Connecting With Nature

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Yesterday I went on THE most fabulous hike! It was the first rainy day we’ve had in a long time and the air smelled amazing. From the minute I woke up and felt the fresh cool air coming through my window I knew that I had to get out there. In reflection though, it’s interesting how excited I was to get outside because in the past I have never been someone to want to run around in the rain. I’m usually much more of a sun person and considered myself pretty exclusively a warm weather girl. Recently however I’ve noticed this beginning to change. All of a sudden my eyes seem to have been opened in a whole new way to the sheer magnificence of the natural world. I have always had an appreciate for nature and its beauty, but it seems to have reached a whole new level. I am smelling things in the air I’ve never before took the time to notice, and I am aware of the smallest sounds, such as the slight rusting of leaves, a bug whizzing by, or the slight flapping of birds wings. I’ve also noticed just how vibrant the colors of the trees are, especially now that it’s fall. Everyday I find myself looking up at the sky or into the trees and smiling because I am in such awe at the amazing beauty around me. It’s far more fantastical than anything man could ever create or imagine. 

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It think it was this new hyper awareness to my natural surroundings that made this cold misty hike so incredible. The forest smelled amazing and certain colors stood out like neon signs contrasted against the white foggy sky. It’s interesting, even though I’ve hiked these trails a hundred times before they looked so different in the rain and my attention was drawn to a whole new array of plants and animals. I saw a banana slug for the first time in years! I also came across a salamander (I think that’s what it was), a bunny, and tons of birds. The birds were having a field day since all the worms and little bugs that usually hide deep within the ground were surfacing to soak up the rain water. 

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From the moment I stepped onto the trail I felt so incredibly alive. I had one of those moments where I thought if I could spend everyday out in the forest I would be in heaven. In my search to find myself and my calling I’ve been trying to listen carefully to my gut, hoping that it will guide me to where I’m supposed to be. This intense feeling of belonging that I felt as I entered the forest made me think that maybe I should look for a career that will allow me to spend time among the trees, or at least a job that allows me to interact with nature in one way or another. We do our best work when we are happy and alive. If all it takes is a little fresh air and natural beauty to awaken me inside and out then maybe I should capitalize on this and use it to my advantage. 

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Happy Tuesday: Weekly Update

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Leaf Angel!

Hello everybody, happy tuesday! Time for a weekly update. My first week back at home has been wonderful! It’s been a great combination between relaxing (and recovering from the uber stressful previous 6 months) and productive as I take steps to figure out what my next steps are. I met with a career counselor last week and had fun taking a number of personality, value, and career tests. I think I’m going to really enjoy this process of discovering my path. I also started doing some research on different types of life coaching and the steps that I would need to take if I wanted to be a coach. I also spoke with Victoria Moran who is an inspirational speaker, corporate spokesperson, certified holistic health counselor, certified life coach, vegan lifestyle coach, and founder/ director of Main Street Vegan Academy, about how she got to where she is today and about the steps  I would need to take if I wanted to pursue a similar career. Additionally, both yesterday and today I am attending an online conference hosted by Jacob Sokol called I Kinda Wanna Be A Coach. Hopefully by the end of this I’ll have a bit of a better understanding about what the job might entail and if it’s something I want to further explore.

Some of the things I’ve been loving this week:

Riding my bike everywhere!

It’s the best. I love getting out early and riding in the cool fresh air, feeling the sun on my face in the afternoon, and getting to watch the sunset every evening.

The fall leaves

The are so incredibly beautiful! I can’t get enough of them. Yesterday after my run I just laid down in them and made leaf angels (see the picture above).

Running

I finally have time to run again!!! I have missed it so much. It’s definitely a bit of an uphill climb to get back into shape (I’m always amazed at how much it hurts to run when you haven’t been running for a while) but I’m slowly getting back into it. Every day I can feel my legs have a bit more spring in them and my lungs are slightly more adjusted. I’ve decided to start a winter streak in order to motivate myself to keep running even when its a bit tough. For those who don’t know, “a streak” is a term used by runners to describe a commitment they’ve made to run at least one mile every day. As long as you follow through with your commitment you keep the streak going. One fay missed though and the streak is broken.

Researching

I finally have time to do all the research my little heart desires. I absolutely love learning and have missed academics so much these past few months. Last weekend I went to The Green Festival in San Francisco where I purchased two great books on nutrition by Brenda David, RD, and Vesanto Melina, MS, RD, Becoming Vegan: the everyday guide to plant-based nutrition and Becoming Raw: the essential guide to raw vegan diets. They are both chock full of information and have given me plenty to sink my teeth into.

photo-6Oh, and go check out my latest post on my health blog, www.naturallywholesome.wordpress.com. I provide the recipe for a super yummy tea and describe all the health benefits associated with it.

 

Life is a Whirlwind

It’s crazy how life can so easily become a whirlwind, moving so fast that you hardly have time to realize what’s happening. Before you know it 10 hours have passed by and you can hardly even recall what you did during the day. Weeks are marked my emotional memories (as in this week was stressful, the week before was relaxing) rather than by the memories of certain events, people, or experiences. One of my goals in life is to live in the present, to experience every waking minute and to acknowledge the time II’ve been given. The tricky part is figuring out how to do this. One thing these last few weeks have shown me is that life can really fly by. I can’t believe it’s already July. Where did the time go? I feel that’s a question we ask ourselves all too often. I’m going to change that. I want to be able to fully appreciate every moment of the day. We only have one life to live. Why not fully experience it? 

Follow the Sun

Have you ever found one of those songs that from the moment it starts playing you like what you hear, then a few moments later absolutely fall in love with it because the lyrics so perfectly align with your beliefs or with the way you see the world? For me this is one of those songs. It perfectly describes the way I view life, the peace with which I try to live, the appreciation I have for the simplest of things, and especially my incredible love for the sun and for the natural world.

“Follow The Sun”
By Xavier Rudd

Follow, follow the sun
and which way the wind blows
when this day is done.
Breathe, breathe in the air.
Set your intentions.
Dream with care.
Tomorrow is a new day for everyone,
Brand new moon, brand new sun.
So follow, follow the sun,
the direction of the bird,
the direction of love.
Breathe, breathe in the air,
cherish this moment,
cherish this breath.

Tomorrow is a new day for everyone,
brand new moon, brand new sun.
When you feel life coming down on you,
like a heavy weight.
When you feel this crazy society,
adding to the strain.
Take a stroll to the nearest water´s edge
remember your place.
Many moons have risen and fallen long, long before you came.
So which way is the wind blowin’,
and what does your heart say?
So follow, follow the sun,
and which way the wind blows
when this day is done…

In the craziness if this fast paced world I’ve found it’s really important for me to take a little bit of time everyday to just breath, to get outside, to look up at the sky, and to find beauty in the smallest of things. You never know what kind of curveball life is going to throw at you and all you can do is adapt to whatever the wind blows your way. Enjoy and appreciate what you’ve been given and the make the absolute most out of every situation.