Dropping In: Living to the Fullest
All beings on this planet have needs that must be met to survive and thrive. As complex as we are, there are some simple foundational needs that we share. This week we are going to drop into the depths of our human experience to bring attention to a very important need of ours. One that outdoor enthusiasts like us have an upper hand in fulfilling.
Many people have given their 2 cents about what we need as human beings. Maslow, Tony Robbins, Marshal Rosenberg, people of the Black Foot nation, and a plethora of others. Spending time with focused attention on categorizing and making lists of necessities for a happy and healthy human experience. Some as simple as food, water, air, and shelter. Some as complex as the concept of self-actualization. Our species has existed for thousands of years and across that timeline, we have evolved through constantly adapting. We are mammals, social in nature. Without strong bonds and an ability to work together, our species may not have made it this far.
As I mentioned earlier being outdoor enthusiasts we have an upper hand. We have the chance to fill a particular human need that I consider to be one of the most important for our species at this time. This need I am pointing at is the need for connection. When I look around the world I see millions of people suffering from a lack of it. Connection to themselves, connection to others, and connection to the natural world.
I see our advantage for connection from our relationship to the outdoors. The amount of time we spend outside of buildings amongst the trees, the rocks, the mountains, out in the open air, and connected to something much bigger than ourselves. Breathing heavy, paying attention to our surroundings. Being attuned to the vibrational frequency of abundant life. We are intrinsically connected to nature. Paying attention to the seasons. The weather. Dirt. Snow. Wind. Water. All the different playgrounds involve a connection to ourselves and nature.
Most outdoor activities are also better with friends. While snowboarding I always ride with friends to be mindful in the backcountry and to be pushed through a fun competitive spirit. While surfing I enjoy having friends to feel safe and enjoy watching them rip a wave. Climbing usually requires a partner. Friends often make the outdoors even more enjoyable. They also bring a deeper sense of connection.
Out in nature, connected to it. Connected to ourselves. Connected to each other. Many can be unaware that they are filling a very basic human need through enjoying what they love.
Fulfilling our human needs sets us up for success because it leaves us less reactive to the world around us. If my needs are not fulfilled I am more dependent upon the behavior of someone else. The way they treat me is more important because my subconscious mind is doing its best to get these needs met. Each interaction has more pressure to be what I NEED it to be. I may settle. I may not speak my truth. I may change the way I behave just so that people like me and treat me better- to fill that need.
As outdoor enthusiasts, we can bring extra attention to this when we are out with people we enjoy, immersed in nature, and aware of our deep connection to self. Soak in the times with friends. Fill your cup as much as possible with this awareness so while at work, school, or anywhere else you can be more confidently you and attract those that align with who you are.
By paying closer attention to this need you can live a life filled with more enjoyment, more ease, and even more appreciation. Drop in, and connect.
Photographer: Jordan Ingmire