me to pick your brain, please let me know!
ON DECK: More storytelling!
Having the opportunity to tell my story in January for my diabetes documentary changed the way I see myself. I have been downplaying my story and my trauma and myself for so long, I didn’t realize how powerful it could be to share my story, my whole story, unapologetically.
I’ve always been interested in film and have done quite a bit of commercial work during my marketing career. When we go on these group hikes, I’ll be capturing stories of the people we are hiking with, talking about how they’ve found peace and healing on the trail. If I can help one person tell their story, this will be a great success!
IN A VAN, DOWN BY THE RIVER.
Lastly, Barry and I are slowly but surely selling everything we own and getting our own little tour bus and hitting the road. As the tour expands beyond SoCal, we are going to schedule more group hikes and more speaking dates. I don’t want to be flying all over the place and leaving the dogs and Barry at home like I was when I was working in the corporate world. So the tour bus will be our home, mobile production studio, and adventure wagon for the foreseeable future.
If you’d like to keep up with the project and get more info on the speaking tour, here’s where you can find more info: