After more than a year of Covid protocols, it is not surprising to see that State and National Parks are overwhelmed with people who want to get outside. We are not sedentary creatures. The human body is designed to take in and explore nature for our safety and wellbeing. Centuries of civilizations have spent time and resources ensuring that their celebrations and festivals about and for nature have been saved in history. We did not put all that effort into being outside for nothing. We need nature.
Research has shown that being outside can decrease stress, anxiety and depression.
It can increase the ability to focus and retain information.
It can reverse elevated heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension.
Being outdoors also increases your absorption of vitamin D- an essential vitamin.
There are so many great reasons to be outdoors.
What are some great activities to get you outside? Walk with your children or pets around your neighborhood, take a bike ride, plant flowers or a garden, go for a hike, try doing yoga outside, or do some nature watching. Maybe have a picnic! From there, the options are endless. The most important tools you need to get started are you, water, and sunscreen. Maybe even bug spray…
So what does being in nature do for you? It allows you to connect with nature- to see, hear and feel nature. Being in nature allows you to settle the mind and focus on you and where you are in that moment. It allows you to settle the noises that clog your ears and hear birds and the breeze. By being in nature, you can better see how connected we all are and how much we affect everything in life. Once you feel that rush of energy, you will be hooked. And that is great! Find your passion in nature and make sure that it is there for future generations.
Tell us how nature or the outdoors has impacted your life and how do you plan to share your experience with the next generation? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Visit our events page to learn about all our adventures coming up. Contact us if you’re interested in a private custom adventure. Visit the CDC website to learn more about how to stay safe and healthy during indoor and outdoor activities.
Reflect on the experiences of awe in your life and join me in a guided awe meditation.
I was taking my son for our regular walk last week in the yard. We are lucky to have a mix of open space, woods and a pond we share with the neighbors. Our usual half-way point is on the other side of the water, that’s where I take a moment to stop, take in a few deep, slow breaths, and reflect on the surrounding beauty. It’s here when I get my moment of awe, the feeling of wonder, amazement, and admiration. I don’t have too long before my son wants me to keep moving again but even though these moments of awe are short they fill up over time, day after day, week after week.
The first time I heard about an awe moment was several months ago listening to an episode from Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday podcast, one of the questions Oprah asked her guest at the end was, “when was the last time you had an awe moment”. I thought about the last time I felt a feeling of awe, it happened to be that morning, but I wanted to make sure to incorporate moments of awe in my daily life. Since having a baby my meditation practice has taken on new forms, which has been a blessing in disguise. I am now able to find meditation, mindfulness and moments of awe in ways I never thought before and was able to use some of these new methods in our latest Online Outdoor Wellness program.
Awe doesn’t have to be trekking to the top of a 14,000 ft. peak to see the sunrise over a snow-capped mountain range or being in the room when a new baby is born into the world. It can be each and every day, usually for me my awe moments are in nature; a blue heron swooping down from the sky diving towards the water, the sound of the breeze rustling through the trees in the forest, watching the bees pollinate from flower to flower in our yard. Our 14-month old son gives me awe moments and of course a lot aw moments too! An awe moment is another form of mindfulness, meditation and gratitude. It allows me to pause, look, listen and be fully present in an experience where I am consciously aware of the now.
Join me in a guided meditation exercise to experience and reflect on a moment of awe. Watch or close your eyes and listen to the practice below.