“Life is complex. Each one of us must make his own path through life. There are no self-help manuals, no formulas, no easy answers. The right road for one is the wrong road for another…The journey of life is not paved in blacktop; it is not brightly lit, and it has no road signs. It is a rocky path through the wilderness. ” M. Scott Peck

We often so want to believe that something, someone, will just hand us a user manual for how to live life.  I don’t know about you, but I didn’t receive a course titled ‘Life 101’ when I was young, I’ve had to learn things along the way.  No one has had the answers for me, and I’ve found that I need to make my own decisions as I go.  Learn and grow along the way.  And, sometimes trip and fall as well.

Yes, we can seek guidance from others, but, we do have an internal referencing system, our own personal GPS, that we can use to help us find our way.  By tuning into our intuition, our higher self, we may find we actually can hone in on the direction, some answers to what is most important to us.

How might you access and listen to your own GPS?  What signals do you have to give you direction in life?  What is the path you choose?

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There is nothing sadder in this world than the waste of human potential. The purpose of evolution is to raise us out of the mud, not have us groveling in it.  Northern Exposure, Cicely, 1992

Are we wasting our potential?  As humans, as individuals…there is so much petty selfishness, greed, close-mindedness in the world we forget our true potential.  Are we evolving or groveling?  Depending on where you look, what you focus on, either could be the answer.  As humans, we have such potential, but sometimes we waste it away.

Where in your life are you living up to your potential?  Where might you be groveling? How can you step back to see the big picture so you can continue to learn and grow?  What is your potential?

“Some people are making such thorough preparation for rainy days that they aren’t enjoying today’s sunshine.” William Feather

Do you spend too much time preparing for the future, not really savoring the joys of this day?    Many people spend time focusing on the needs of tomorrow, the future, and many dwell upon what has happened in the past.  We can’t do anything about the past, it is gone and all we have are memories, and, hopefully, learning opportunities.  And yes, we need to plan for the future, to prepare, yet it is vital that we spend time living in the present.

How might that show up for you?    And what would that provide?  If we are present to what is happening today, to today’s sunshine, we can savor, really enjoy this time.  We can really notice thoughts, feelings, sensations, right now.  Experience the present moment now.

How can you be more present in your day to day life?  What do you need to do to enjoy today’s sunshine?

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.” John.Muir

Why is it that we are so removed from nature?  We have so many distractions, both in our heads, and ones we create in life (i.e. technology), that we don’t take the time to be present and to step out into the natural world.  We don’t often take the time to observe, breath it in (life, the oxygen created by the plant material, any of our other senses).  In doing this, getting out in nature, we can bring ourselves into more balance, relax those over-worked nerves, and get refreshed.

Clouds at sunset

If we don’t go to the mountains, usually we can find trees, a plant, a picture, or something that reminds us of the natural world.  Our lives depend on it.  What do you need to do to add a bit of wilderness into your life?  Why would that be important to you?  How might that make a difference in how you relate to everything else?

I think of the 1st time I went to climb a 14’er (a mountain over 14,000′).  From the base of the mountain, the task looks impossible.  I can believe at that moment that I can not do it, and justify this with all kinds of evidence from past experiences and beliefs.  Then, I don’t even bother to try. 

Or, I can say ‘I believe I can’, and give it my best effort, focusing on the section of trail ahead of me or just one step at a time.  ‘Yes, I can’ then propels me forward.  I may not always know how, but trust that I will find a way to make it.  That mountain wasn’t impossible after all!

Have you considered where in your life a belief is holding you back from achieving what you really want?   Is it keeping you from even trying??   So often we believe what we think, we believe it as ‘truth’.  But, that is just a thought.  Don’t believe everything you think!  Question your thoughts, look at things from a different angle, or ask, ‘How can I make this work out?’.  Where in your life do you need to just say, ‘yes, I believe I can’ and continue to move forward?

“Life is complex.  Each one of us must make his own path through life. There are no self-help manuals, no formulas, no easy answers. The right road for one is the wrong road for another…The journey of life is not paved in blacktop; it is not brightly lit, and it has no road signs. It is a rocky path through the wilderness. ”
M. Scott Peck

100_2015

Do you know why you go into nature?  What are your reasons for being in the outdoors?  Sometimes I step outdoors for exercise or fresh air, sometimes I need to clear my mind, relax, or release tension. There are many reasons to be in nature, sometimes I am aware of them, sometimes not.

