I was recently listening to a meditation exercise instructing me to picture a wall blocking me. How big was it? How high? What color? What texture was it? With my eyes closed I pictured a cinder block wall, about ten feet tall, plain grey, rocky pieces sticking out of the roughness, with some drips of blood from past attempts to cross it. Could we look up and see the sky, the meditation teacher asked. Yes, I could look up and see a clear blue sky. How big was the wall? Here’s where my own visualization surprised me. I could see that the wall was only about fifteen feet wide. Wider than it was tall but just 15 feet. Like a wall in a military training obstacle course. I could easily choose to walk around it. Yet in my visualization even knowing this, I stood up against that wall, nose to cinder block. Stuck.
Mid-meditation I was pulled into a memory of the one and only time I participated in a Warrior Dash. Meditation isn’t my best skill – I’m still learning to let those fleeting thoughts go up like a balloon instead of grasping tightly to the string. It was a cool and rainy day in the Colorado Mountains for the Warrior Dash. People were slipping off the obstacles left and right. I came up on a wall just like my visualized one, only it was made out of a slightly more forgiving wood board and had a rope to help me up. People were running around it due to the rain, and as I was halfway up I realized I too, could slide down and just go around the wall. This was hard, I told myself. I could just get down and go around, no big deal. The obstacle wasn’t as safe as planned due to the rain, after all. All this went through my head as I allowed myself the thought of giving up. But I held on to that rope and a few steps later I was at the top. It’s true my heart did race like crazy as I realized now that I made it to the top I had to figure out how to get over and down. I kept pushing myself, swung my leg over the top and scraped my knee as I slipped farther than I thought I would down the other side to the first plank my foot could reach.
As I climbed down to the ground and stepped away from the wall, my legs shook with fatigue, and I felt myself smile. I did it.
I recalled all of this in my meditation about the figurative wall currently in my path. I could step back, walk around it and go forward with my life. My path might be altered slightly, but I would get past this point of being stuck. I have been here before though, and I will probably come up to this same wall again. This wall is here to teach me something, and with the help of a rope in the form of tools I have learned in life and support from family and friends, I know I can make it up and over this wall. I am looking forward to my smile of accomplishment!
What wall are you facing in your life? Can you close your eyes and see it? Do you need a boost to get started on the climb?
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