One of my methods of personal healing alongside yoga and Pilates is NATURE. Such an encapsulating word. Spending extended periods of time in tune with the rhythms of the Earth is how I re-align myself and discover new internal realms. When I backpack, I remember how much I don't need to have and how much I don't need to do. When I climb, I directly encounter all personal barriers, all the obstacles I place in front of myself, and work with them to work through them. When I guide others into a relationship with the sun and the moon, with the wind and the rain, with the terrain we were made to explore, I see that planetary healing is truly possible, and just within our grasp. I have guided multi-day backpacking trips and day-long climbing trips, and regularly teach seminars on backcountry travel, winter camping, map and compass use, and various climbing skills.
I can't imagine my life without a relationship to the REAL world. I love the feeling of my bare feet in the cold dirt of the mountains, the sensation of the wind as it carves it's presence into my bones, the compressive warmth of the sun on my skin. When outside I turn feral - not in the sense of uncontrollable base instincts, but in the sense of returning home. I tune in and it's as if I hear more and see farther. I GET TO notice the glimpse of a curious hummingbird, the individual drops of pollen in the center of a sunflower, the shifting clouds and the play of light they bring. I typically don't feel how wound up I am or how disconnected I am to myself until I am somewhere that I can unwind and tune into my body. My dad told me, We can get used to anything. I can get so used to being in contraction I forget the second piece of the pulse, the expansion. The mat, yoga and Pilates, helps, but it can never replace the shedding, the undoing that fresh air and the elements provide for me. I believe they are inseparable partners, dancing balance and happiness into my life.
It's difficult to put into words why getting outside means so much, why I am compelled to show others a way in. Developing a relationship with Mother Earth helps us develop a relationship with ourselves. Outside is a place where we take little (depending on the expedition) and bring back so much. We synchronize with the planet we evolved with, we awaken to the wisdom of our bodies by paying attention to sensation, and we have an opportunity to see how little we need to feel supreme connection and love. In the prolonged quiet from day-to-day life, we see and can better understand our motivations, we can invite all that lies beneath the surface into our vision. When we become aware of these aspects of life, we inevitably want to share and pass them on - it feels like a secret, one the world must hear in order to be saved, to revolutionize itself into a home for us all. When we dive into ourselves, when we attune so deeply, we see the Source of which we are ALL extensions. Nature is a way to get there, to know, to connect, and a place to come back from bringing it all with us.