Are you like me? Do you purposely plan a few new things you’re going to do, or learn, or experience each year, so that the year doesn’t fly by without it happening?

I had a developmental goal for 2017: take a Karuna Reiki training class. As a Reiki Master, this was an additional training that I heard so many good things about. Not only would I personally benefit tremendously from the experience, as I have with my previous Reiki trainings, I would gain more insight and techniques and tools to use with clients in my coaching practice.

I’m not sure why I didn’t plan it sooner. There was definitely some kind of an internal struggle going on for me. Was it the fear of traveling all the way to Maui, Hawaii? The money it would cost? The feelings of not being worthy of such an experience due to limitations I still carry from my childhood?

Time was flying by, the class was in 6 weeks – should I delay it until next year?

No! Something deep inside was telling me this is the class for you and now’s the time. Do it now. This experience, this trip is for you.

So I paid my class deposit, booked my flight and began frantically planning where I would stay and what else I could do while there…and so began the rollercoaster of emotions too…from excited to fearful to doubtful and everything else in between…with, and picture it, that slow climb of the rollercoaster all the way to the highest point, then that part where you are hanging forward in your seat about to drop, that was the feeling I got when thinking about the part of this trip called the “road to Hana”. Not just once, but many other times before and during this entire trip.

You see, after I booked my non-refundable flight and rental car, I then learned more about Hana, the town in Maui where the class was being held. And specifically the road to Hana, the one and only road to get there, and how it was one of the most dangerous roads on earth. Flashbacks of my nerve wracking experience driving in the mountains when I moved to North Carolina came back to me in an instant. The sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach felt like a brick.

The road is called ‘The Heavenly Road to Hana” because, and I agree, the views are gorgeous, including waterfalls, scenic ocean views, and botanical gardens. As with life, and with the road to Hana, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Hana is quiet, remote and reminiscent of Hawaii 30+ years ago, think 1 gas station, 1 restaurant, 1 hotel, gangs of roosters walking around the streets, limited to no cell phone service. It’s a great destination if you are looking for a peaceful Hawaiian experience away from it all.

What had my stomach turning was that despite the “heavenly” description, they also sell “I survived the road to Hana” t-shirts. This road to Hana is about 50 miles long, but takes 2 ½ to 3 hours to drive, without stopping. It’s very narrow, full of twists, over 600 hairpin turns, cliffs, falling rocks and over 50 one lane bridges, and since it’s at higher elevations and snakes through a tropical rainforest, it rains quite frequently making the driving conditions even worse. And then add plenty of tourists not familiar with the road plus locals and mini tour buses who appear to be overly comfortable driving it. Yikes!

This roadtrip was the main challenge I needed to get through (or so I thought) and it cast a shadow over much of my 10 day trip. I was worrying about it, and not knowing what to really expect I was talking to others to hopefully get some tips or at a minimum, get some comforting advice like ‘it’s not that bad”. The feedback online and from those I spoke to was mixed: some of it made me feel better, some of it made me question my choices. But I was committed, there was no turning back now. I reminded myself of what Friedrich Nietzsche said, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” As a results-driven coach, I get it. You need to get out of your comfort zone if you want to grow, and I was definitely going out of my comfort zone, but maybe too much so. At times, it felt like too much.

There were lots of changes leading up to this decision to go on this trip to Hana, Maui. Business changes, physical changes, and personal changes. I finished my new website (kathyzering.com), a project I was working on for months. I’d also been eating differently, following a mostly ketogenic menu paired with Intermittent Fasting, and a few extended fasts, and the results have been impressive (down 35 lbs in 4 months!-more on this topic in a future post). Change is good, this next challenge would be good too – um – right?

This was going to be the challenge of a lifetime: a lesson in having faith, trusting myself and others, noticing and managing the contrasts in life, and being open to accepting help in all its unexpected ways.

I was off to Maui – and my road to Hana!