When I feel super stressed, or overwhelmed with life, or simply in need of a soul detox, I run to the wilderness with my backpack. This particular time, I know I was at my wits end, and I truly don’t remember the reason - it may have been when I found out I wasn’t being promoted and I instantly placed ALL my self-worth on this one lousy fact. I remember feeling my insides screaming for some kind of escape - like being in my body was too much at that time. That no matter how hard I tried, I wasn’t good enough. The word “Failure” echoed in my brain at such a loud decibel level that I would’ve done anything to make it stop. So I ran to the woods, terrified of the alternative.
I never really knew why the wilderness felt like a spiritual cleansing and emotional reboot until recently. It was because out there, I let everything go and was hyper aware of things like the way the breeze felt on my face or the scent of pine hanging in the air...the way my boots squished in the mud, and the sound of a stream trickling by. I was hyper aware of my aliveness and it felt really good to have that feeling of being present in the immediate moment. All that matters at that point is being safe and surviving in the wilderness for a few days as minimalistic as possible - and when you’re one person hauling all your gear and a 500 pound bear canister (ok, slight exaggeration, but if anyone knows of a lighter weight canister, do share the recommendation), you tend to be ultra minimal with all else. While it’s a heavy load, the burden is light because I’m roaming free.
My new found meditation practice has evoked similar feelings of calm, peace, spiritual rebooting, freedom, and awakens that deep sense of aliveness that I feel when outdoors. It’s the realization that amidst chaos, I can find solace within myself and a space to be free to simply be. And don’t we all want that kind of space? Deserve to have that kind of space? A place of love and acceptance for exactly who we are in this moment.