i wouldn’t say i’m an exercise fanatic, but i do love moving my body in some way everyday, whether that be walking, boxing, or doing yoga.
i think it’s safe to say that carving out time in my life, when i can forget about the deadlines and emails, the stress and constant time-managed schedule, to just move freely, even for an hour, is not only healthy but a necessity to remain sane.
in saying that, i do still find myself working a ‘one hour of ease a day through physical movement’ into my strict schedule a tad too harshly.
essentially meaning denying myself that longer walk that overlooks the ocean, or that extra yoga class with my favourite teacher.
denying myself the opportunity to see more and feel lighter simply because I have a laptop to return to. deadlines to reach. people to not let down.
i wonder, do you ever feel the same, maybe?
people to not let down.
people i can’t let down.
people you can’t let down.
but what if i’m actually the one letting me down?
by restricting myself to the confinements of one-hour blocks where I can.
by restricting myself of the opportunity to witness the magic of the sea in all its bittersweet glory.
or by restricting myself of the chance to feel greater, deeper, stronger, and more intune and at ease within my body during that extra yoga class.
what if these restrictions are letting me down more than anyone else? what if they’re letting you down too?
i’m not saying throw your responsibilities away; burn the laptop, block the emails. yell a big F*** You to the work and the deadlines and not do it on the grounds you’re going to spend each waking moment at every yoga class under the sun.
the latter is hopefully what i’ll be doing in my retirement, yes. but for now, I think it’s about becoming more conscious of the restrictions we’re placing on ourselves.
of the designated amount of ‘free-time’ we believe we deserve to move fluidly in, without the weight of work on us.
you deserve to see the ocean.
in a long-winded way, this brings me to my story and my point, i hope.
this past Sunday my bestfriend and i spent a good five hours exploring the Glasshouse Mountains National Park.
with me of course being the workaholic, strict, time-managed person that i am (something i’m slowly working on letting go of), i was a little anxious in the week leading up to the day of our adventure:
i won’t get any work done. probably won’t even look at it. i’ll be so tired when we get home.
my report is due the Friday after. i cannot spend an entire day without progressing it a little, otherwise i’m SLACK and procrastinating.
the housework won’t get done at all. it’s gonna stay a mess and just build and build and build.
weekends don’t apply to me. writing and being creative means hustling. i can’t stop for a Sunday.
uni has just re-started. i don’t deserve a full day-off like this yet.
a very toxic, somewhat problematic, entirely restrictive thought pattern.
so i let them flow through me, i even let them nerve me, but i did not let them stop me.
because i quite quickly blocked the idea that being a creative equals hustling. being a creative, i realised, is taking experiences and turning them into an artform.
so with that mindset, we ventured to Glasshouse. looking back as i write this, i laugh.
because it’s hypocritical what i’m telling you; don’t restrict yourself to your work constantly, move for however long you need, do that longer trek to see the ocean.
yet what gave me peace of mind as we drove to Glasshouse was assuring myself that i could use this adventure, this experience as work. something to write about. something to turn into an artform.
you could say then that what i’m trying to tell you, that you deserve to lift the weight of work off your shoulders, is coming from someone who’s full of s***.
i’d say you’re probably right.
but i also didn’t want to write about my experience at Glasshouse.
because it was so, utterly peaceful. captivating. tranquil. magical. i didn’t want to turn it into work.
so i disregarded the structure of a blog i was forming in my head as we walked.
i stopped taking photos that would ‘work best’ for publication and just captured moments to remember.
i deleted the idea from my mind that what i was doing was productive and therefore ‘okay’ to do for several hours because it would contribute to something i could produce for other people.
so as not to let them down.
but trekking through the lush forests of the Glasshouse Mountains, admiring the soft, yellow flower buds, the calming rustling of the leaves in the wind, the durability of the forest floor to harvest bright, fresh, young plants amongst a backdrop of charred trees.
seeing this effortless beauty, this resilience and serenity surrounding me, edging me to explore further, to feel greater and lighter, i think that’s when it subconsciously hit me.
that i deserved, and i continually deserve, to not let myself down through restriction.
i deserved to experience this place in all its exquisite entirety for the sole purpose of gratitude for mother earth.
i deserved to devour in the beauty of the Glasshouse Mountains, like you deserve to see the ocean.
i guess that’s why i ended up writing about this experience, and in doing so it hardly feels like work.
it feels like an expression.
like an artform. natural.
like not conveying to you the utter tranquility that flows throughout Glasshouse would be a disservice to you.
so that’s why i want to share six benefits of immersing yourself in nature, in the hope that you’ll feel as divinely free and content and whole as i did last Sunday.
- a decrease in negative thoughts – studies show that walking in nature as opposed to an urban area can lower your levels of self-rumination.
- reducing anxiety, controlling depression and improving overall happiness.
- lowering your pulse rate and blood pressure – a Japanese study known as ‘forest-bathing’ showed that people are significantly less stressed when amongst nature.
- improve your attention and memory – reduce the risk of developing dementia.
- subconsciously reach a meditative state that enables for creativity to thrive.
- increase your mental energy – exposing your mind to therapeutic surroundings can boost your energy by eliminating mental fatigue.
with a honey-soaked heart,