Over the River & Through the Woods

Pairs Well With… “Silence is a source of great strength.” ~Lao Tzu

Cabin lake sunrise

I spent my Memorial Day weekend at a cabin up North.  May was an incredibly busy and stressful month, and I needed to hit the refresh button on my life.  The plan was no plan, and I was excitedly anticipating my temporary escape from the city.  No noise.  No work. No interruptions.  The only things I expected to do were the things I wanted to do.  When it was time to come home, I was saddened that I didn’t have more time to linger the lakes before reentering reality.

There’s a different feeling when you change up your surroundings, and more so when those surroundings are naturalistic.  Nature offers an unmistakable simplicity that money can’t buy.  It helps quiet the internal restlessness of the mind and allows us to see things from a different perspective.

Here are five wonderful reasons why it’s important to skip out of the city and reground yourself with nature:

  1. Silence – Generally speaking, we don’t notice the white noise around us: traffic, lawn mowers, airplanes overhead, kids crying, sirens in the city – until there is no noise around us – just stillness and silence.  Silence provides an overwhelming sense of calm when we find it.   It gives us a sense of serenity within ourselves, our hearts and our minds.  Silence, in the right environment, slows us down and gives us what we need to reflect.  The clarity that we seek from silence comes in those moments of uninterrupted peace.
  2. Reflection – Truthfully, we can probably reflect anywhere. However, being out of our everyday element that gives us the answers we seek within ourselves.  The distance between your everyday world and being with nature forces you to take stock of your life, where you’re at and where you’re going, to ensure you head in a direction that is right for you.  Recognize what holds you back and learn to let it go. Take the time you need to clear your mind and hit refresh.  Doing so will allow you to be more focused upon your return.
  3. New Skills – Take the time to learn a new skill or hobby, and you may learn something new about yourself, too.  Whether learning to fish or taking up a new hiking trail, each day has the potential to become a new adventure.  Trying new activities allows you to grow in ways you may never have imagined.
  4. Self-Entertaining –  While being “off the grid” and disconnected to an iPhone sounds like torture to some,  it is highly necessary to do so every so often.  Before technology became the forefront of entertainment, we were forced to use our imagination, something the world is sadly lacking these days.  Engage in ways you did when you were younger: games, walks, books, conversation, writing.  Find the things you naturally gravitate towards when no one is around, and pursue those interests further.  Allow yourself to dream big, map goals and make a plan to get where you’re going.
  5. Simplicity – Learn to be happy with less, and appreciative for what you have in front of you today.  There’s beauty in simplicity, lots of it, if you pause long enough and look around.   We move so quickly day to day that we forget just how beautiful life and natural surroundings can be.  Simplicity should remind you that the world is bigger than you, it doesn’t stop for you, but can always feed your soul and provide for you if you keep your eyes open.

purple flowers nature walk

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