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Lessons from Spain - Part Three

Updated: Jan 30, 2021

Every experience is a good experience....even if it's a bad experience.

I guess that is to say that everything I experience can be used for a benefit, one way or another if I choose to let it.

Any time I have a Fantastic Amazing day there is almost a natural energetic thing that happens to bring balance... this would be the day when the falling down happens. On this past trip (pun unintended, but totally fitting) my Fantastic Amazing day was essentially an easy down hill adventure with wide, open vistas. I didn't need for much of anything that day. The "balance day" though brought long, steep uphills...and the vistas were at the incline that loomed above and ahead. I put on my strong music and powered up and enjoyed the challenge. At the top of one mountain the well marked and well traveled path all but disappeared and along with it, the strong sense of certainty that I had enjoyed during the prior Fantastic Amazing day.

The path that I was to take traveled through open pastures and rocky hillsides that are the grazing areas for free-range cattle. That means that there were many well worn hoofpaths that were not actual "trail"...but looked like trail to me. I spent a good deal of time and energy following what appeared to be trail only to wind up on a hillside high above where I should have been. The view was nice, but it drained my energy and confidence. I was misplaced. I decided that if I could just get near the edge of the cliff and look over, surely I would be able to spot the logical place where I could join up with the trail somewhere below. The area was strewn with rocks and low, dense bushes. At one point I stepped up onto what looked like a rock, but was a bush. My leg plunged in up to mid thigh and spun my body around, aided by the weight of my pack and planted me on my back, in deep, scratchy foliage with all fours sticking straight up. Now, being blessed with a strong and resilient sense of humor helped, but nevertheless, I was stuck. I don't know if I actually bleated like a trapped sheep...but I did in my head at least. I was a little, lost lamb alone in the wilderness and no one knew my whereabouts but my Shepherd!

After righting myself and recalculating my location I managed to step up to my boot laces in some cow poop but found the right direction and hiked on. Several more times that day there were slips and trips and forks in the trail that had to be evaluated. It brought me to think about the mental forks in the road that we may come to in challenging times when there may be rollovers and slip and falls. There is quite a different attitudinal outcome if you focus on the bad luck of having been roughed up a bit vs. the good” luck” of only a couple of superficial flesh wounds and a poopy boot. It can be hard to choose the right mental path to take, especially when you're tired and kind of beat up.

But the choice is always yours and yours alone to make.

That day I chose trust, and joy and humor. It is so much more lively than grumbling and a constant recitation of negativity and self-pity. I think when I can choose a good attitude there is more of an opportunity to see the Wonder and the Beauty. I'm pretty sure that when you choose a negative attitude all you can possibly experience is more negativity... and poopy boots.

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