Falling Waters 51013 011One of the other ways that I have been re-energizing as well as an active meditation has been with hiking. Whether its by myself or with the group I started there is a mindfulness to joining with Nature that I cannot explain fully.

Depending on who I am with it is either an exhilarating cardio workout, full of rock scrambles and pumping heart, or more of a quieter more focused on my surroundings and the sounds of nature. Both are perfect.  Depending on my mood and energy levels I may opt for one more than the other but both have their place in my life.

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The high impact, heart pounding climbs and descents prove to me just how strong I can be; mentally challenging since I don’t like heights/ open climbs. But also physically since its not something I’ve done consistently in a while.  I no longer enjoy the gym-rat mode of being active; its just not who I am at this time of my life but I do value the impact of how it prepares us for the challenges that being active outdoors can present us.  The more strenuous climbs allow me to focus on the feelings of my breath, my heart and the strength of my muscles while the repetitive motions allows my mind to wander and think greater thoughts since my mind somehow gets more empty when I concentrate on my balance and movement.

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The quieter slower paced walks are actually more of a challenge for me; its difficult for me to slow down instead of full speed ahead. I recently went on a hike with several co-workers; 2 retired ladies and one I work with presently. We also had one of the retired ladies daughters as a guide since she works in the environmental field. In the beginning I felt somewhat anxious to keep moving but I gradually became drawn in to looking at different plant species and looking around me in general. Ironically, once my camera came out there were times they waited for me instead of the opposite. Its funny how bringing out my camera allowed me to narrow my focus to individual plants and still maintain the observance of all around me; the tallness of the trees, the cool air, the blueness of the sky.

Whichever I choose to do, I do know one thing: it is good for my heart. Both mentally and physically I find myself recharged when I am hiking. The breathing of fresh clean air and the repetitive movement of challenging myself calms my heart while strengthening it, something I will be grateful for in years to come.

Janice_Minnewaska

These photos have been taken by myself, please take courtesy in not sharing except with permission.

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