“Courageous leadership is when I lean into a deeper knowing, listening and acting on the quiet whispering of my soul even if my mind is telling me no. – Sharon Pitawanakwat
It had been a long stressful week. I was satisfied with the outcome of the work that I had done, but it was definitely time for some rest. The couch was calling to me; I had a long list of binge-worthy shows just waiting to be watched.
And then the text came in, “It’s a beautiful day, get your snowshoes on!”
“No,” I thought to myself, “this is not the way my weekend is meant to unfold.” I had been running all week, the last thing I felt like doing was stomping through the woods in the snow. Then the sun hit my face as though coaxing me to put down the remote control and head to the door. Reluctantly, I peeled myself off the couch and laced up my boots. The cold air hit my face with a slap and the first few minutes were rough, but with each footprint in the snow, I became more invigorated…and slowly the stress began to melt away.
It’s tough to get out in the winter, when our natural instinct is to stay warm and conserve our energy. As Canadians, we often count down the days to spring, one dark day at a time, waiting for the snow to melt so that we can start enjoying our lives again.
But what would it look like to savour the winter?
One of my outdoor adventure friends called last week and said, “We need to hit the trails, we might not get out skiing before the end of the winter.” And then it dawned on me, perhaps we need to flip our perspective and savour the remaining days of winter for all of the beauty and splendor we can find in them.
Have I lost you? Too optimistic, you say?
There is some fascinating research on the power of nature for our brains and perhaps we need to look at time outdoors as medicine for our physical and mental well-being. Sometimes we need sleep or to rest our weary feet, but there are other times we should stimulate our senses and take our brain to a different place. A primal place that our bodies crave; away from technology and the stress of our daily lives.
And just in case you think I am being too idealistic, after my epic outdoor adventure, I shook the snow off my boots, settled on the couch and fell into a deep sleep while binging my favourite show; crumbs of popcorn on my chest.
We all need downtime, but let’s remind ourselves that nature is here to heal us any time of the year.
- What activity can lure you outside?
- How can the great outdoors challenge you in new way?
- What is the beauty that you can pull out of the season?