Hiking: Walking in Nature

I love writing. I like the feeling of using my mind to dig in deeper into myself to see what there is to find. It is like “Mind Mining”. Mining in the sense of digging to find something of value and in this case you aren’t really sure what you are going to find.

But, “Mind Mining” is tiring and sometimes you dig and don’t find anything. You keep on writing and at some point you realize you are mining in a dry well. So, what do?

I actually am an outdoors person but my lifestyle for most of my life has been indoors. I have learned so much about the world through my experience in opera that I have forgotten most of what I’ve learned. However, it isn’t lost. It is in my mind but it has been mothballed to the basement.

There are three things the body needs to survive:

  1.  Oxygen
  2. Water
  3. Food

You can sit, drink water and eat food. You can breath too, but the oxygen isn’t been delivered ‘enough’.

Oxygen is vital for the health of all organs and especially the brain. So, getting a good dose of oxygen means going to oxygen rich environments, and nothing is more oxygen rich than a forest.

The picture above shows a forest with no leaves. It was winter when I took it. But it illustrates a point. This is how your brain looks without oxygen, barren and dead. No life. No vitality.

One thing I love to do is to go for hikes, and not just flat hikes, the hikes up and down hills where you have to work your body a bit. This forces you to concentrate on the hike and works your muscles more creating a need for more oxygen delivery through your body, including your mind.

Breathing relaxes the mind because it helps the brain get more oxygen.

Hiking keeps it real.

There is something about hiking which I really like and that is it takes us back to our human’s genealogical instinct of living in the wild.

The thoughts that occur to me when I go hiking is that it reminds me how it must have been before civilization where we just lived off the land and survived without all the technologies of today. We were open minded because you had to see the world to survive, not something over the horizon, but that which was right around you.

Having your feet firmly on the ground, climbing or descending elevations, using your muscles feeling distance in literal terms. If you have ever hiked in a dry environment without water for a while, you can begin to know what it feels like to really want and need water.

In this civilized society, we are transported by the wheel, the wing or the rails. We get on, sit and arrive. We ride elevators and escalators to reach different floors. So, you can live your whole life basically sitting to get places. You lose a connection to reality.

The circulation of the body’s fluids increase with the exertion of the body. This cleanses the body and flushes out the bad toxins which have accumulated.

My Nephrologist told me once that the body has different ways of disposing of toxins in the body and one of them is through the lungs. The act of respiration relieves the kidneys and liver of some detoxification work. Therefore, for the health of the organs, respiration/breathing are important for relief of acids in the body.

Hiking and camping, meaning really to sleep outside on the ground in nature, for a couple of days can be such a restorer of health. Some of the best sleep I have ever had was camping out, either in the forest or near the ocean.

This clearly affects one’s ability to think clearly.

Making good decisions in life are vital to your happiness. I believe one of the most important factors in good decision making is to have a brain that is relaxed, meaning not under stress due to the toxins of our civilized environment.

I don’t say this because I have made so many good decisions, but because I have made many bad ones. I attribute my bad decisions to my poor physical condition during those times and the stress my mind was under during certain portions of my life. Decisions made by irrational knee jerk reactive thinking rather than with a calm mind and proactive logical thinking.

We cannot see the future. Making decisions is often very difficult especially when the stakes are high. The stress of a confused mind, a lethargic body and a disturbed soul makes it very difficult to be of sound mind when mulling over critical decisions.

This is why taking time away for yourself to revitalize yourself is so important. You reset to the default settings inside where you are on standing on solid ground and feeling free in the mind. Then you can look at your situation and think logically about things.

Maybe then you can make rational decisions.

When we are in the throws of stress, often other people can see where we are headed better than we can. If you are swimming in a stream you can’t see the waterfall you are heading for, but someone standing on the bluff above you can and wise it is to head the warnings of those who can see the course you are taking towards your demise.  

If you are not open you cannot see, hear or feel anything. Your senses are blocked and your information is poisoned by the bilge filling you up inside.

Right now, would be a good time to take a weekend and go for hikes and sleep on the ground in nature.



Leave a Reply