This summer I had a chance to once again marvel at how our emotions can distort reality. My first visit to Mt. Rainier happened a few years ago. And then for a few years I couldn’t bring myself to revisit the place for one simple reason. I so vividly remembered one stretch of the road – a long, scary drive on the very edge of the cliff, when our car could start tumbling down the rocky abyss any moment.

To those who live in the Washington state – it was a drive to the Sunrise entrance to the Mt. Rainier National Park. If you remember the road and already started wondering what scary place I am talking about, hold your curiosity…

This summer I attended the Universal Healing Tao Retreat presented by Master Mantak Chia. It was so interesting to me to see how often the ancient Tao meditations I learned there were structured a lot like modern NLP techniques. And somehow, during this retreat, without even noticing this, I lost my fear of heights. You may ask, “How you can just loose fear?” Well, one day while hiking in the mountains, I realized that I can admire the view from a mountaintop without a familiar swirling of panic in my stomach. What a discovery!

Still, as we were preparing to go to the Sunrise again this summer, I felt a little apprehensive. Will I be able to endure this long and scary drive? And to my amazement, there were no such place at all! Yes, there was a stretch of the road, where you drive close to the edge, but now I could see 1) It was perfectly safe, there was plenty of space. 2) It wasn’t that long at all.

The real test for my transformation came when my friend Dasha and I on my third visit to Mt. Rainier this summer (yes, I just couldn’t get enough), missed our turn and had to drive a much longer stretch of a road along the edge … in a thick mist… And I felt safe. I trusted my friend’s drivings skills, I trusted the car and I trusted the road.

More and more I realize how important it is to let go of irrational fears. Yes, there are some fears which keep us alive and stop us from doing risky and dangerous things. And there are other fears that prevent us from expanding and growing and most importantly, from experiencing something wonderful.

This summer I visited Mt. Rainier four times in one month. And it was breathtakingly beautiful every time.