Stunning! Sheer beauty everywhere!

After a mile climb, I reached my destination. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I was above the tree line, on a mountain ridge. To me, it was Heaven. I was turning… spinning… Heck, I may as well have been dancing! My soul was singing! Wide open spaces, fresh air, blue sky, and mountain range after mountain range. A real Rocky Mountain high!

Catching my breath, I was thankful that I had chosen to honor my intention this day. Recently separated, burned out, and in need of some respite, my goal was to find a peaceful place in order to gain some clarity in my life. This was the perfect place – I was already beginning to feel alive. I sat down to take it all in… grabbed my journal and started writing.

Within minutes, approaching voices interrupted my bliss. One after another, person after person filtered their way across my path… I was beginning to feel like this was not the perfect spot after all. The view was absolutely breath taking! No question. I could definitely understand why it was frequented by so many. Yet, at the same time, the mountains had been calling me. I was looking for some place quiet and profound. Selfishly, I wanted my space. My silence. My moment.

As quickly as each person arrived, they disappeared leaving me to enjoy the surrounding majesty of my mountaintop retreat. I had just settled into writing again when I heard shuffling behind me. Turning to look, I saw an old gentleman walking up the path. At first, I was disappointed by the presence of yet another person, but something was different about him. He felt connected. In tune. Aware… Spiritual. Respectfully, both he and I allowed each other our time in this sacred place. As I continued to write, he walked over to a large rock, took off his shoes, then his socks, and stepped up to sit cross-legged upon it.

I don’t know what broke the silence between us, but as he stepped down from that rock our eyes met… it was as if he knew what had brought me to this place. In his Northern European accent he said, “Have you been to the rock over there? “

Confused, I answered, “No, I haven’t…?”

“You might want to do that,” he said, “There’s a message waiting for you.”

Intrigued, I pushed myself up from the dusty ground and walked over to where he pointed.

“What message could possibly be waiting for me?” I thought to myself.

To my surprise, carved in the rock was an inscription. As I read the words, he lingered. Waiting…

Rock_edited“Quietly the spirit and beauty of the mountains fill my heart.
I open to the awe and sense of discovery
I feel free and alive, and at peace
And nearby, I hear God saying:
Do you want to play?'”

I could not contain my tears. Who was this man? How did he know that I needed this message?

As a child, I dreamed of living in the mountains. The beauty and majesty have always inspired me and offered me a sense of freedom and peace. When stressed, I visualize myself in a place like this. Awe fills me by feeling connected to something greater than myself.  There is something magical. Healing. Soul filling… And right at this moment, inscribe in stone, was the very essence of these feelings – along with a much welcomed invitation.

“Do you want to play?”

Play? What is that?

It had been so long since I had given myself permission to play. “Work” had become my mantra and a 4-letter word! I was tired. Stressed… At that moment, the words of a friend echoed in my ears: “Shelly, it’s time to put the FU back into FUN!” The pieces began to fall into place…

Hell, yeah… I want to play!

With an overflowing heart and tears streaming down my face, I turned to the old man to thank him. He said,  “It was here that God said, Jan, I love it when you work hard, but I love it even more when you play.”

The next few sentences out of his mouth would leave me even more stunned…

He asked if I skied. I told him yes, but it had been many years…“What are you waiting for?” he asked.

His question pierced my heart, for we both knew it had nothing to do with skiing and everything to do with what I had been contemplating. It was as if God himself asked the burning question consuming my soul.

“What are you waiting for?”

With weakened knees, and sensing this was more than a casual acquaintance… it took all I had to muster an answer:

“That’s a very good question. I have been asking it myself lately.”

With a ‘knowing’ in his eyes and warm smile on his face, he left me with these parting words, “Living begins where your comfort zone ends.”

POW! There it was in 3 concise statements… My clarity.

I felt as if this man reached into the depths of my soul and pulled out the roots to weeds that were choking me… a coincidence or divine appointment? You decide.

I do know this much: These words were every bit an invitation as they were a dare to face my fears and live the life that was awaiting me.

So what about you?

  • What intention do you have that is asking for your attention?
  • Do you want to play?
  • What are you waiting for?


Living begins where your comfort zone ends!