Joy, Peace, and Bliss on a Mountain Trail Run


This morning I was acutely reminded of the absolute Joy, Peace, and Bliss I experience while trail running in the mountains around Cape Town, South Africa.


Yet, it was partly imaginary, underlining the importance and usefulness of imagination. As Albert Einstein is quoted as saying: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

Imagination is, therefore, an important, always available tool for those of us determined to embrace a more joyful and fully conscious life.

Constructive Passions

Why was the run partly imaginary? Well, I was running but not on the mountain, instead along suburban roads around my home in the early morning darkness and quietness. Uppermost in my mind was gratitude that I was still able to experience this alternative to trail running, and feeling some of the related sensations while imagining being back on the mountain trails again. Gratitude that I am physically able to run, and for the magnificent surroundings that I  am so fortunate to be able to exercise in, even in suburbia. I am determined to never lose my appreciation of these advantages in my life.

One of my most intense positive passions is running. I experience bliss when I am running in the early morning with my regular running partner Lynne. Being up in the mountain, enjoying both the silence as well as uplifting conversation is The Yin and Yang of any good relationship. Whatever the prevailing weather conditions are, we fully appreciate and enjoy Nature’s prolific gifts that are freely offered to us.

Each one of us has something that ‘calls’ to us, that we really need to do to lead a fulfilling life, running is one of mine. The question is, are you allowing yourself to similarly express and enjoy the fruits of your own constructive passions?


It is interesting to notice the difference in attitudes of people while I am out walking or jogging. Some very smiling and friendly in their return or initiatory greeting, some more muted, and others totally ignoring my greeting.  This is a lesson for me to accept others just as they are. I don’t know what’s in their mind when we pass each other, and it doesn’t matter. It just is what it is, an axiom I try to remind myself of regularly, particularly when my immediate reaction is to wish things were different; which is just wishful thinking and a waste of time.

‘It is what it is’ – a great lesson in acceptance of what is, of circumstances we cannot change. All that we can change lies within ourselves, starting with our attitude; and that is very powerful.

An Attractive and Attracting Attitude

After one of the very uplifting interactions during the run this morning I noticed I had started running faster – an automatic, inspired response to feeling happier; underlining the importance and potentially motivating influence of a positive and friendly approach.

On this point, I am amazed at the often upbeat interactions with ‘street people’, while they rummage through garbage bins to supplement their meager existences before many people are even out of their cozy beds. Hardly the most joyful life circumstances, and yet many of them are cheerful, polite, and friendly; acting almost as if they were putting their bins out before returning inside to the comfort of their home.

What a lesson this is for me, who enjoys so many upsides in a life in which it is so much easier to have an attractive and attracting attitude. I hope these experiences consistently bring a measure of humility into my life and may it always be sustained by heartfelt gratitude.