14 May 2008

Motivation - follow-up (5/14)

Thanks Tony for your encouragement and others who have emailed.

I'm feeling better, now 84 + miles north of HWY 18 and Big Bear City. As with all things, things change, my attitude has. Below are some of my comments on my mental / emotional swings.

I knew to expect vacillating emotions during hike. Typically mental / emotional security can be established with familiarity to a group of people or geographical location (I've heard adjustment takes 3-6 months, e.g. moving to college often 1st semester is extra trying). Since nearly everyday these change for me, I'm continuously going through transition.

On top of environmental changes, I'm exhausting my body most day with 6 - 8 hours of hike for 12-14 hours of being awake. Removing possible physical support that often carries the burdens of a stressful day.

In addition hiking for extended time, begins to simplify life, and thus allowing sometimes ignored / unnoticed feelings to rise up (read can amplify experience of feelings). I'm learning my cycles. I can almost tell you what time of day it is by what 'thoughts' / 'moods' enter my mind. (Doubts at 8 am, excitement at 9, day dreams at 10). Stopping in town places new stresses.

Towns are a rush of stimulation and to-dos for me. I'm still learning to ride the wave. I have also noticed that some resupply visits are flooded with fears. On the trail, I'm focused on shelter, water, foot placement / health, etc. suddenly in town, I don't need to worry about these. What I'm calling a mental / emotional dam opens up and I'm flooded in town. Clean-up can be slower than I like.

In conclusion my brother's comments are in response to one or more of these possibilities culminating on me. I'm ever trying to take care of myself (eating healthy, meditating, self-awareness, etc). Yet, I'm learning being emotionally healthy involves feeling all my emotions and learning to ride the wave with more skill.

yours in love

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