Judy McNuttJudy McNutt
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 (PS: call on your inner friend!)

Then listen.

It happens to everyone sooner or later. You’re on deadline and the only signs of life in your brain are a few crickets. Scribbling more than writing, your cave of a mind says, “I can’t do it. I cannot write one more thing today. Go away, away, away….”

Recently while on a deadline, I looked up and my Happy Kitty Clock twitched her whiskers and seemed to say, “This will only get worse. Why not cannibalize one of your poems?” Alright. What can it hurt to excavate a piece from The Vault of the Unpublished? I had never followed advice from my clock, but nothing else was working so, why not?

I recalled a poem I had written about the morning I drove out to Cowles Mountain to hike to the summit and clear my head. It was my first week back in San Diego after a death in the family and it had been an experience fraught with unnecessary drama. A friend warned, “That mountain is a more challenging climb than it appears.” I considered her opinion, put my gear in the car and roared off to greet the sunrise.

Arriving early that morning I appraised the long climb ahead of me. I already felt the fatigue of the 6% grade up the first part of the trail. I pictured myself in the title role of an ant planning to ascend a camel’s hump.  The scale was accurate. The Plan for getting myself out of the doldrums dragged up the mountain somewhere down the hill behind me.  My eyes scanned the grasslands and dry brush. I pressed onward.


In time, I stopped for water near a boulder and spied a shady place to rest. I “received” a  feeling I should just keep moving. Thank goodness I only thought about having a seat in the shade! (Below, see a picture of my shady water-stop!) Sssss!

Hill-walking should not be this tough for me, I complained inside my head! This was dismal. I imagined unhelpful images of exhaustion and stories of twisted ankles and bloody knees. I was sabotaging myself.

A cooling breeze stirred. I stopped trudging and inhaled, exhaling with conscious pleasure. I re-started the journey on the spot. A song of hope and encouragement bubbled up to the surface of my conscious mind. That melodic voice vibrated every cell in my feet, then up my legs, into my belly.  My heart took up the song! “It’s just a little walk, a stroll. One step at a time. Here we go!”

That voice, my inner friend, and champion knew what my Whiney Mind did not; that I would conquer this mountain this day! And not once did I dredge up the past.

I know, my little story of climbing a mountain cannot compare with the story of a person who conquered lifelong fears, or a child who faces famine, or who faces the horrors of a terrorist attack.

But this climb over the top of my fears, and self-doubt changed me nonetheless. I find that life can be part experiment, part nature study, and part character-building experience, especially if we awaken to the learning offered by any challenge.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face. You can say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

When you come out the other side, at least you have more information about you than you had in the beginning. So I encourage you, when the going gets challenging, call forth your “inner friend” when you need Hope or a Boost for your “Can do” Spirit. Your Inner Friend is there to help you wrap your mind around circumstances that your emotional brain cannot. Every cell in your body holds wisdom and connects to both physical and nonphysical resources. Tune in, no matter what you are being called upon to do and listen for the voice of your own power, your secret friend within!

Regardless of what you are being called upon to do, listen to the voice of your own power. You have an inner resource, your champion, your inner friend!

WRITING PROMPT- “If I didn’t get in my own way so much I…”



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