For example, I can say I’m going hiking to someone, and they have a preconceived notion of what I am doing.  And unless I share my intention for that trip with another, there is assumption in what I am doing, per another person’s POV.

Have you ever been on a hike with others and find that your reason for being out differs from theirs? I have learned leading outdoor trips that not only do you have to specify how many miles you plan to go, how steep the elevation, and how fast is your pace, but also you need to be clear on what the purpose of this trip is.   Is achieving the top of the mountain the goal, learning the plants, or perhaps watching the birds?  What about the intention of just noticing, using all of your senses, or feeling into what nature is whispering to you.  This takes a much slower pace, and much mindfulness.

We live in a society that is goal oriented. Often the top of that peak, or as many miles as possible is the goal. But what else is there? Is this all there is, or are there other ways to approach being in nature?  I say YES, there are so many ways we can be in nature, but we may need to create and be clear of what that means.

There is no right way. There is choice. And having clarity around what you want is key. Your intention may be to learn the flowers along the way, discover what animals are living in the area, or to get to the top. Maybe it’s about lingering and getting a sense of the place.  But when you hike with others, clarifying your different intents is crucial, preferably before you start the trip!  You want to linger on that gorgeous outcrop and contemplate life, but your companions want to bag that peak and be back by lunch. Clearly, having an intention at the beginning of the trip is useful, but also communicating your intentions to others is important, especially if you expect to work or achieve a goal together.

And this is how it is in life.  Getting clear on our intentions, and then communicating this to others whom with we move through life. Our frustrations can be greatly decreased with clarity of intention and open communication.  Nature has this to teach us, and more.  How can we learn to be more intentional in life?  What do you need to communicate to others?  How might this show up in your world?  I look forward to hearing back!

That is the question.  To wander or not, the not being to stay in line with a dictated path.  To wander is to let your body and mind move to where ever the current inspiration takes you.

It’s not a bad thing to stay on trail, stay the course, follow the linear path.  Sometimes it’s better to follow something tried and true, sometimes it’s better to stay on the trail so as not to trample plants or cause unnecessary erosion or disruption.  Yet, to wander is to free the soul, to allow the spirit to just go without limitations, shoulds, plans.  And that is not a bad thing either.

We humans spend so much of our time in structured ways.  This is often very linear.  But to wander is to just be present to whatever shows up, non-linear, free-flowing.  To wander in nature allows our spirit to be open to whatever may show up- curiosity, inspiration, and by allowing our feet to follow we come upon some fascinating things we would never have if we stayed on the path.

It’s a form a flow, you know that feeling of being so absorbed in something that we are unaware of time, coupled with movement in an ever-changing environment, that opens to some ahh-haa moments.  From a philosophical point of view, it is nice to see how ‘wander’ may show up in our lives.  For me, I am compelled to think outside the masses, to think and sometimes work in circles.  Maybe it sounds redundant to some, yet the cyclic way I go about things is a form of flow, and, given enough space and time, many things circling around become complete.  And, sometime I need to be linear, to plan and follow the given course.  To everything there is a season…

Where are you compelled to wander in your life?  Are there places where you can free your soul to wander in nature and see what shows up?  I encourage this (and still be respectful to nature by not trampling), and would love to hear how this shows up in your life!

 

 

 

 

 

It’s that time again to dig our hands in the dirt and thank Mother Earth for all that she has provided.  While we are at it, do something to help lessen the burden of our impact on the earth.  Recycle, clean, restore, refrain from driving, be respectful to others and this entity that gives us life.  And celebrate what a beautiful world we live in!  Look around, see beauty where you didn’t before, take a new perspective, smile!

See earthLove your Mother!

“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.” Alan Alda

Fall aspen walk

Sometimes it is time to leave what is comfortable, what we know.  Stepping into the wilderness is scary but here we grow.  Here you can be curious, creative and spontaneous.  Trust a calling or do something that makes you uncomfortable, reconnect and discover that deeper part of yourself.

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