After being under stay at home orders from the Corona Virus for more than 2 months, the State of Arizona is finally starting to reopen retail stores, city parks, and hiking trails. That is all we needed to hear to set our plan in motion to take our first hiking adventure since this crisis.
I am so blessed to have these 2 beautifully spirited friends that love to hike and take quick get-a-ways and am happy to be in tow.
Our adventure on this fine day was to Baldwin Trails, embedded in the beautiful red rocks of Sedona, AZ. How can you go wrong in the immaculate red rock country? So we pack up the Jeep at 4:45 am, grabbed our breakfast and coffee, and off we go. Excited about this opportunity because it has been a while, our ring leader of trail finding gives us the scoop about the trail. It’s only two miles, easy peasy, and the trail loops the base of the mountain. It should be quick and easy for us as we build up our stamina for hiking again. And then she hooked me in; there is a creek we can stop at and the water should be great. That’s it, I’m all in. We get to our destination; found our parking spot and we stock up backpacks with water and our mask. Our minds are set; 2 miles, nice view, creek, circle the mountain, and back to the Jeep. We can do this; we have hiked two-mile trails before.
In the back of my mind, I’m thinking this is going to be a great opportunity to put my rookie photography skills to the test. One of my low key dreams it to take up photography and capture some amazing views from the international travels I have planned. And that I did. Every turn of the trail was filled with picture-perfect moments. Low and behold, my friend says, can you hear that? I think we are close to the creek. We found the creek; put our feet in the cold, brisk, water running over a beautiful red rock with about 10 other people doing the same. We take our 15min detour and we are back to our trail.
It was a busy trail of hikers, bikers, families, and individuals and everyone was so nice and respectful. The trail was well marked, but the longer we hiked the more challenging the trail became. And when you are working on improving your physical health, as we all three are, being challenged a bit was a good thing. I was grateful for my Fitbit to help keep my heart regulated, track my steps, and measure the distance. I also added the compass app to ensure we don’t get lost, lol. Midway into the trail, it became very rocky, the hills were more like a roller coaster, and about 2 hours into the trail, we were all beginning to feel it and our bodies confirmed it. Now each person we saw on the trail became an information bank for us; we would have the same questions for each person we say. How much further do we have to go? Because we are now 2.5 hours into the hike and our belief that this will be a simple hike and we can do it, is coming into question. As a mental mile marker, I said to my hiking budding, “now I understand how people can get up on Camelback Mountain and have to call for help to get down”. What I didn’t want to say out loud was that is exactly how I was feeling. Let’s stop and just call for help. I thought I had reached my capacity to move any further. But I didn’t want to feel like the only one to have put limitations on what I could do. Because after all, as a Christian woman, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.
Believe it or not, it was at that point, my mind shifted to calling on my faith in God to get through this. So I quietly, said my prayers asking God to help me with just one more step. By now, it 10 am and I’m thinking what have I gotten myself into, my feet are hurting, the sun is getting hot and every turn of the trail would go up in elevation and then go down and back up again. All I wanted to see was any glimpse of the parking lot.
By now, we all have walking sticks found along the trail that has been key for us to keep moving. It became the push we needed to take one more step. I can tell we were all struggling and starting to look inside to keep us going because now we are about 10 feet apart in distance, heads down to keep an eye on our steps with a periodic look back to ask, you good? At this point, we are out of the water, the battery on our phones was at 10% or lower and still no end in sight. Between the three of us, no one would say, “I can’t do this” or “let’s call for help”. The fact of the matter is we were all calling on our faith to get us to the parking lot. We were way beyond our physical limitations; it was about our mental limitations.
If I could just see it, I can believe it.
This became my mantra as we approached every turn around the mountain. At this point, we are four hours into this hike and my feet felt like I was wearing cement shoes. Every step I took required much more effort than the last and I wasn’t sure where the next ounce of effort would come from. But if I could just see the cars leading to the parking lot, I could then believe the finish line was near.
My internal conversation had become so loud that my thoughts were the only thing I could hear. My vision became tunneled and my path was so clear any hikers were approached just moved graciously to the left so we did not break our rhythm of left, right, left. Once again, my inner voice said, If I could just see it (the parking lot), I can believe we can make it.
You see, if you can see it, you really will believe it, just as I did. When we hit the last turn, we saw cars lined the street and our home base, the parking lot. We all looked at one another, high fives all around and we instantly began to give God all the glory for helping us break through our limiting belief and conquered that trail. Until next time,
I never thought I would be telling the world My story and the journey I have been on for the past four years. I have heard all the old cliché’s including “there is real power in your story”, I just didn’t think I would be a living breathing testimony to such cliché. But I have been able to witness is that MY story and YOUR story can be both educational and inspiring for anyone who allows it to reach the inner chambers of their heart and resonate with their spirit. And for others, your story can represent that breakthrough encounter to free them from the burden and responsibility of holding on to a truth that no longer serves them. There are many people walking around in a zombie-like state seeking solutions to the dysfunctional, heartbreaking, abusive behaviors and grief buried within the belief systems and generational pathology that they feel has been handed down to them from generation to generation. These stories vary from experience to experience, from family to family and when it comes to my story, I know that it serves as the medicine needed for anyone my story will resonate with.
