Dropping In: Mindful of More
No one is guaranteed to find relief, pleasure, or connection in the outdoors. It is a co-creation. The outside experiences are dependent upon our inner perspectives and interpretations of them. At times I can easily go outside to find nothing but beauty, awe, and fun. I am also capable of finding nothing but problems, complaints, and un-pleasurable situations.
There were a few snowboard seasons in particular that I can remember my inner interpretations got a bit off. I was getting addicted to perfection and pleasure. My blessed life had me getting really off track. After each run, I felt like I needed another hit. I wasn’t basking in the sheer enjoyment, or pleasure, from the run before, all I could think about was- WHAT'S NEXT?
In all reality the chemical and hormonal stimulation I receive in these peak experiences could be compared to drugs. Dumping huge amounts of dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins into my body. Stimulating my nervous system. Constantly needing more. When I get the best conditions consistently, the demand for this high just keeps building.
I can easily see that growing up in a booming age of advertisements did not help. Marketing uses our pain points to show us where we aren’t enough or don’t have enough so that they can sell us their products. I was trained from an early age to always look for more.
As outdoor enthusiasts, this is something to be mindful of. Are we basking in the bounty that is our adventurous life? Or are we just in a state of needing more? Like an addict needing the next hit. This can show up in any outdoor activity. Surfing, climbing, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, biking, skateboarding, you name it. Our species has evolved through stimulation and the body can begin to crave these chemical dumps in the nerves and bloodstreams.
Dropping In, pausing for a moment, too continually be in awe and gratitude will help keep our outdoor activities from being something that becomes a chemical dependency. Breaking these cycles of thought that can easily spin into - not enough.
A reminder of a simple process for Dropping In:
Close your eyes.
Check-in with our mind. What thoughts are present. What sensations
Bring your attention to your body. What kind of sensations are noticeable.
Check-in with your emotions. How are you interpreting your experience?
Our connection to nature reminds us to be connected to ourselves. This is not a far stretch as we are expressions of nature. Enjoy the rush. Enjoy the high. Enjoy stretching your boundaries and abilities. Today I just want to encourage the awareness to witness when it switches from pleasurable to un-pleasurable.
As human beings, we are capable of having a choice in regards to how we interpret each moment. These minds and bodies are powerful beyond measure. We just need to learn to understand and work with them.