As I have shared previously part of my ritual in starting everyday is reading an email from Mike Dooley’s “Notes from the Universe.” As always, I am amazed at the timing of these notes and how they speak to me for where I am in my journey. I think it also speaks to some others I have been in conversations with over the last few weeks. Today’s note said,
“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.”
Sir Edmund Hillary
We are all Spiritual Sherpa’s. We have all had Spiritual Sherpa’s come into our lives who have helped us progress in our life’s journey. The concept of “the Sherpa” was popularized by the Sherpa people of Nepal. As guides and energetic supporters of mountain climbers seeking to summit Mount Everest they proved to be invaluable. The most famous Sherpa is Tensig Norgay, who with Sir Edmund Hillary became one of the first two human’s to climb to the highest peak on this planet. As Hillary’s Sherpa, Norgay helped him prepare for the ascent. He provided guidance and insight and assistance. He participated as an equal and priceless member of the team. He supported Hillary and the team every step of the way up the mountain. Ultimately though with all the help and support Norgay provided, it was Hillary who ultimately had to climb to the summit. Step by step, he had to put one foot in front of the other. He had to want to embrace the challenge, its hardship and its struggle so ultimately he could achieve his goal. He alone had to take those steps, especially the final ones, of his own free. In doing so he would be the first person to stand on the top of the world.
So it is with spiritual Sherpa’s. They help to lighten the load. They help guide. They help us prepare for what lies in our paths’. Sometimes they can even lead us near to the top of the mountain. However like Hillary, we only ascend to the top of those mountains, to achieve our goals, to expand our beliefs, to expand our and horizons, to have those amazing new experiences, only if we are willing to take these steps of our own free will.
We have all had Sherpa’s in our lives. These are people who have appeared in our lives seeming at just the right time. They ask just the right question. They assisted with course corrections to help guide us in the right direction, often with us not even being aware. They helped us to confirm what we already know to be true. They shared enthusiasm, support and love. Often they simply let us know they are there. Letting us know that we were not alone. Letting us know that they walk with us for many steps in our journey. None of us would not be where we are in our life’s journey were it not for the Sherpa’s who have supported and helped each of us along the way.
I had the privilege of spending an evening with Sir Edmond Hillary when I was a younger man. That evening he was very humble, quite yet powerful and forceful in all he shared. He had become a passionate and ardent environmentalist, in many ways becoming a Sherpa to the Mountain and Land itself. I was gifted with many memories from that evening. Two of the strongest that stay with me are: the famous quote shared at the beginning of this post, that summed up his approach to Mt. Everest and life, “It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” The second was his quite yet firm tribute to his partner and Sherpa.
So who are the Sherpas’ you pay tribute too?
Who are you “Sherpaing” at this stage of your journey?
Who is Sherpaing you?
To the Inner The Sherpa in all of Us