It’s terribly windy outside, and hot too. My dogs are spread-eagled on the kitchen floor, trying to absorb some coolness. I have been feeling lovely lately. My partner is working away, it’s been three months, but not that kind of lonely. It’s a different kind.
The kind where you have enough people to talk to, should you so wish, but that just doesn’t cut it. You know? It made me think about connection. We are social beings after-all. I have moments where I think, just call someone for a drink, and then I imagine it, and I am not feeling it. My get-together mojo is lost. I don’t think it’s humans I need to connect with right now.
We are super connected these days. Once that Wi-Fi signals beams, there we go. Go, go, go. Emails, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Crypto, Pinterest, Tik-tok, Google, Youtube, online shopping, online banking. My brain is fried.
So, the other day I decided to try something new, outdoors (remember that place? Where you used to play barefoot?). I signed up for a windsurfing class. I have been meaning to do it for a while now. I am trying to find an outdoor hobby that I enjoy, and we live near a beautiful lagoon.
Now, talk about a high. I spent 2 hours on the lagoon, learning, using my muscles, figuring things out, struggling to grasp some of the technique. I took cool dips in the water. I walked with fishes. I finally figured out how to do something (sail) and I went, “whoohoooooooo” (I was going about 2km p/h, but acting like it was 100).
When I arrived home, I was sweaty and salty and SO, VERY happy. I felt my aching muscles and I liked it. I stayed in my wetsuit just a little longer, so I could look at myself and say, “you went windsurfing babe!”. I felt energized and alive. Even my coffee tasted better. There is something about joining the elements outside and letting them guide you.
THAT was the connection I was after. Connection with nature and my body and learning a new skill outdoors. No phone, no laptop, no incessant “checking”. My mind was not filled with a million little things that had to be taken care of. Most importantly, I was not busy doing one thing while thinking about another. Complete presence.
I am not saying you need to do an extreme sport to connect to nature and perhaps you are already doing so, but if not, do yourself a favour and explore it. If you have a beach nearby, walk it. A park? Walk it. Gardening? Do it. A lake? Kayak it. A mountain? Climb it. Go camping. Explore forests. Touch trees. Feel sand under your feet.
You remember when you were a kid? Playing outside? Your mom’s pleas echoing from the backdoor to get yourself to the dinner table as the sun set over the horizon? In those moments, time did not exist and the last thing you wanted to do was stop. Your hands and feet covered in dirt. Happy. Content.
Tell me, why did we stop?
I am not stopping again. Not ever. I am only getting started.
My wish for you is to find those things that set your soul on fire and the energy to keep fanning the flame.