If you are new to the blog, please check out the first three posts where I explain the journey that took me to this moment. Go ahead, we’ll wait!
Welcome to Month Four: The Wild Outdoors!
Wow. Is it cheating if you follow all the rules and do exactly what you said that you would do but find the challenge ridiculously easy and fun to complete?
Here was my challenge – get your butt out of the house. Feel the sun on your back and shoulders, take off your shoes and touch the actual earth. Lie idly in the hammock or explore your environment with a hike. Seriously, although that might sound easy (and as I mentioned, it was beyond easy) I thought this might be the most onerous challenge so far. I am an indoor girl and a workaholic! I really cannot say that strongly enough. In my insular world, “inside” contains everything that I need; files, paperclips, binders, documents…. I certainly see the allure of fresh air, soft velvety grass, puffy clouds flowing above but the downside is there is no room in my shorts and t-shirt for a heavy-duty stapler.
Maybe you already can see what I refused to see. There is a lot more to be unpacked here than my resistance to being outside. There seems to be a disconnect between what I know intellectually to be healthy and necessary for a successful life (helloooo? Self-care is calling!) and what I am willing to allow for myself. 10-12-hour work-days, eating each meal at my desk; I am lucky that I can work from home but with that great good luck comes the downfall of being able to work ALL OF THE TIME, from the moment I wake to the time I go to bed. I am not bragging here, guys. I don’t think that this pace allows me to be more productive, or more successful. Intellectually, I think more can be accomplished when you are living a balanced life that includes plenty of rest and recreation, but daily emergencies arose, and the exception seemed to become the norm. Somewhere along the way, I decided that I had to push harder in a short game that may have been affecting my long-term well-being.
OK, so outdoors…. I live in Maine, vacationland of the U.S. All that you could desire in Mother Nature is right outside my door, but I believed that lacking available time to enjoy it would be my downfall. Baby steps.
Two of the benefits of being outside are the healing properties of the sun and of having “skin to skin” contact with the earth. If I could be outside for just 10 minutes a day, that is a massive increase in my daily dosage of these beneficial elements. To increase the bang for my buck, I began to wear clothing that would take full advantage of my contact with nature. Tank tops, shorts and bare feet were the order of the day. I mean, I work from home! What was I dressing up for? Walking outside, my shoe-less feet touch grass, dirt, the earth itself. Like a battery completing its circuit, I connect, and I charge. Negative energy discharges and positive energy runs up from toes to brain. There is a process called Earthing which Kim Balstad explains far better than I ever could. Check out Episode 20 of Holistically Curious (the Podcast) to hear Kim describe Earthing! It is basically the process of allowing the earth to literally ground you, in the most scientific sense of grounding. Ahhhhhh…. I can now tell you from experience that grounding IS a thing.
The sun warms my shoulders and pulses with life on the top of my head. I have long known that putting crystals out into the sun recharges and purifies them. How did I not know that it would do the same for me? Along with a spiritual and energetic purification, sunlight helps your body to absorb and process vitamin D which is essential to a healthy body.
There is something else. This is the indefinable thing about the essential radiation from the sun…. your body rejoices! Your mood lifts to be sure, but there is more. Your appetite for wholesome foods and crystal-clear water increases. Your desire to create in beautiful ways increases. Your sense of self increases. YOU increase.
The thing that I thought would be the very hardest to commit to has become the thing that I look forward to throughout my day. Short forays into the backyard have grown to camping trips, swims with the dogs in the lake, and long talks on the porch. I wouldn’t go back for the world!
Please join me next month when I will share with you Month Five: Building Strong Relationships. Have I told you lately that I love you? I always say that your tribe is an essential part of your spiritual and emotional growth, will I Put Up or Shut Up?
With much love…so much love,
Teresa York is a writer and the Co-Host of the bi-monthly Holistically Curious podcast. She says, If you are listening to the podcast, it means that you are a kindred spirit! In her journey for a whole and healthy life, she has drawn from her experiences traveling around the world, as well as from the amazing people she has met along the way.
In a quest to enhance her own knowledge of the world around her, Teresa has obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies (mainly Literature and Humanities) and attended The University of Metaphysical Sciences. Because life is full of little surprises, she is also a Third Degree Blackbelt in Tang Soo Do.
Transitioning from a city mouse to a country mouse, Teresa recently moved to a rural town in Maine where she lives happily with her husband, 4 dogs, and a cat. She misses the community of light-seekers which seemed readily available among the larger population of her previous home but she is inspired by pure spirits, wherever she finds them, and happily she finds them in the most unlikely places.