I sat and cried and once it started it didn’t stop. There was no reason, it was just the stillness, the beauty around me in an ancient hemlock forest, the quiet I hadn’t let myself enjoy in months, maybe even years.
That was my experience during my first mindful nature sit spot at the Kripalu school of Mindful Outdoor Leadership—tears—big, fat, ugly, cleansing tears. Since that time in October, I make time to sit in stillness most days knowing emotions sometimes show up uninvited.
My life is probably a lot like yours. I have two kids, a full time job, I sit on community boards and attend church, I manage the household, and try to stay on top of my health, and nurture relationships among the numerous other “to dos” I highlight in my planner daily. Somehow, filling up my hours on paper used to make me feel useful or even valuable. When I’m training for a race I prioritize mileage and calories over how I feel that day. Checking things off a list is strangely satisfying.
“I HAVE IT ALL WRONG” I often think to myself now. I still love a challenge, but I’m more aware of how unnecessary it is to fill up all my time to feel satisfied. I’m a recovering “hustler.” I’m seeing things for the first time…the beauty in being slow and still. On February 2, Valerie Warner and I led our first Mindful Nature Walk with adults in Elkins after months of training, preparation, and vision of what we want to share with others. It’s really simple—we wish to share stillness.
The morning of our first walk the snow was abundant but the sun shone brightly. Millions of tiny sparkles danced across the ground as we headed up to the trail head, an appropriate reminder to look for the magic in the mundane. After our centering meditation, we spent time walking with awareness before sitting in our nature meditation. It’s amazing what came alive!
That beautiful gift of solitude and awareness is what Wonder & Grow: Mindful Nature Experience wants to share with our community. How often do you give yourself the gift of stillness, to really take in the beauty in the ordinary and let your body experience all its miraculous senses? Are you a recovering hustler? Do you live to be busy but are feeling unfulfilled? Join us in the forest, we invite you to slow down, receive breath, and see what unfolds for you in the quiet.
UPCOMING DATES FOR MINDFUL NATURE WALKS ARE: