What is Your Dawn Wall?, by Stephanie Shockley, Integrative Therapist

Recently while watching the morning news, I heard a story about two climbers who ascended a vertical rock, the Dawn Wall on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.  Known to be the one of the most difficult rocks to scale with few footholds and ropes being used only for when climbers fall, family, friends, and supporters from around the world watched and waited for 19 days as these men reached the half-mile summit. When interviewed about their experience, one of the climbers responses “I hope it inspires people to find their own Dawn Wall.”

Hearing his words hit me, Do I have a Dawn Wall? I love a good metaphor and I view the world in hidden messages, perhaps a by-product of my childhood trying to decipher mixed messages. My conclusion was yes I have climbed a few Dawn Walls counting three at current date.  My first ascent was becoming sober after a 27-year love affair with alcohol.  The second was dissolving a marriage lasting over two decades and facing life on my own for the first time.  And the latest climb landed me in the Polar Vortex attending graduate school to become an addiction and mental health counselor.  Each climb seemed unattainable and exceeded every expectation I have for myself.

Climbing to these summits, what were my footholds and ropes? My 12-step program and faith in a higher power gave me solid footing to climb the steep mountain and the ropes used to catch my fall where my fellow sojourners consisting of my family, friends, and like-minded people I have met along the steep journey.  Facing these challenges beyond my limits has taught me what I considered impossible is in my reach and I am a strong and courageous woman. Sometimes it is hard for me to believe this is my wonderful life.

Everyone needs to find their Dawn Wall to push their growth edge and expand their energy past their imagination.

I’ll be waiting for you at the top!

Stephanie Shockley, Integrative Therapist
The Estuary
(615) 943-4697
Email Stephanie
Stephanie's Website