Hanakapi’ai Falls, along the Na Pali coast, has a reputation of being one of the most amazing trails in Hawaii. The 8-mile hike through the lush jungle, jagged peaks and treacherous trek through the mud ends at a 300-foot long cascading waterfall, which is considered one of the most amazing waterfalls in the world.
This was at the top of Timmi and I’s bucket list. When actually faced with the hike, obviously fears developed. Will the terrain be too hard? What if we run out of water, or get hurt and can’t climb back down? Or accidentally tumble down a cliff?
One of our main reasons for coming on this trip was to conquer our fears and overcome obstacles. This hike was symbolic of our energetic journey. If we could just overcome our internal fears and take the first step, then we could chip away at what holds us back, and makes us uncomfortable, and move forward. With an 8-hour, round-trip hike ahead of us, we began.
The first portion of the hike was 500-feet above sea level. It was tiring, but we made it through. The second part of the hike, through the jungle, was much more challenging because of the inconsistent weather conditions. This was the moment that we needed to decide whether to move forward or go back. We went forward.
Hours passed, and we finally arrived at one of the most breathtaking waterfalls we’ve ever seen. It left us humbled, in awe at its beauty. It was a true gift of nature. We dove right, cleansing ourselves under the rapid falls. It felt like a vortex of energy, purifying our bodies and souls.
After we regained our strength a little, we headed back down the mountain. The trail was very hard and we were exhausted!!! If we lost our focus or footing at any moment, we would slip and go tumbling down the mountain, as the path was wet and slippery. We had to stop often, breathing and regrouping to focus at the task at hand.
I feel as if the symbolism of our lives and the hike was parallel at that moment. We were faced with overcoming our fears and stepping forward into the unknown, while still remembering to take our time, breathe, trust ourselves and stay focused. When we were done, we felt accomplished and a new lesson filled our souls.
Focus on the journey not the destination. Joy is not found in the finishing of an activity, but process of doing it.
By Heather Askinosie