Monday, 26 June 2017

Nature is our best teacher

We are just back from our 3rd annual, anniversary back-country camping trip in North Frontenac Park. A tradition we started on our 8th wedding anniversary and we can't NOT go every year now! As always, we had an amazing few days.  Our time out there always give me the chance to think about how we all need to really SLOW DOWN and SIMPLIFY our days, and how mother nature truly is our best teacher (if we take the time to get outside and listen).

Let me explain our trip for those who may be unfamiliar with back-country camping;

-We launch the canoe at the North end of the lake. To get in, it's a 7-8km drive through a winding, thin dirt road in the woods.  

-We load up the canoe with our supplies, lock up the vehicle and begin our 2km paddle into our favourite site on the point.  Along the way, we enjoy the excitement, sights and sounds of our home for the next few days.  

-Arriving at the site, it is nothing but trees and our two fire pits (one for a nice campfire, the other for cooking).  A short walk up the hill is the "Privy" (where you go when "nature calls") 

-We typically set up our tent and get our supplies organized, start the cooking fire and get supper going with a beverage in hand, while we enjoy the surroundings of the lake and trees. The next closest people to us are .5-1km away.  This year, we enjoyed a full day and a half before anyone was at the North end of the lake.  

Every year we leave the peacefulness of this place, and get back into reality with a lesson learned.

 This year in particular, it was nature reminding us to SLOW the #$%@ DOWN!

At least 3-4 times per week I have this conversation with clients, in terms of how we are in disbelief at how fast the days, months and year fly by.  And it simply comes down to how we spend those days, mindlessly rolling through our to-do lists and busy schedules.  We lose out on enjoying moment and our days themselves. We realize this, after they're gone.   

This couldn't have been more evident our first morning this year.  After a great first night Thursday, getting set up and organized, dinner, drinks and enjoying the fire by the water, we woke up Friday morning and were ready to get the fire going for breakfast and coffee (by the way - everything tastes better cooking it over a fire - FYI for those who don't know this).  We spent the next 2-2.5hrs cooking! There's no watching Netflix while cooking, no phones pinging and beeping at you, no place you need to be or things that need to get done before having to be somewhere...Instead you do simply what you need to do;

-Keep the fire hot and gather more wood if needed
-Boil water for coffee and steep it in the french press
-Cook the food.  In this case, our first morning was some eggs, bacon and veggies
-Take in the sights and sounds of mother nature surrounding you while you cook.

It's 100% the way mother-nature intended us to do these things.  Completely immersed in the moment and the task at hand. Simplicity in action.

When the food and coffee are ready, there truly is something special about it.  You put so much time, energy and focus into preparing your meal, that it tastes that much better than everything else you would typically have at home.

Not to mention, you don't have "too much" food. You have just enough. You're satisfied. You're more than happy with not only the flavour but the satiety of your meal as well. You listen to your body saying "I'm good" because that's all there is to listen to (i.e. no unnecessary distractions from nature). You take the remainder of your coffee down to the rocks, sit by the water, and enjoy nature a little more while you finish your last bit in your mug.

Can you think of the last time you mindfully put that much time, energy and peacefulness into preparing and eating your meal?  

Can you think of the last time you ate a meal without any distraction of phones, tablets, computers, tv etc...?

We truly need to regain the ART OF LIVING. We need to get off the treadmill of daily life, and REALLY LIVE.  

To add to this, our daily habits overwhelm us to the point where we really don't have control.  Our days spent camping each year remind me of something;  

I don't eat by habit or time of day when I'm out in the woods

I eat when my body says time to eat.  
I drink when my body says time to drink.

 This is how our bodies were designed.  We too often complicate our nutrition habits, and we too often listen to the "by the book" and "generic" recommendations society promote. 

"I 'need' my post workout shake"..... 
"You 'should have' 8 glasses of water a day".....
"I 'can't' have potatoes for breakfast with my eggs because 'carbs are bad'".....
"I 'can only have' the egg whites because I might die instantly if I eat one of the greatest sources of protein and nutrients in it's entirety"..... 

See how stupid we sound??? This wisdom isn't from mother nature. This is our own, ridiculous creation.  

HUMANS ARE NATURE - And nature will tell us what we need, when we need it.....