The Energizer

Resilient Insights for Work & Life

Draw Resiliency Lessons from Your Past

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer - Monday, October 15, 2018
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My previous post began with the destruction of La Casa de Maria and the Center for Spiritual Renewal. For twenty years, I have made a self-pilgrimage to the top of El Cielo. It's a 4.3 mile hike from the Center to the ridge line (8.6 mile round trip) above Montecito. Now, it’ a fine of $5,000 for anyone who even enters the trail after the destruction.

However, that didn’t mean I couldn’t pull out old journals and discover what that climb taught me.

In 1996 I started the hike because I was terrified to do it. Later years, I climbed it to prove to myself that I still could! Each year, it offered new challenges. The first hour was beside San Ysidro creek, the path staying pretty wide and the walk uphill had few boulders. But it was cool under the shelter of coastal oaks. However, turn away from the creek and the trail narrowed into steep switchbacks.

The journal entry I read reported this:

“This has to be the hottest January on record. A blazing sun sears my jeans and jean shirt. I yearn for shorts and a lighter weight top. My legs feel heavier with each step. My head pounds. What lessons will the mountain offer today?

I come away with three:

1. To reach any goal, it always takes longer than you think it should. I swear each year they move the mountain top. My pace is better than in early years but my legs ache. But I am determined to reach the top. Just like I am determined to write the next book, to create new programs, to clean my office. You know the drill. I must build in extra time because it will always take longer.

2. Most people turn back when the "heat" is on. I realize that the only people I encounter are stopped at the upper most waterfall that because of a pitiful rainy season, is nothing more than a trickle. They miss the panorama of a Pacific ocean, flat and glassy, the Santa Barbara skyline and Ventura to the South. I was not prepared for the heat. There's a lesson right there!

3. Keep your eye on the right mountain. I almost turn back. I am so hot and aching. The ridge line seems so far away. Two more switchbacks and I realize I have been staring at the wrong peak. Might be someone else's goal but it is not mine. Wow. Where am I trying to climb someone else's mountain and not mine?

So now, showered and tired, I will allow myself the luxury of a nap. A reward. What will you do to reward yourself this year when you climb your mountain?”


The end of that journal entry. The lessons will resonate.



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Eileen McDargh Keynote Speaker Blog Author

About Eileen!

Since beginning her consulting and training practice in 1980, Eileen has become noted for her ability to speak the truth with clarity, wisdom, humor and compassion. Long-standing clients and repeat engagements attest to her commitment to make a difference in minds, hearts and spirits of organizations and individuals. She draws upon practical business know-how, life's experiences and years of consulting to major national and international organizations that have ranged from global pharmaceuticals to the US Armed Forces, from health care associations to religious institutions. Executive Excellence magazine selected her as one of the top 100 thought leaders in leadership and among the top ten consultant providers of leadership development.

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