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The Mountain and The Man

By Leila Briggs

When I was a little, I would often dream of a luscious mountainside. I would sit on the green moss of the mountainside and reflect or watch the beautiful landscape below. Sometimes I would meander down the mountainside and be surrounded by a ring of old stone buildings and churches. Occasionally there was a boy that would sit next to me or walk with me, most times in silence.

Around the age of of 8, I realized I could consciously leave my body and go to this place at will. I would go there to escape for a bit. I used the time to reflect, admire the land or be in the company of the boy. (Interestingly the boy seemed to grow as I grew.) Just as I would do in my dreams.

In my pre-teen and teen years I came to suspect this was a real location, possibly in Ireland. I had years of competitive step dance, Irish music, and even some Irish language. On the daily I was surrounded by Irish culture. My system was inundated with images, sounds and people of Ireland. Many times the experiences would bring forth the same sense of peace and escape I often felt in these dreams and daydreams. Logically my brain began to see them as one.

I still visited this location in my dreams and daydreams; but I got a little more courageous in my visits. I started exploring with the hopes of finding significant markers or information to correlate to a physical location. The boy, who was now a teen, was also a focus of my attentions. I would often ask him for advice or question his presence. He rarely spoke. Most times he would simply hold out his hand and if I chose to reach out as well, hold mine. I believed at the time, the boy was an incarnation of mine.

After my dad died, there was a massive shift in how I perceived the mountainside. It became a bustle of human movement, information and spiritual energy. It was no longer peaceful and often I was going not by choice. I went with a sense of need or even being pulled there against my will.

Naturally, I was full of grief and anger when my dad died. Physically life became heavy and burdensome. My sacred mountainside became a reflection of that complexity. It wasn’t a place of peace and reset anymore. It was a focal point of all that needed to be done, the hurdles I had to climb, and all that I did not understand. Now I avoided it.

As always the Universe has a funny way of fixing things and ensuring you get the growth you need.

In college, I took my focus away from Irish step dance and music. (I also took my focus away from my abilities and spirit!) I still focused on dance; but now I was re-training/working in modern and ballet. In hindsight, I can say this transition was a subconscious effort to run from my mountainside. However at the time, I viewed it as a need to “grow up and be normal for once.”

Curiously in my waking life, people began to talk about this mountainside. Out of nowhere, others would share emotions and dreams where I had abandoned them on this mountain in Ireland. I had left them there to struggle, fight and find their way on their own. Sometimes, this would lead to high emotions and confusing fights that others would conveniently forget; but left me reeling for days. Occasionally I would get the opposite. A few others physically accused me of “hiding my mountainside and my abilities” from them. Keeping all the love and growth for myself.

My dreams took a turn. Now I dreamt of the churches crumbling and falling, horrendous acts of violence on the mountainside...and frantically looking for the young man I knew should be there. The dreams weighed on me as I tried to live and work.

One summer I took all the money I had earned and used it for a ticket to Ireland. No real plan in place; but a hope I would find this location. I didn’t. However, I knew I had gotten close. I came home with a sense that this was something much bigger then me. And a sense that this something bigger was directing my life without my permission.

These experiences with other people and dreams continued to happen. I shared them with my mom frequently. In my early twenties, my mom and I decided to backpack through Ireland together. We had every intention of finding this mountain. We had a plan in place. I put the emphasis on the spiral or ring of churches as I thought they would be the easiest landmarks to identify.

Turns out there are quite a few “rings of churches” in Ireland! Nonetheless, it was an adventure like no other! It's easiest to simply share: we found the mountainside. The grief and anger I felt when I had to leave and return home was unbelievable. While we told no one of our reasoning to take this trip, when I returned many shared that they feared I would "abandon them, not come home or come home married."

