Nature

Cultural Paradigms

How do I convey the intensity of experiencing a completely new and different cultural paradigm? Thus far, only video recordings and hours of conversation have helped me chronicle and process the myriad of events, heartwarming interactions, fantastic tastes, iconic themes, disturbing sights, unfathomable realities, and personal insights into my own nature. Not even two days pass before the feeling of being overwhelmed begins to arise. I question my ability to survive the rest of the trip. Compassionately, I hold space for managing it all by reassuring myself that it’s OK to spend a day in nature’s quiet, away from the

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Explore

❝There is definitely something there to be deeply explored.❞~Jen This quote was said to me in the space of relationship. Yet as I marinated in the energy behind the affirmation, it became evident how true it also is for meditation, personal investigation, and in the movement and stillness of life. I’m immensely curious about the subtle, and not-so-subtle, flows in life. Love, pain, joy, trepidation, acceptance, vulnerability, etc. all have nuances that are worthy of investigation. Say yes.  //  Lean in.For me, this leads to truer and deeper living, learning, and loving. 🙏❤️

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Sunrise — Sunset

For the past month, I’ve been bookending my days with each sunrise & sunset. It’s been very nurturing and fulfilling. Why is this? We know that early light exposure aids our circadian rhythms. ❝The body craves rhythm. The body would love to go to bed and get up at pretty regular times. And certainly one of the biggest and most effective changes people could make to their sleep is to actually fix wake up time.❞ ~Dr Neil Stanley I also feel more in touch with and connected to nature. Grounded and grateful in the simplicity of the present moment. Satisfied.

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Hemsjön (The Home Lake)

Separation

“Silence is a great source of strength.” ~Lao Tzu I recently changed locale: a cabin in the woods near a lake for a large metropolis. Walking through town I am surrounded by concrete, noise, exhaust, overpowering perfumes, fragrance additives, tobacco smoke, lots of people, chaotic energy, media stimulation vying for (my) attention, and so on. Historically, anxiety and unrest would have quickly taken hold. Thankfully, the solitude and quietness developed while living simply in nature have woven themselves into my fibres. Peaceful awareness is the primary experience in this visit. Although I’m physically separated from my beloved forest environment, she

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Shinrin-yoku

Sanity is a walk in the forest: · Terpenes· Quietness· Nature’s timing Autumn scent and feel is in the air.Birds are much quieter than even a month ago.The species have changed a bit too. Green remains the predominant colour,which isn’t a surprise given the amount of rain recently.But once cold nights settle in the leaves will quickly reflect a different spectrum. Nightfall arrives sooner in the dayand with deep darkness; perfect for sleeping.And the sound of a fire in the wood stove rejoins my morning meditation. Without a doubt, spring is my favourite season.Yet, there is immense beauty as summer

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An Invitation

Recently, I read a quote that sparked something inside. With a short pause, it was apparent that there were numerous subsequent responses. It would have been easy to disregard these and focus solely on the strong, energising, and confident energy that initially arose but, I’ve trained myself to look closer because there’s usually more going on. And honestly, it’s the subtle layers that are often the most interesting. “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” ~Jenifer Lee To be transparent, I felt uneasy with the question about what sets my soul on fire. Why? It’s

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Dark Night

I’ve made it through another dark night. While I can’t say for certain that it’s over, it does feel like I’ve stepped through a door. And on this side of the threshold, I can see two things that have helped me reach this point. Consistent, healthy routinesDuring this difficult time, I’ve relied on practices that support my wellbeing. Over time I’ve learned that there are six keystones to my health: sleep, good nutrition, community (support and connection**), time in nature, regular exercise, and daily meditation. I’m constantly tuning each of these but they have all proven to be essential. Thanks

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Unravelling

Nature is always there for me, exactly how I am. Upon rising yesterday I was pulled away from the meditation cushion and encouraged instead get outside directly. After stuffing a thermos of tea in my pack of swim gear I set off for an early walk around the lake, returning to the dock where I’d swim and meditate. It was clear that the Universe was inviting me into a healing space with fresh air, bird songs, rising sun, and movement that was different from my regular stretching and rolling. For over a month I’ve been struggling with incapacities in my

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Clarity

When we’re not clear with ourselves about who we are and what we want it’s impossible to have clear and effective communication with others. We’ll make things up (consciously or unconsciously), and we’ll take things personally because we don’t really know what we feel or believe. Until we get clear about what we feel, and learn to express this with nonviolent diction, we’re only fooling ourselves. Growing up I learned to be a perfectionist because it provided a way for me to feel like I had some control in my life. What I didn’t realise was that the OCD behaviour allowed

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Eternity

When does eternity start? 5 minutes at a stoplight can seem like forever, and 3 hours on a treadmill moves into the realm of hell eventually. But at what point does it go from bearable to endless? As a young child, I remember clearly the time when my mom put me down for a nap. On some level, I was cognizant of my disdain for the forced downtime. Heck, I probably wanted to be out chasing geckos. I must have recently overheard the saying “a watched clock never moves” because, thinking myself clever, I moved the dial on the old-style

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Recovery

Nature for Recovery

A walk in the woods is an excellent way to support recovery from a myriad of life events. Recently, I strolled through the woods after finishing a long run and three days of back-to-back larger training volume. Fresh air, sunshine, forest terpenes, nature’s quietness mixed with soothing sounds of wind in the trees and bird song, and a distinctly grounding energy are very supportive. One of the reasons the best athletes in the world can absorb a lot of training is that they rest between sessions like the best in the world. Not everybody has that opportunity. We devote time

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Green. Nature.

Green

There’s an increasing amount of research showing that spending time in nature is good for our health, for a variety of reasons. (Of course, studies aren’t necessarily needed since personal experience makes this clear as well.) Incredibly, studies also show that just looking at photos of greenery and nature can help lower stress. Before reading on, take a moment to breathe, down shift, and enjoy the colours in this landscape. This picture was taken during my ‘long ride’ yesterday—on a very blustery autumn day. Time in nature helps me reconnect to my body and senses, to other people, and to

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Simplicity

A Simple Life

I’m learning that the simpler my life is the happier I am. Yet, there is renitent energy. Even while acknowledging my happiness-simplicity experience, there’s something inside me that is resistant to living increasingly simply. What is that element? I can hear the addictive patterns scream out in fear of answering the question. Fear/Addiction: Don’t look closer, don’t inquire. And, God forbid, don’t even think about asking the question about what it means to live a simple life? Me: Why not? Fear/Addiction: Because you might have to give up something? Me: Um, well, isn’t that kind of the point? (In order

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Midsommar

Midsommar

🇸🇪 Glad midsommar! Yesterday, I changed locations, again. The plan to stay put for a couple of months had to be revised due to unforeseen circumstances. That’s life. But where I am now is clearly a happy place for me. This morning’s resting heart rate was as low as I’ve seen it (I measured twice!), and HRV (heart rate variability) was nicely high. I spent a few hours after rising to ‘move in’. I’m a bit of a nut when it comes to having my space & stuff organised. Then my best friend and I meditated together, talked, and shared

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Orange Blossoms

There’s a saying, “A grateful heart is magnet for miracles.” I arrived in Málaga, then Marbella, somewhat frustrated with various aspects of the day’s travel. During the next 12 hours an ongoing question rolled in my mind, why am I here? Plans for attending this Ironman 70.3 competition were made long ago: the goal, qualify for the 70.3 World Championships in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. But that was prior to a recent decision, and before visiting my new favourite training and, perhaps, living location. The Decision As I felt into volunteering for the ÖtillÖ World Championship, it became stunningly clear that my

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