City to Sea to the Mountains

I have always been a city girl. I was raised in a small city and I have chosen to live in bigger cities my whole adult life. I love the pace, the culture, the food. I love being a hub for friends to come visit. 

I love being able to walk out my door and have a variety of activities to choose from.

While in a city, I have also always lived by the sea. From Berkeley to New York to Spain back to San Francisco, being close to the water has always provided me comfort, stability and a huge natural resource to check in with. 

When shit hits the fan, the city shifts suddenly. The beautiful cacophony of yells, music, trash cans, neighbors, garbage trucks and traffic simply transform into NOISE. The energy of being in a hub with interesting people who are eating great food and going to interesting events transforms into OVERWHELM.

It is in those moments of personal chaos, there is no other option but to seek nature. It is simply to save myself that my feet must touch the sand, I must stand at the edge of the ocean, and remember how small I am. How insignificant this problem is. How the world keeps turning no matter the heartbreak, sorrow, turmoil, joy, drama or worry we carry. 

On days when I can barely function, I get out of the city. I cook myself some food, pack a picnic, drive myself down the coast, take off my shoes, put my feet in the sand. These moments when my feet touch the ocean remind me that I am alive. The way my body feels laying in the warmth of the rays of sun help me to feel protected in the chaos of nature. It was only there that I found solace. 

While the sea has been a great resource to me, I got an idea, a whisper, an intuitive feeling that the mountains were what was calling me this year.

I can't wait to see what comes of the trip, what adventures come. I can't wait to come home with clarity, and mental space and feeling resourced.

John Muir said it best - 

Go Outside

One of the most important healing, therapeutic things to do for yourself is to GO OUTSIDE. I often urge people to go to the beach, take off their shoes and feel the sand between their toes. Also beneficial, go barefoot on the earth.

It is quite easy to become ungrounded, feeling a disconnect between our minds and bodies. Symptoms like anxiety, worry, insomnia and digestive issues often come up to plague us.

When these symptoms arrive it can be hard to remember the importance of our connection with nature. Rather than staying inside to avoid all the stressors that we normally face, sometimes the most valuable way to help ourselves is to get out, reconnect with nature and soak up all the fresh air.

In Chinese Medicine there are many reasons this is so healing. There are five archetypes of people based on elements of nature -

  • fire
  • earth
  • metal
  • water
  • wood

When we are lacking in one of the elements there can be physical symptoms that arise. Also, each of these elements relates to a season and during certain seasons we may find that we are craving that element, or we have had too much of it.

This hike was from Bolinas, CA to Alamere Falls in Point Reyes, CA. (For more info go here) This hike is a perfect combination of elements and just an amazing day out if you live in the SF Bay Area. While the fire element and metal element are probably more internal on this hike there is a great combo of wood, water and earth. The woods you walk through feel forest-y and deep and dark. The beach is invigorating and the waterfall is meditative.

This simple day out was not only great for cardiovascular health, fitness but also breathing in the air and experiencing all the elements of nature.

What is your next outdoor adventure, go west, be well.