I continued to have dreams about this mountain. With the validation of the physical location I willingly went to the mountainside in meditations and dreams. I worked to unearth the secrets and lessons hidden within the site. I worked to bring the mountainside back to peace. I had a knowing this mountain was as much a real place, as it was a reflection of my soul. (I also continued my search for the young man.) This active work led to a deep connection with my mother. She had witnessed the many moments of synchronicity and Divine while in Ireland together. Now, she sought the adventure the mountain unraveled, just as I did. Almost on the daily I was sharing with her the meditations and dreams of the mountain. She readily shared her interpretations and insights.

A year or two after my mother and I had returned from Ireland, I had a curious moment with my sister. We were celebrating the holidays together. Out of nowhere and without conscious thought I turned to my sister and said, “I would like to start going to the gym with you everyday. It’s important.” She looked at me confused and shocked. I'm sure my face displayed the same emotions. After a moment she surprisingly agreed.

And that's what I did! I knew there was something more at play; but had no sense where it was going. Every morning I would wake up, prep my food for the day and then drive 40 minutes to meet her and we would go to the gym together. We worked out for almost two hours every day and then I would drive home.

Months into this routine, I was standing at a machine one day, waiting my turn. I looked across the floor and on the other side of the gym stood the man from the mountainside. I was shocked! He froze. Time stood still for a moment. I heard his name whispered in my ear and I felt my heartbeat with such force it was shifting my auric field. His eyes flashed the most brilliant blue and then he quickly left the gym out a side door. My sister brought my awareness back. Tears were streaming down my face. Obviously she was alarmed; but I couldn’t tell her what had happened. I couldn’t tell anyone for a long time… never once had I entertained the idea that this boy/man was real.

My focus changed. Now I wasn’t meditating to work with the mountainside; instead it was to work with and know this man. For years, physically and spiritually, this man and I danced around each other and used it. I now saw him again on the mountainside in my dreams and meditations. He worked with me to bring it back to peace. Physically, just like in my dreams, he was a man of few words; but one with a profound presence.

I faced myself, through the physical presence of this man, in ways that are unfathomable for me. Even in hindsight. I always returned to the mountainside to find my center in the rollercoaster of emotions and experiences.

There came a definitive moment, where I wanted to move on and let go of the mountain… and the man. I knew I had gained all the growth and understanding I could. The mountain had consumed the better part of my life and "the work" was never ending. I desired to move beyond. I couldn’t though. I began to hate this mountain and in turn, hate this man. It became a burden and a signal of a life that was chosen FOR me, rather then one I had chosen for myself.

I worked tirelessly for three years to move beyond the mountain. I had the mindset if I couldn’t move beyond it; then I needed to settle within me what was at odds with what was being given to me. All dreams and meditations stopped. The mountain and man became a fleeting whisp of the past. So delicate, it was almost as if it had never happened. Yet these three years brought the most trying and visceral moments of my life. When I attempted to describe to others what I was experiencing (I often failed), I described it as “trying to get the space to physically live and enjoy it.”

Once again odd conversations and experiences began to play out in front of me physically. This time I was prepared and moved with them. I was unsure where they were going to take me but I knew I needed a change. I hoped all that I had learned about spirit and strategy on the mountain would serve me well.

After three years, there was a settling. And a waiting. Almost like my energy and my Universe were holding its’ breath. That's were I have been. In the waiting. Until a few nights ago...

I was drifting asleep and I sensed warmth on my face. It was familiar; but I couldn’t place it. It was something of the past. In my dream, I looked through the trees to the sunlight, feeling the warmth on my face… I was back on the mountain. Everything was still and calm. Everything was at peace. Only the birds and the gentle whistle of the wind through the leaves could be heard. I awoke with a great exhale, a gentle rush of energy returning, and the sense that an old friend was on their way.

I am back on the mountain and we will see what soul adventure awaits!

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Now that you are back on your Mountain, I can't wait to hear what adventures await you! 💜

Apr 03, 2023
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I can't wait to see what unfolds! I will definitely share!

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