I have recently (6 months ago!) come back from Nepal where I trekked the Himalayas for 11 days for the jolly achievement of making it all the way to Mount Everest base camp. This diary entry was written on Day 6 of the journey, and it best describes what was going through my mind at the time


Body, Mind and Soul! This is what I will call this journey. It is no doubt one that thrusts the limits of all three. It situates the aforesaid 3 elements in complete coherence and the moment you squander this coherence you will feel a throbbing pain within your body, mind and soul.


It is going through moods and transformations that it might have never experienced before. It learns to manage your aches and controls the blood flow to elements that are in dire need for it. The changes transpire all the way down to the cellular level where membranes learn to adapt to ever decreasing levels of oxygen. With every uphill, downhill, a warm walk, a cold night sleep, the body readjusts the defaults, controls the pain and focuses on the most important task; keeping you going!


Trekking is one big mind game. You set your self a goal and with all the difficulties (planned and unplanned for) your mind plays games with you all along. It has to manage 10 billion things and makes it ever harder to keep you focused on your target. It will remind you of your luxuries, your comfortable bed, a hot shower and even your daily routine are portrayed to you as the jewels of your life and makes you forget the slightest idea that this is exactly what you’re currently escaping. It makes you think that even your most hated inconveniences are god sent blessings. But in spite of that you have to turn all this undesirable energy and thoughts into positive vigour; refocus on your target and archive all your deleterious thoughts. This is not an easy task, but once accomplished, you would have achieved complete governing over your mind.


It is hustling and bustling to reach self-actualization. At this stage it must have gone through close to a 100 mini actualizations and at least a few major ones. Your soul feels free; it is so close to blue it rejoices every time you comprehend something new about anything. Cleansing might not be the right word as this means your soul was filled with rubbish before, but maybe ‘rejuvenation’ (in its all non-sexual context) is a better word. You’ve got all the time in the world to put some dots on all the letters in your book, fill the gaps and better understand your inner self. You randomly notice that you are having some peculiar moments of lone smiling. Your soul is expressing happiness, so are you!


You have just experienced a twinkling of self-fulfilment; your soul wants you to smile! It sends all the right signals to your body; your body receives it and reassigns some of the resources currently consumed by that headache of yours to one that makes you smile. Your mind reroutes the neural activity, manages the blood flow and contracts your facial muscles to one that resembles a happy face. Voila! Coherence. Yes this can arise in a 5-star life inside a warm bed, but there exists a big inhibitor called ‘STRESS’. Think of stress as that one element that would blow your lab experiment up; add it to the formula of life and you’ve thrown coherence out of the window. Everest gets you to experience a state of coherence you’ve never felt before, one that puts your body, mind and soul in orchestrated harmony.


– Ali Tawfiq, Nov 15th, 2014, Labuche, Nepal

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