Now I’m not talking about any old story, I’m talking about the story that moves you from debilitating grief to an emotional space of reflection and introspective soul-searching. The type of story that is thoughtfully told and shared from a place of healing. My story is just such a story. A thoughtful story, a carefully laid out story that could only be told by me. A story that may sound similar to the one you know, but not exactly. But regardless of how you receive my story, I pray that it will bless you so that you may be a blessing to another. My transformational story is about a journey of healing from deeply felt loss, overwhelming grief, and the hunger to carry on the legacy of a man larger than life.
Grief is an experience that affects people in a variety of ways. But what I can confirm, as I am sure many of you can also, is that there is no blueprint to help you heal for grief. Grief can affect your physical health, mental health, emotional health, and especially your spiritual health. Grieving involves many different emotions, actions, and expressions, all of which helped me come to terms with the loss of my loving husband. As I reflect on this four-year journey and how it drove me to share MY Story, there were 3 key transformational moments that really stood out for me. Even though this is My Story, I’m sure you will find yourself in this story in some capacity.
First, there was ;
The moment of Alignment – I know you think I am crazy talking about finding alignment in the season of deep, dark grief, but that’s why telling my story is so powerful. If I can help someone step into a healing place in this unconventional way, I am all for it. I want to share with you how being Aligned at this moment served as a breakthrough step for me. I spent many days and weeks after my husband abruptly earned his heavenly wings, grieving about what I lost. My soul mate, my husband, my covering, my reason for waking up each morning. And you find yourself thinking, God why would you give me such a beautiful blessing only to take it away so quickly. I felt like God said “Sike”. He gave me a taste of what it looks like, feels like, sounds like, tastes like so that when she takes me to the next level, I will know that glory when I see it. The reality of this loss challenged me to realize the most powerful thoughts of it’s not what I lost, but in fact what I have gained. It was almost like the light was turned on and I began to remember what he will do the most remarkable things and some of the most impactful conversations we would have, to the point that I began to quote some of his most memorable sayings. It suddenly hit me, that reflecting on all the knowledge, skills, wisdom, and tenacity he taught me would have such lasting inspiration that comes from within, embracing the gifts my husband invested to uplift me and become the woman and leader I was called me to be. Aligning my thoughts, my actions, and my new way of life to believe there is a greater plan for my life. Kind of strange, right?
Then, the revelation;
The moment of Clarity – I can still hear my own voice telling me, “you must be clear about what you want for your life”. It was during this part of my journey where I begin seeking knowledge from various resources that felt right. There were times when reading books were what I needed and at other times on the journey, YouTube sermons and inspiring messages were just what the doctor ordered. I often found myself suffering from information overload, hanging on every word trying to determine if I was on the right track. I was torn between “time heals all wounds” and “prayer is the answer” but what I didn’t take into consideration was that I must be clear about who I am becoming and how I want to live my life without the man I loved so deeply. I had to get clear about how I want to show up and take charge of reaching my destiny. This blip on the chart was simply that. A blip. Would I let it take me down, keep me in isolation, and abort my future OR would I find the courage to step fully into a decision to LIVE? It was at this point I begin to realize I could not do this alone. I had to be brave enough, yet vulnerable enough to let the right people inside this deep dark space to help me make sense of it all and turn on the light so that I could see clearly.
And finally, I was emboldened by;
The moment of Trust – Trust may seem like a really strange moment to recognize and acknowledge in My Story, but it was the Crown Jewel of my journey. One thing I have learned about My Story is, if I fail to share My Story, there will be an entire generation of people who will miss out on sharing their Story. Of all the things you can do to make the world a better place, there are a few things more valuable and beneficial than telling your story. What I do know about telling your story is no one can do it better than You. Whether it is one of grief, abuse, addiction, molestation, or one of trauma, people will want to empathize and learn from the battle you fought…..and won. So, why not do it? What would it take for you to tell your Story? Because Your Story has such power, you have to trust yourself enough to tell it in true authenticity. Trust that your story will land on the right ears and sit in the chamber of the right heart to serve as a source of inspiration, a source of discovery, and a source of healing. Your Story will serve as an inspiration to others to produce positive change in their life and in the world.
This four-year journey has taught me so much about my ability to navigate through very difficult experiences and the team of resources that have traveled with me on this journey has been absolutely incredible. I have also developed a mastery level system of transformation and strategic processes that I use to overcome so many more traumatic experiences just like this story of I’ve shared. I can now see the POWER of My Story, which has allowed me to step fully into my purpose which serves women and men to break through barriers to achieving an abundant life.
If you would like to develop your personalize breakthrough strategies to transformation healing, check out the various programs and products on my website (www.lauracbulluck.com).
Let me help you create your MY STORY moment to serve as POWER for others.
Written by Laura C Bulluck, Author of ALL GROWN UP: The Road Less Traveled available online at Amazonhttps://amzn.to/2KQFSNn.