I turned 37 last Wednesday and to celebrate I decided to climb the highest mountain in Ireland: Carrauntoohil.
Located in Kerry Co., the mountain is 1039 meters high and has several routes that lead you to the top. I've ascended by The Devil's Ladder and, as the name says, it looks like a super steep ladder, this being the straightest way to the summit.
The adventure was wonderful (thanks a million Kerry Climbing 💜) and I highly recommend it if you've never climbed before but want to do something different.
And while I've been in the "discomfort" zone, I've been taking note of some stuff:
1. be present: one thing I've noticed while walking was that I needed to be very focused on the path so I wouldn't step on some loose rock and hurt myself.
2. one step at a time: it's no use trying to get to the top fast, the path is extremely difficult and running will only make you meet the devil sooner, so be patient and enjoy the process.
3. follow instructions: it's always nice to have someone more experienced at the front, so if the guide tells you to wear a waterproof jacket, wear the damn jacket (thanks, Piaras!).
4. breathe: I think this tip needs no explanation.
5. enjoy the view: well, I know, it's Ireland, so it's going to be a little difficult due to the weather (as you can see from the pic above), even so, don't forget to smile and thank the Universe when reaching out the top (the group sang "happy birthday" to me and that's something I'll never forget).
We are capable of much more than we think we are. This was my first mountain and many more will surely come. The world is beautiful and it's always standing around waiting to be admired by us.
If you felt like going too -> kerryclimbing.ie
My last post was about some masterpieces from my humble stack of books. If you haven't read it yet, just click here. All of them have changed something inside me, the way I perceive life and especially how I react to situations that unfold in front of me.
But one of them in particular went a little further and caused a shift in my mind.
Man`s Search For Meaning. This book was written in 1946 by Viktor Frankl, an Austrian neurologist and holocaust survivor, and it met my own quest for meaning. As I put myself in his shoes, trying to feel some of what might have been his pain during the World War II, I realize that there isn't enough empathy capable of doing so.
But each one of us know the pain and the delight of being who we are. Our own pain always seems to be the greatest of all. Our ego is often identified with pain, which becomes suffering and leaves deep marks on the soul. So I spent the entire book wondering: how can a prisoner of a concentration camp be grateful for what life is giving him?
One of the most striking passages for me is about the response time we have to respond to a stimulus. Hard people and situations will always arise and the secret to a happy life is how we respond to these situations. It sounds simple in theory, but in practice it is complex. Therefore, I highly recommend reading this book so that we are increasingly aware that everything is a matter of perspective.
Well, I confess: lie a little.
I actually own a humble heap of 8 books that I collected over 4 years living in Ireland. The lack of space and the invention of e-book readers was the perfect duo for this little pile of books to stop growing.
But virtually it's another story.
For a few years now, I've developed a strong appreciation for digital books and reading has become one of my favorite hobbies. And I would like to share with you some titles that touched my 💜 and expanded my mind:
1. The Reader (Bernhard Schlink) - My favorite. It was one of the first books I read in English and I'm crazy about the simple and straightforward writing. As controversial as it may seem, I do consider it an unconditional love story.
2. Man's Search for Meaning (Viktor E. Frankl) - One of the most needed books I've ever read. Frankl was a Holocaust survivor and brings in his words meaningful lessons.
3. Lessons (Gisele Bündchen) - Speaking of lessons, this book also brings important insights into life from a different point of view. It was one of the first books I read at the beginning of my journey and I have a special affection for it. And no, Gisele is not German, she's Brazilian.
4. The Body Keeps The Score (Bessel van der Kolk) - Flying back to Europe, this book was key for me to understand how trauma works. We often grew up with the illusion that our childhood was perfect, but Bessel explains clearly how our brain works as a child, bringing light to a delicate and painful subject.
5. Loving What Is (Byron Katie) - This book gave me work both ways. Both in the exercise proposed by the author and in the idea outlined in the book. Being aware that problems are stories we create in our heads is no easy task. I plan to read it again.
6. The Untethered Soul (Michael A. Singer) - A must read. This is another manual on how to deal with the chatter that lives inside our minds and how meditation is key to accessing our true self.
7. The Yellow Wallpaper (Charlotte Perkins Gilman) - Lastly, a feminist short story of great importance for the time it was published, in 1892. Here, the author distills into the way women and their psyches were treated in the past, while watching the yellow wallpaper of her bedroom.
There's more where these books come from, but I like short lists. Size only matters when it comes to love. So it doesn't matter how small your stack of books is, only what they mean to you. Well, beacuse you know your "heaps" don't lie.
Check out my latest readings here.
Whenever I find myself in dark moments, I remember this colorful Brazilian proverb:
"Once, there was a little girl who loved to play with her talking pencils. She would spent hours writing stories for them to act out and everyone lived in perfect harmony. All but one: the yellow pencil.
Yellow was always looking for trouble, mocking the other pencils and never following the script. It used to tease her and she often had to stop it from getting out of the case in the middle of the night.
In tears and no longer knowing what to do, she went to the master to seek for advice. Smiling with immense affection, the master asks: Who is the person responsible for writing the script?"
We often allow our thoughts to grow in our minds in such a way that they begin to haunt and control us. We tend to forget that, for a pencil to write a story, it needs a little hand from us (pun intended).
Remember: you are not thoughts. Let them play, but always keep in mind that you are the screenwriter.