“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home, and think about it. Go out and get busy.”

~ Dale Carnegie


Chapter 3 Recap:

In Chapter 3, “The Arrival,” Phoenix reflects on the symbolism of his staff in the parking lot across from the Mountain Home Inn. As he grips his worn yet resilient staff, the intricate carvings tell a tale of personal healing and transformation. However, confronted by Rafiki’s simpler stick, he grapples with feelings of inadequacy and the desire for validation. As they prepare to venture into the woods, an unsettling wave of fear and sadness begins to well up, hinting at the emotional challenges awaiting Phoenix on this new leg of his journey.




Echos from the Past


…I pause one moment and look over my shoulder, an unsettling wave of fear and sadness beginning to well up in the pit of my stomach.


I recall when I was last here on Labor Day. My girlfriend and I had overslept, waking up sometime around noon. We were lying in bed, both feeling guilty we had let most of the day go by, yet, at the same time, there was an underlying sense of love, connection, and contentment that we enjoyed a leisurely morning snuggling together for so many hours.


“I don’t know when the last time I slept in this late was,” my girlfriend exclaimed.


“That makes two of us,” I grinned leaning in to kiss her.


“I feel guilty. The day is mostly gone. I was hoping to do some exercise.”


My brain was already pinging, contemplating ideas of what we could do. That Energizer Bunny was all wound up and ready to go. “How adventurous are you feeling?”


“I’m always down for an adventure,” she replied, her eyes suddenly bright with excitement.


“Let’s hike Mt. Tamalpias and see the sunset. We can go to the parking lot my friend suggested last night. But we need to get a move on it if we’re going to make it to the top in time. We can pack leftovers to eat on the hike.”


She eagerly agreed, pushed me off her, and bounded out of bed. We got dressed and were out of the house in 40 minutes arriving at this very parking lot close to 1:30pm.


I remember standing behind the back of my car, scarfing down a quick meal with plastic forks from our amazing dinner the night before. I carefully loaded my backpack with water, food, and snacks from the cooler, positive this old Boy Scout was well prepared for our adventure. I would later learn I forgot something extremely important.


Before we started our trek into the valley, I told my girlfriend I’d be right back and walked across the road to check out the Mountain Home Inn. It didn’t look like much from the parking lot; a single story three-bedroom house. When I got to the back side of the inn and peered over the edge of the cliff, I was shocked. There, cut into the side of the mountain, were four stories of rooms overlooking Marin and the San Francisco Bay.


Mountain Home Inn
© 2024, Inner Child Dimensions, LLC.


What a view! My girlfriend had followed me across the street. I stood behind her, arms wrapped around her waist, and secretly planned that someday, I’ll bring her back so we can stay at this very inn.


As the memory flashed back in full force, tears stream down my face. Now that will never happen. And the battling negative self-talk in my mind starts.


“Never say never.”


“I can’t hold onto hope.”


“You don’t know the future.”


“It happened again. I came on too strong and was oblivious.”


“She lost a good thing.”


“I lost a good woman.”


“I just don’t get it.”


“You always push people away.”


“I thought we had built a foundation of communication.”


“Doesn’t matter. The ones you love always leave.”


I turn back to the path. Seven days after my girlfriend agreed to commit to a relationship together, we went on this hike. And now, seven days after we broke up, Rafiki is taking me on it again.


My childhood wound had re-opened, and it was gushing blood. It was going to get infected if I didn’t tend to it and this wasn’t helping!


My tears turned to anger. Why the fuck did Rafiki take me here? Of all places! Why here?…

Chapter 5


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