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Please Take An Outdoor Walk This Holiday

If possible, share with people you love

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Get into open air

In this season of indoor pathogens, worry, and bustle, take a break.

Be it cold and bracing, or a tropical breeze here on Hawaii island, get out and enjoy the air.

The lure of dopamine addiction, through social media, through video games, through all the last minute “just let me check this one little thing, first…” responses to others, is huge.

But we can overpower it.

We must actively fight to participate in what was once completely natural. Prior to the online age, we could feel the pull of winter beauty, and the impulse we once knew to spend time with the natural world. Also, spending time with loved ones.

We are at risk of losing this incredibly valuable and under-rated resource: the lure of the real world. But don’t be fooled. This attraction is more than just a balm for the jagged nerves. It is a medicine. It is a vital connection.

Make sense of senses

Your senses and your every thought when immersed in those senses, can help you find what matters in life.

If nothing else, it will wake you up to reality.

Think about your senses. We can put our full, or even our divided attention, online. We can stare into our gadgets, but there is no real “life” there. Scents and flavor are missing, the vibration of wind, water, movement of animals, trees, the pull of gravity, and so much more is easy to ignore.

Go into the real world. It is where your species was born, and it is where your kin still live. We need the trees to remind us from where we gather each precious breath. We need to see (and hear) birds, insects, squirrels, and all native fauna — to see who plants the vegetation that gives us breath and life. We need to appreciate who/what/where does all the filtration to make water clean and nutritious in minerals, and more. What creates the soil we need to grow food? How do we experience “forage” and movement? What can a tiny creature like a wooly bear caterpillar show us about simplicity, and warmth?

We need to realize the world is one big home, and one big family.

Feel the weather, the temperature whatever it is. Feel the humidity. Feel how nature supports life, but if we don’t respect and note her careful balance, we will know storms, famines, floods, and disease and death.

Touch the real world

Yes, of course, these things all come due in the process of all lives, but humanity has upset the balance. We have meddled too much, and we have injured diversity, habitats, our life support. Many of our ancient ways — along with our revitalizing landscapes — have disappeared.

Our connection to our home planet is severely threatened, and facing the truth is important.

But there is wonderful news. By spending time in nature, you gain perspective. We see resilience. We get ideas. We study innovation. We learn tricks. We observe commerce, symbiosis, balance, and much, much more.

Biomimicry, ingenious advancement, the muse of art, poetry, dance, and literature, the novelty of how a seed flies, or how a bird migrates, is entirely inspirational. From nature, we can learn to innovate, create clean and renewable energy, discover technology that sincerely shares and connects, make policy that is inclusive of all, and discriminatory to none.

We can gain from the give and take of an ecosystem created by forest, grass, beavers, stream and fish (to name a few) and this will help all of us see what can happen when find our belonging.

Your mental and physical health depend upon all of us seeing the real world.

But there is an even greater gift than that, by being outdoors, with loved ones, with belonging, you will find there is no embattled politics, no borders, no money-based fiction of exchange.

Our human belonging to one tribe of beings, sapiens, is extremely critical right now. Divisiveness could destroy us, belonging can heal us.

You will find peace, beauty, and an inner calm that only comes from a profound sense of belonging.

Is the world a mess? Yes, in many parts we have much work to do. Yet…

Is the sky still a wonder? Does a forest still display nobility and generosity? Does a bird’s call still speak directly to the heart, and a scampering chipmunk still tell us we are meant for play, as well as planning?

May the thinnest blade of grass still tell you, that you, too, are a miracle, the journey-work of the stars.



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Christyl Rivers, Phd.

Christyl Rivers, Phd.


Ecopsychologist, Writer, Farmer, Defender of reality, and Cat Castle Custodian.