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Dropping In: Gratitude

As outdoor enthusiasts one thing is for sure, our lives are blessed. We get to experience the world in a way many people do not. We are vigilant with our free time, we utilize our financial wealth, we’ve cultivated self-discipline for fun, and we continually alter our perspectives with the seasons of the natural world around us. We have been blessed by influences or experiences that led to building this kind of life. Connected to nature, breathing clean air, enjoying the functionality of our bodies. I think most of us would agree that we live fulfilling lives!

In this series, I want to focus on the many lessons learned from outward adventures drawing me inward. I truly believe the outdoors will be an endless mentor.

I am sure by now most of us have come in contact with the bountiful evidence of how being grateful for what we have impacts happiness and feelings of fulfillment. There are limitless gratitude practices online, in books, on podcasts, and anywhere one can acquire information. For the most part, they all focus on DOING something.

Make a list. Write a journal. Create something that helps you remember.

Now I would agree this is beneficial, but ultimately it is missing the point completely.

What many of these perspectives forget to see is that gratitude is an act of receiving. Taking in. Allowing the experience to be internalized. Like a leaf receiving a ray of sun. For us to truly feel the depth of gratitude we need to remove the focus on action. This means that we make time for intentionally being quiet. For being present- not doing. BEING in nature is a perfect setting for this practice because while immersed in the outdoors it is easy to stop and just be. Slow down, take a deep breath, soak in our surroundings and put our thoughts aside.

Thoughts are a form of action. They are measurable energy and therefore a form of doing. Practices that calm our minds help us to be more receptive to the gift that is our life. Fully receiving what we see, what we hear, what we taste, what we smell, and what we feel. Without judgment, opinion, story, perspective, just fully letting it in. This is receiving, this is where we find and FEEL gratitude.

Applying this to your favorite outdoor activity is simple. Just consciously choose to take a break from doing. There are many opportunities within our every day. On a chair lift. Pausing to catch your breath on a hike. Topping out on a climbing route. Waiting for the next wave. Looking up at a tree. Observing the infinite beauty of this planet earth. Start to create new habits of intentionally slowing your mind to become more receptive, to feel more gratitude. We will be sharing practices in the weeks to come to fine-tune this skill.

Life is happening in each moment. We are either here to receive it, or lost in thought while the moments continuously pass us by. This practice of Dropping In is going to help you fully feel your life. As this series continues we will be supporting you to get more connected to yourself. With a little practice, you will be stepping into a more conscious choice of how you think and feel about your life. Stay tuned for our IG live conversations where we will be diving even deeper into this perspective of Dropping In.

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