The happiest times of my life were camping trips I took alone. Usually to places that had people (like public camping sites, or spiritual retreats). But it was just me, heading outside to reconnect with the inside.
I still do this. I do it a little everyday, in a different way. I shut down my computer, and I stop what I’m doing. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes. Just a few minutes is enough to step outside, breath fresh air, and be remind that there is a bigger world than the virtual one I obsess over.
When I’m outside, I see things. Mostly I look at how the wind interacts with plant life. I also notice bugs and animals. I love just sitting and looking. After staring at nature for a while, I begin to notice that I have a pulse, and a breathing pattern. I begin to feel what it’s like to be breathed, and to be alive. It’s the same rhythm and pulse I see in nature. The same one that happens in spite of all the people and things that try to get in the way.
I get in the way, of my own nature, of my own natural beingness. I block my aliveness and natural flow. I make things harder than they really are. I want more than I need. I over-think things, and attach drama or meaning to words or encounters. It’s all a big jumble, and it makes the day feel cluttered and stressful. But when I’m outside, with the wind and trees and bugs, and big open sky — I’m reminded. I’m reminded of my own spaciousness. I’m reminded that my own simplicity and natural order is effortless and vast.
I love being outside. It teaches me how to live; how to reconnect and listen to the inside. No matter where I go, or where I live, I can access it in some way. I can look up at the moon. I can notice a few stars. I can feel droplets of cool rain on my warm skin. It’s there, everywhere. It’s also in me. I carry it wherever I go.