Do you feel you could use some unplugged time from your busy life? Would you like to enjoy the calming connection nature provides? I’ve got just the thing for you! You are invited to a mindfulness hike in the woods this summer!
“When we get closer to nature—be it untouched wilderness or a backyard tree—we do our overstressed brains a favor.” –Florence Williams, This Is Your Brain On Nature
The idea for the Mindfulness Hike Retreat grew out of an experience I had a few years ago. At that time I was still suffering with the pain of being forced to change my job. In my first job after earning my degree, I loved going to work everyday. I finally felt like I had arrived. This was the job I worked so hard for the last few years. To top it off I was in a clinic where my colleagues felt like family. It lasted a year, a year that I am still grateful for.
Then one day my supervisor told me I was being transferred. The news came out of the blue. My heart sank and my eyes started to smart with tears. Immediately I felt a heavy sense of loss, betrayal and lack of control. I was devastated.
During the transition I struggled going to and being at work. I was so angry! My thoughts were constantly racing – “Should I look for a different job?” “This is not fair!” “This is going to be a disaster” “You are going to hate your new job.” Not very helpful, right?!
At this point I had been practicing mindfulness for a couple of years but I struggled to step back and gain perspective. So I leaned on my mindfulness practice harder than ever.
Then one beautiful day I went for a run. The sun wrapped me up in its warm blanket of rays. I glanced up at the trees and stopped dead in my tracks. The beauty of the bright blue sky with its perfectly fluffy white clouds and vibrant green leaves was stunning! As I took the time to let everything else go I saw the break in the tree leaves formed the shape of a heart. A big smile spread across my face and the warmth on my skin felt like it was now glowing in my heart. In an instant I felt a deep sense of calmness and knowing wash over me.
In that moment of connectedness with nature I knew I was going to be okay. I would be able to accept the circumstances and find a way to love what I do again.
And that’s what I did! From that moment forward I felt more whole and connected with my environment and myself. Once again I was exactly where I was supposed to be. The connectedness with nature allowed me to engage in the “cleaning of the mental windshield” (Williams, 2015). I was able to wipe away all of those unhelpful, useless thoughts of anger to once again access my higher perspective and feel peaceful. Mind you, nothing about my actual situation changed, just me!
If you want to learn how to quiet your mind and live with more ease and well-being then come join me for a day in the woods! I will walk you through basic mindfulness skills; meditation and yoga to help you kick start your journey to connectedness with not only nature but more importantly, yourself!