In Sedona, Arizona I met Peter.
Peter is an interesting guy. He’s in his 70’s and he hikes Bell Rock nearly everyday. His goal is to take 1,111 people to the top. After he hits his goal, he’ll start the count all over.
I am number 1,054.
At 600 feet, this climb is not for those deathly afraid of heights. When my acquaintance, number 1,045, informed me of the height factor, and how sometimes you’d have just your toe in a half-inch foot hold as you dangle one handedly off of Bell Rock, I asked if it was a straight drop to your death. “Well,” she pondered, “it’s not a straight drop.” “Ok…” I said slowly as I imaged a sack of potatoes smacking into a series of rocky ledges, and then disappearing into an abyss.
At the top
Number 1045 said that when she reached the top, she went into tears as she had a deep emotional release, the masculine energy of the vortex traveling from her primal chakra up the length of her spine. This lower chakra is the place of survival and includes our relationship with money, shelter, love and other basic needs.
When I got up to the top, I stood for a moment, waiting. I placed my palms outward, feeling for the energy, and when I didn’t sense it, I internally reached inside my body, checking things there as well.
There were no tears, no release, no whirling of issues.
I wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or if I was missing out on something.
Was I missing out on something? I wondered, as I looked down at the dessert valley far, far below and then noted the other red, rocky monuments, still nameless to me, in the distance.
While I’m normally sensitive to energy, I guess not every moment has to be a powerful one.
From my past trips to Sedona, I’ve learned that if you have unresolved issues, these vortexes will kick those issues right into your face. If you don’t handle your issues, your issues will handle you.
So maybe I have less issue dust swirling around my personal vortex than I’ve had in the past? I guess I have been doing some major dusting.
But while I was at the top of Bell Rock, I did get to take some pictures and enjoy the view.
I wouldn’t have done that hike on my own. It’s likely the same scenario for most of the others that Peter has taken up. As a newbie when you’re staring at the rocky, flakey cliff side of this mountain looking up hundreds of feet, it’s daunting: It seems so big. There are so many paths to take, and so many paths leading to potential dangers that a novice can’t foresee or have the expertise to extricate from.
The fear of the unknown, the fear of physical danger (which is real), the fear of failure, the potential awkwardness of not being good enough - it’s intimidating enough to stop you from even trying.
I think the most powerful thing about this experience is that it’s an experience that about a thousand people have had only because there is one guy who’s compelled to make it happen for all of us. And even though the majority of us are strangers, we share this experience in common. We’re all apart of this international club with ongoing membership.
Peter's compelled to take 1,111 people on this journey. And when he reaches this number, he will start all over again. It reminds me of the mandala sand art of the Buddhist monks: once they are done creating their intricate work of art, they erase it.
Though it’s become a bit of cliché to say, “it’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey,” you have to have a destination, a goal, to keep you motivated, to give you a reason to go out every day and do what you do. But to fixate on the destination, to say, “I will be happy when I get to this point,” would be an inaccuracy and set up for depression.
Climbing a mountain is full of symbolism and here’s this guy who at over seventy years old not only climbs a mountain every day, but pushes younger, allegedly healthier, people to climb that mountain, too.
And I wouldn’t have been able to do it, if this guy hadn’t of held my hands (and feet) in the right holds on the rock face.
You’ll have to excuse me for a second. I must have gotten a little vortex dust caught in my eye.
If you want to join the TBRC club, contact this guy.
If you’re already in the club, write your number in the comments section. Feel free to tell us about your experience up at Bell Rock.