The day that Veteran’s PATH visit us at Great Western Power Company was a day full of peace, support, and fun for both our staff and for the veterans. Veteran’s PATH (the acronym standing for “peace,” “acceptance,” “transformation,” and “honor”) is a non-profit organization that began in 2008 to enable returning veterans to rediscover meaning, purpose and joy in their lives through mindfulness, meditation and a safe community.
Veteran’s PATH offers one day events combining physically engaging activities such as rock climbing, boating, and hiking with meditation and mindfulness practices, as well as five day retreats and nine week intensives for male and female veterans. Each veteran’s inner strength is supported, reflected, and magnified in the strength of the community, and Great Western was thrilled to be able to be a small part of this powerful organization’s mission.
We caught up with Veteran’s PATH to hear how their day went, and were honored to hear that they had as great a time as our staff did! Read on to hear more about the experience from the Veteran’s PATH Program Director:
Veteran’s PATH has worked with many different rock climbing gyms, and none has been more welcoming or supportive than Great Western Power Company. The management was deeply responsive and respectful of the intentions for our event, and created a structure to support us, providing a space in the yoga room for our opening circle and meditation, and excellent instructors and belayers. They were kind, educational and encouraging to each of the veterans. They helped people have the confidence to climb.
Rock climbing gives people a tangible opportunity to meet fear and cultivate confidence. One veteran watched one of the belaying instructors guide a veteran who became frozen on the wall. He said, “The staff at the rock climbing gym were so comforting and helpful. One man diffused a veteran’s panic so elegantly. He was mindful and encouraging. He kept saying, ‘I got you, you’re safe.’ He guided her to new handholds and footholds, and helped her keep going. Then he hugged her afterwards. He was great!”
After the rock climbing the veterans went to a nearby church to have lunch, learn meditation and mindfulness practices, and engage in dialogue about the challenges they are facing in their lives and tools that can be supportive. The veterans shared the lessons they learned on the rock wall that apply to their daily living.
It was a meaningful and heartwarming day, and the support and generosity from Great Western Power Company was an integral part of it.
Great Western Power Company learned so much from these exceptional veterans, and we welcome back Veteran’s PATH any time. For more information about our outreach events, please contact us at (510) 452-2022.