It’s really simple. Nothing hippie, nothing out of this world.
It just means to live in balance. In balance with your surroundings and at the same time, in balance with your inner forces. As without so within, right?
I explored this idea of the woman of the mountains because honestly, I got to know a few real mountain women on my adventures around the world – and they all left a trace.
I want to tell you four little stories of four wonderful mountain women I know and how they inspired me:
One day I went to visit a woman who lived in the mountains of Boyaca, Colombia with her family. It was a very simple house, without glass windows or cushioned floors. There were only two rooms, one with three beds made of wood and the other one with a stone stove to cook and a little wooden table. They really didn’t have much one would think, but once you looked outside you saw the beautiful land surrounding the humble home. In my eyes, they were rich. And you know what? When I arrived as a guest, the woman of the house prepared the finest food they had and even let me sleep in her bed. Let’s be honest here, not many Westerners would do that. When I ate her last eggs and drank a hot tea with her last piece of cane sugar, I truly felt humbled. And loved. This woman worked relentlessly every day, getting up at 4 in the morning – taking care of the land, house and children. And she never claimed any praise or acknowledgement, because she knew that she was being the best woman she can be, inspiring others by silent action which spoke volumes.
I visited a friend who recently moved to a land in the mountains of Switzerland and I was astonished and truly inspired by this woman – who has the same age as I have. She decided against a life in the city and chose to continue the heritage of her parents, taking care of a huge piece of land in the middle of the Swiss Alps. She and her partner moved into a little hut, learning how to take care of a land from scratch. When I saw how she is taking care of the territory and animals, working and sweating the whole day, doing all those things “a man usually does” – I just bowed in respect. She was driving the big harvesting machines and at the same time attending to her beautiful garden, serving us fresh food every day. Doing all this hard work, she never lost her smile or her beauty. She reminded me that women are much stronger than we believe ourselves to be. And once we connect to our land and accept our heritage, we can achieve great things.
She was so very young, but a real example for strength and connection. I was travelling with my 2 European friends in Vietnam and we wanted to get to know the sacred mountains of Sapa. You cannot just hike those mountains all by yourself, you need a guide. In the closest village are tons of local guides you can chose from, but we selected a very special woman. A young mother dressed in traditional clothes, carrying her little daughter on her back. She was blind in one eye. But when she smiled at us we knew she is the right choice. She guided us through blooming fields and lush green forests, up steep hills and deserted wild land. I was impressed by her knowledge of the territory and her resilience, walking for hours without stopping (and that with her little daughter strapped to her back). She knew every plant and story attached to it. She guided us safely through the mountains of Sapa, and left me with a beautiful memory of strong mountain women with a deep connection to their territory.
I just recently met a truly beautiful woman, who started a new life in the mountains of Colombia. She is in her 60s and radiates so much grace and elegance. Normally, once people move to the mountains, they stop taking care of themselves – they never use makeup or put on a nice dress – and lose a bit of their feminine gracefulness. And it is understandable, because there is so much hard physical work to do, that you just want everything to be practicable. But not this particular woman. Yes, she worked hard on her land but always maintained her graceful femininity. When I saw her in her floating dress with beautiful jewellery and lipstick, I was amazed by the power she radiated. Never losing sight of herself in the middle of the mountain. She told me “I don’t do this to please anyone else, I only do this for myself. Because when I feel good, I can make others feel good too” Amen, sister.
And you know what?
You can be a woman of the mountains, too – you don’t even have to live in the mountains. These women are an example of a way of living, of seeing the world. Humbleness. Strength. Connection. Grace. An example I like to follow.
And do you know where this realisation came from? In this video, you will see how the mountain woman within me came to life ~ in the immense and graceful mountains of Switzerland:
Are you in search of your identity as a woman like I am?
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