What exactly is a Mindful Outdoor Experience?
A Mindful Outdoor Experience is an opportunity to slow down, open our senses and allow ourselves to become curious and aware of our surroundings. As we progress on a walk together through the land, I will offer a variety of invitations, things to notice and pay attention to, and practices intended to increase our awareness and lower our disturbance in nature.
Our time will be spent walking, pausing, and connecting with nature, practicing proven ways to center and ground ourselves which will in turn help alleviate some of our stress and anxiety by learning to become more present and mindful. My job as your guide is to slow you down! The experience may include waking and warming up our bodies, a standing meditation, checking out the nooks and crannies and trees on our walk, looking for signs of wildlife, and a seated nature meditation (with open eyes). I usually include time for participants to share they are noticing sometimes around a cozy fire (if permitted on the land) with a tea ceremony to close out the experience.
It’s amazing the new perspectives you can learn about the living earth from listening to others. Of course, sharing is always optional. Often participants report they feel a downshift and increased relaxation after about 45 minutes into the experience. At the beginning, I share some brief information about the land we’re trekking, which helps us to connect to the living earth. We do practice social silence for stretches on the walk, so each person can have their own experience and an opportunity to leave distractions in the parking lot and drop into this moment…now. I find that some participants are drawn by the community and the connection (even if it is sometimes in silence), while others are hunting for animal tracks and signs or bird sightings, and still others seek the relative safety of trekking somewhere new in a group.
What should you bring with you on your Mindful Outdoor Experience? I recommend warm layers, depending upon the season, shoes or boots with good traction, a water bottle, maybe a snack and a mat or something to sit on. You might want to bring a small bag to put your things in and be hands free. Now you are ready to enjoy some time for yourself. Take a deep breath and exhale 😊 If this sounds appealing to you, check out my offerings page to sign up for upcoming walks!