Sunday, May 23, 2010

Wherever you are, be there

This weekend me and Bossy went camping for a couple days. My Friday customer cancelled so we got to the lake Thursday night. Nobody else was there. We had the whole campground all to ourselves. It was so quiet. Very relaxing and healing. Thursday night was pretty much about unwinding and getting centered. I slept really well and woke up feeling great Friday morning. I love sleeping in my tent.

We did a little exploring Friday and I felt really connected to the environment. We did a little hiking and I saw a guinea fowl. I've never seen one of those in person before. I saw beautiful butterflies, a monarch and a swallowtail. I saw a swarm of dragonflies circling above. And there were these beautiful bugs that kept hanging around the fire ring. They were jade blue with white dots outlining their wings. I could see them from several feet away because of their color. I was fascinated with them. Friday night I saw a lone lightening bug. I kept seeing the flash of light and at first I thought it was headlights from the park ranger's truck on the other side of the trees. But the light kept moving around and getting closer to me until I realized it was a lightening bug. I haven't seen one of those in a long time.

The campgrounds is, apparently, in the flight pattern for planes landing at the airport. So a lot of planes flew over and at first it really detracted from the experience of being out in nature. I let it irritate me for a while because I came to the campground to get away from the noise of the city and here I was still having to hear planes. I kind of got an attitude about it there for a while. But then I became so intrigued with the beauty I was seeing in the woods that I pretty much tuned out the planes.

That night, sitting by my campfire, I thought about all that I had observed and felt during the day and I realized that I had made a choice. I chose to focus on the beauty and ignore the airplanes. They were gone quickly and then the things that were bringing me pleasure were still there. I chose to truly be focused in the now moment and to truly be there. Sometimes we miss a lot because we're not really fully present in the experience we're having. I'm very guilty of that. But for this weekend's camping trip, I was truly there, and it was wonderful. I couldn't help but think of the old song "It's A Wonderful World". There IS a lot of good in the world. Look for the good!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Mind/Body connection

Since moving back into the city, I have felt myself gradually becoming more anxious and nervous. I find that the constant activity and stimulation and the fast pace of the city is agitating. I was born and raised in the city and I was always a very nervous person. I just figured that was just the type of person I was. But then after living in the country for a couple years, I found a different me that I never knew before. Unfortunately, THAT me is once again fading and the nervous me is coming back. So I've decided to try to find ways to unplug from the city in the hopes that maybe the peaceful, connected me will come back.

I recently bought a tent and some camping gear and me and my dog went out to the lake and camped for a couple nights. I could definitely tell the difference so I figured I was onto something. But within a few days being back in the city, I felt stressed and nervous again. So maybe I SHOULD move back to the country. But until that happens, I am determined to find ways of escaping the rat race.

Last week, I got some books from the library about backpacking and someone gave me some backpacking magazines. I sat up in bed reading the books and the stories in the magazines about hiking. I looked at all those beautiful pictures people had taken on the trail. And I daydreamed about what it would be like to hike the Appalachian Trail, or any trail for that matter. I couldn't get it off my mind. For the next several days, I spent a lot of time fantasizing while I was working. The fantasies were so real in my mind that it felt like I was really there.

After doing this for a few days, I realized something. I was relaxed! I haven't even been backpacking yet but, apparently, just thinking about it relaxed me in the very same way actually doing it will. I thought about my belief that we are IN our body as opposed to we ARE our body. And I realized that I don't have to physically get away from the city in order to calm my nerves down. My nerves and my body are just reflecting what my mind is doing. All that time I spent fantasizing in my mind about hiking through the wilderness and sleeping in a tent by a stream on a mountainside had the very same affect on my body as actually doing it would.

I still intend to go backpacking and camping every chance I get. But I'm glad I noticed that I felt better just from mentally unplugging from the rat race. It pays to pay attention. Paying attention is good. Look for the good! :)