“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile,
and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”
Many people are familiar with Reese Witherspoon’s role in the movie “Wild,” based on Cheryl Strayed’s 2012 memoir Wild. If you saw the movie, you know the journey she took was no walk in the park.
I recently had my own “Wild” experience backpacking a section of the John Muir Trail in California for 6 days. And although it was nowhere near as theatrical as the movie “Wild,” it certainly contained many moments that caused me to reevaluate the drama happening in my own head!
Even though I trained and prepared for this trek with my husband for a good 6 months, I still was caught off guard at how much of a struggle it was for me. We were in high altitudes and doing lots of climbing on trails that were strenuous. I was surprised how labored my breathing got going uphill and was sure something was “wrong” with me!
It’s interesting where the mind goes in times of being out of one’s comfort zone.
As a hypnotherapist who specializes in stress relief and who supports others in focusing their thoughts and emotions in directions that create more well being, I realized I was not doing a good job in this department myself.
I would start off each day feeling positive, but soon found my self talk turning sour. I was focused on the struggle. The more I focused on how hard it was, the more complaints I had in my head, and naturally the worse I felt. This led to my feeling like a “failure” at this backpacking thing.
Thankfully, I’ve done some great inner work along the many other paths I’ve traversed in my life! Even when it felt as though I was helpless on how to change my experience during those times of going down the deep dark tunnel of my mind, a deeper knowingness revealed its light to me.
My passion to keep learning from my experiences, as well as the inner work I’ve engaged in, ultimately led me to my desire to be more mindful of my thoughts, emotions and surroundings, and choose to be connected to my joy rather than misery.
So, each night as I lay in my sleeping bag in my tent with my camping light on, I’d write in my journal. I wrote about how I had felt during the day, the struggles I was going through as well as what went well.
I always ended my journaling with what I was going to focus on the next day. This had a powerful impact on how quickly I was able to disengage from the negative talk whenever it started up again the next day.
Journaling, as well as being able to express with my husband how the experience was for me, was a catalyst for reconnecting me to that inner knowingness.
I’m grateful for this “Wild” experience. Being out in Mother Nature’s creation provided me with lessons that resonated deep into my spirit and reconnected me to what is truly meaningful to me.
Here are some powerful lessons I re-learned during my adventure:
- Whenever I hear the “inner victim” grumbling along the way and attempting to dominate the conversations in my head, I will stop, take a good deep breath and ask myself “is this how I want to feel?”
- I will keep reminding myself that the connection to my inner light is always there.
- Stopping to pause allows me to interrupt the grumbling and choose to change my thoughts and my focus and shine the light on what’s important.
- Focusing in on breathing with consciousness and seeing what is right in front of me, opens me up to being mindful, aware, and connected, instead of disconnected.
- When I bring my focus back to what is meaningful to me, it changes my experience in the moment and for the future.
- Being out in Nature grounds me to my essence.
- Creating starts from within first and then manifests in my outer world.
As repetition is a component of deep learning, I plan to keep re-minding myself of these potent lessons as I keep moving forward in creating this journey of life.
My wish is the same for you.
For more information, visit http://www.healinghypnotherapy.com/