I am, no doubt, a city girl. I love the grit, the people, the commotion and the hustle and bustle city living offers my active mind. However every few months I find myself desperate to get into the outdoors. Space. Like John Muir, founder of The Sierra Club, so greatly said "Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean."
Luckily, as an entrepreneur and yoga teacher, I am able to create opportunities to do just that. Right now, I find myself leading a two-week yoga teacher training at Stratton Resort in Vermont. When I close my eyes at night to sleep, the quiet is almost so shocking that it almost keeps me awake. There is no blare of sirens in the distance or chatter of voices on the streets. There is the just the faint sound of well, nothing. And there is something so magical about it. So healing indeed that it does feel like my spirit is being rinsed clean of the grime of daily life.
Today all the participants and I hiked up the glorious mountain and with each step, each huff and puff, up the vertical terrain, our legs grew stronger and are hearts more open. There is just something about being in nature that eases the soul. Even Deepak Chopra in his book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, talks about the importance of spending time in nature.
This hike reminded me of all the personal challenges we each face. The struggles that we build up in the mind to be huge mountains. When hiking if you look up you automatically panic, "how am I going to get from here to way up there?" we ask ourselves.
What I realized today is that if you stay present, the mountain is only an illusion. If you look at where you are, where your feet are actually on the earth, you realize that spot is flat. When you make yourself present to the moment you are in, the challenge, although might still be there, is suddenly much less daunting. Fear slips away in that very instant and you can absolutely conquer the mountain. One foot in front of the other, one precious present moment at a time, you will quickly find yourself at the top.