“No-Fail” Friday: Take a hike

Hiking_Girl Backpack_Stocksnap_Jake Melara

Enough with the fluorescent lights already. I know you have things to do, classes to rock and meetings to run, but for this weekend’s mindfulness challenge, it’s time to see yourself in the natural light. Let the Vitamin D absorb. Chilly in November where you are? Time to layer up. No sun to be found this weekend? Bust out the rain gear. As the saying goes, only sugar melts. No matter what’s waiting for you out there, you can handle it. I mean, what’s a little weather after the GMAT, right?

Since we’re doing this mindfully, groggily stumbling two blocks for your morning latte while staring at your phone isn’t going to cut it for this one. We’re going sans earbuds, phone-free even, if you can swing it. This is an intentional walk, but without a purpose. Whether you have a destination in mind or not, your focus is on the journey.

As you step outside, inhale. Notice how different the fresh air feels as you breathe it in, compared to indoors. As you exhale, let your senses take over. Notice the sights and sounds around you, the texture of the ground under your feet. Even if you’re in the heart of the city, note the deliberate and carefully cultivated natural elements around you. The singular tree sprouting up on a sidewalk, or the cheerful flower box on a window can be as grounding and centering as a walk in the park if you truly see them, and allow them to be. If you have access to a park, or a trail (like those lucky folks at Tuck I wrote about earlier this week), go for it. Stop and smell a rose, watch a squirrel scale a tree in two seconds flat, jump in a pile of leaves.

Remember when you were a kid and all you wanted to do was go outside? Even if it was well below freezing and your boots were full of snow? Even if it was blazing hot and could feel the sunburn taking over your cheeks? Outside is awesome. It’s adventure, unlimited possibility and the single best place for getting your creative juices flowing. So this weekend, you have my permission – even if only for a few minutes – to just go out and play. You can’t get it wrong; it’s all in good fun.  

Photo credit: Jake Melara (Stocksnap)

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