With this edition of Soul Notes, I invite you to take a soul soother – a soulful sojourn. It’s time to enjoy the wonder of the great outdoors!
Now, before you picture yourself out frolicking in a field of daisies or lavender (oh, wait, that does seem pretty nice, doesn’t it?) – by outdoors, I simply mean, out of the doors – beyond the four walls likely surrounding you at this very moment.
Outside: It does a body (and soul) good!
“Outside” needn’t mean that you ought to be headed out into the wilderness, with a Swiss army knife, a compass, and a portable stove. And, it needn’t mean that you’re going to be hanging from a rock ledge, suspended mid-air over the Grand Canyon. Okay, yes — it could be that, if that’s your pleasure!
It may just as well be in an urban setting. How about taking a walk along the storefronts? Or, how about sitting on a bench in a nearby courtyard or city park – between and among the office buildings?
The suggestion here is this: Find a way to get OUTSIDE!
Here’s a wild thought – how about going outside WITHOUT your laptop computer or tablet or smartphone? (Okay, well maybe not until you finish reading this edition of Soul Notes. I know, I know, the irony!) I suppose you could bring your electronic devices with you, if you must; although, I dare say that would kind of be “missing the point”! Stay present. Tap into your spirit – hear what your soul has to say! Enjoy all of the landscape! Observe. Be.
What do you notice?
Invoke your senses. What do you see? What do you hear? What does the air feel like? What do you notice about the energy outside – is it vibrant? Intense? Still? Serene?
Change of perspective
It’s helpful to gain a change in perspective. Yes, your literal perspective will often impact your virtual one. For example, as a member of a Los Angeles area bicycle club, I joined in group rides throughout various Southland neighborhoods. One weekend, we cycled from West L.A. to the heart of Orange County, traveling along the L.A. river, and at times weaving our way through traffic to the Crystal Cathedral and back.
I’ve also spent three weeks bicycling through the hills and dales of County Cork in Ireland, engulfed by gale force winds, and pouring rain (along with some sparkling sunshine)!
Venturing out on a bicycle provides an entirely different vantage point.
Getting outside, up and out and away from our usual cooped up confines creates spaciousness and a renewed appreciation for what lies beyond the four walls. It tends to get the blood flowing. It often allows you to stretch your body, your mind, and even your eyeballs.
Wide open spaces
The sky is a really big place…especially when you’re in it!
If you have ever leapt out the side of an airplane from two-and-a-half miles up, you likely know what I mean. During a tandem skydive, my instructor and I plummeted toward the surface of the planet at 125 miles per hour, pulled the rip cord on the parachute, and floated to safety as we eventually put our feet back on terra firma. Throughout the jump, I distinctly recall feeling wildly free and in awe at just how truly expansive is the world that surrounds each of us. From time to time, we may only need a gentle reminder!
Ceremonies in the Park
If you’re like most modern workers, for a good portion of the week, you’re proverbially tied to a desk, hunched over a computer within a cubicle, or hunkered down in some other type of restrictive office space. On days on end some workers may even remain inside from dawn until dusk. Or, if they are out and about at some point during the day, they are scurrying from one place to the next, often in a car or on some form of mass transit.
This weekend, I’m holding another one of my Full Moon and Water Meditation ceremonies. By design, I lead these women’s circles at a local park. My circle participants often remark at how much they appreciate being outside. They relish the opportunity to leave their work concerns behind, and head out into open spaces for the chance to commune with others and with Spirit out in nature. Feelings of disconnection turn to feelings of connection.
During the next few days, I encourage you to release yourself from the usual grind, and rekindle your soul!
Feel the ground beneath your feet. Listen for the crunch of gravel or pine needles. Look for cloud formations, feel the breezes, bask in the sunshine or moonshine casting a glow or shadows on objects in your path, along your way.
This month the full moon is a SUPER one (meaning it’s especially close to the Earth). This supermoon makes for an even greater gravitational pull. Be cognizant of the extra power of this August full moon. I say we go outside and experience it. See you outside!
Okay, your turn:
When is the last time you consciously enjoyed the outdoors? In what ways did it shift your mood?
I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in the Comments section, below. Soul-to-soul!