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There are some things we do because we know they work, like exercising and brushing our teeth. There are other things we do simply on faith. Prayer is one of those things.
A number of years ago I was chaperoning a group of teenagers on a cycling trip through the Swiss Alps. The route was beyond my skill and physical fitness level. And, it didn’t help that I was also recovering from the flu. As my legs grew increasingly fatigued, the distance between the nearest student and my puttering bike grew like a deep chasm.
The mountain stretched in front of me as far as my eye could see. Up. Up. Up. My thighs burned, my breathing was labored, and tears were threatening to stain my cheeks. In a fit of utter hopelessness, I began to pant under my breath, “Please help. Please help me.”
Since we were riding through military land, only bicycles and official vehicles were allowed on this desolate stretch of road, but I had yet to even see a vehicle. To my sheer amazement and delight, a few minutes later, a Jeep drove by. My jaw nearly fell to the ground. Although totally enamored with my good fortune, I was too embarrassed to flag it down. This was not uncommon for me at that time in my life. On a number of occasions, my prevailing shyness had prevented me from actualizing my heart’s content and speaking my truth.
So, on top of the raging anguish I was already feeling, my childhood disappointment about missing out on things because I was too timid to speak up was reactivated, further adding to my ragged state.
Luckily, another Jeep came along. Before I knew it, it had pulled over and one of the Swiss Army men grabbed by bike and tossed it in the back and told me to hop in. Even though I wasn’t sure I even believed in prayer, my intent was so strong that the Universe provided me with exactly what I needed. Not only was I presented with the rescue I longed for, but also I was given an opportunity to work through my natural tendency to hold back. Plus, driving in the back of a Jeep with the Swiss Army is an experience I will never forget.
What in your life do you do because you know it works or know it to be true? What do you do on faith? Do you find yourself holding back rather than speaking your truth? If the Universe were to intervene in your life at this very moment, what challenges would it help you overcome? What would you learn about yourself?
Triumph Trail Mix
As I’ve been reflecting on my adventure in the Swiss Alps, I’ve been thinking about what would’ve helped me up that mountain. Not only was it physically challenging, but also it was emotionally challenging. The more distanced I became from the rest of the group, the lower my spirits. Climbing mountains—whether real or metaphorical—can be as much about working through interior limitations as it is about exterior ones.
So, I thought, What if I’d had a bag of trail mix in my pocket that gave me physical nourishment, but also contained special messages that would uplift and encourage me? Thus, Triumph Trail Mix was born!
1 cup each, raw cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 cup roasted peanuts*
1 cup dried pitted cherries, such as tart Montmorency
¾ cup roasted coconut chips
5 words or phrases of encouragement, written on small strips of paper
5 of your attributes, qualities, or talents written on small strips of paper
Preheat oven to 200ºF.
If your coconut oil is solid, warm it in a small pan over low heat until liquid. Combine the cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts in a large bowl. Toss the nuts with the coconut oil and a dash of salt until evenly coated. Distribute the nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 3 hours. This slow baking at a low temperature will make the nuts extra crisp. Remove from the oven and allow the nuts to cool completely. When they’re cool, toss with the peanuts, cherries, and coconut chips. Mix in the words of encouragement.
*If you use raw peanuts, toast them with the other nuts.
With every handful of Triumph Trail Mix, you’ll feel increasingly uplifted. (But don’t eat the paper!).