Hiking and just living in a ‘flow’

Hi there! I hope you’re all having a good Thursday thus far and ready for a nice weekend ahead. Hopefully good weather in the forecast wherever you may happen to live, NH is looking like solid string of 80’s and sunshine this weekend – so that’s definitely beneficial for that vitamin D requirement. Can we just talk for a quick second about how it’s almost the third week of August and school starts in less than three weeks!?! Uhhhh. OK. Not sure how I feel about that, more to come on fall happenings later, but for now… I’m just leaving it with the fact that I am convinced time actually is moving faster and there are only 20 hours in a day. Plausible theory in my humble opinion. Thoughts?!

Onto hiking. It’s something I’ve enjoyed since a fairly young age. Being outdoors for me is insanely therapeutic, add in a mountain and I’m blissed out for days. Growing up my family went camping regularly (close to every weekend May-October) and even took some week-long trips. These always included kayaking, hiking, and general exploring. Having not been involved at all in the past few years, it’s safe to say my craving for some major outdoor time was high. Last weekend I had the chance to head up just north of Conway NH and hike Mt. Jackson with a good friend. The weather was phenomenal (sunny and 70’s), there weren’t a ton of people, and the hike itself was gorgeous.

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It was a weekend that helped me remember why I am doing the things I am doing. For me, hiking is both an escape from reality because you literally are in the middle of no-where climbing a mountain, but also a grounding. It takes me back to what I refer to as my ‘core being’ and gives my soul a hefty dose of excitement. There is just something freeing about being in nature, using nothing but your own two feet and energy, and setting out for a day of adventure. It’s an experience that I’m grateful I’m able to have and partially bummed that I haven’t taken the time over the past couple years to take day trips for myself. Definitely an eye-opening weekend in terms of balance, mental clarity, physical health, and future goals.

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The hike itself was awesome. Mt.Jackson is one of NH’s 4000 footers with a 360 view at the summit. From the trailhead the path is fairly windy, lots of roots, and some rocks – highly typical. About mid-way up the mountain the path takes a lot of corners, there are considerably more rocks and some rock scrambles, and even some down-hill areas (minor, but, in which my friend and I kept looking at each other like “really, this again?”…). The final bit leading to the summit was fairly short however a pretty steep rock section, but once you are up there boy the sights are so incredible and worth it. Hiking, for me, is a love-hate relationship. Starting off at the trailhead, I’m excited, inspired, and ready to have a great day. In the middle of the hike when I start to get a little tired and just want to get to the summit I find my mind will wander a lot, I’ll lose my focus a tad, and even get a little anxious to summit. When very close to the top, I usually find myself having bursts of energy because I want to finish so badly. Then finally, at the summit, I’m just purely inspired and full of joy. It’s a process. It’s a process which reminds me of life. Life will excite you and motivate you, but it will also tear you down and that is when you absolutely need to just KEEP GOING in order to reach your goals.

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Crow pose on the summit, had to do it. 😉 #meatheadyogi

Living in a flow… To me this is having the ability to go with the flow on a day to day basis. It’s not panicking about the little things but rather accepting them as they come. It’s not planning every single second of every single day which is something I fall victim to verrrrrrrrry easily (and often, to be honest). While I completely dig the concept of living in a flow, it’s not natural for me even as much as it would be a huge benefit for me. It’s a philosophy that I’m working hard on adopting but that feels so incredibly impossible because it is not what I am used to. However, I will say that I find the days when I’m less anxious and more focused on my goals – those are the days which are less intensely planned. They are the days which motivate me on keeping an effort going on living in a flow.

Now you’re probably asking yourself, “wasn’t she just talking about hiking? What does living in a flow have to do with hiking?!!”. Good question. I found that on my most recent hiking trip, while it was still amazing, I really tried to have it all planned out. This definitely removed a lot of the enjoyment from this trip because I was so wrapped up in my own mind and unable to fully accept and enjoy the moment at hand. With hiking being something that I grew up loving so much it really got me thinking about my life, my priorities, and my goals. This trip was definitely one that I needed, it helped ground me so that I could take a broader look at my life. Why do I feel it’s necessary to plan everything (and I mean everything) out? Why do I always need to be in control? Questions to ponder. Questions that I am still working on answering. I think a lot of it comes back to my childhood anxiety and that need to feel in control. I’ve been on this self-healing journey for a while now, and I’ve come miles, but still have miles to travel. And that is OK because as I like to say… progress is a process. You learn by living through hard times and working through them. Living in a flow, living true to your soul – it’s easier said than done especially when it’s the complete opposite of how most of my life has been played out to this point. But I’m not giving up.

 

You will either step forward into growth, or back into safety.” – Abraham Maslow

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