Weathering the crazy derecho, urban camping & loving it!
In the week leading up to the most craziest storm I think I have ever seen, I had been craving a quiet escape ... so much so that I had even contemplated seeing if I could convince my family to go camping for night at the end of May.
In the aftermath of the storm, once we knew it would be days not hours until power was restored, the kids and I quickly pivoted. Flashlights were collected and placed on the kitchen table, camp stove and pots dug out of the equipment buckets in the basement, propane tank picked up from Grandma and Grandpa, and cooler filled with ice jugs and anything from the fridge we thought we might need.
Then the most amazing thing happened ... we became Urban Campers for 2.5 days!
We did all of the camping things that I love like quietly reading books together, we played games together, went for walks everyday together, cooked on our beloved camp stove (the BBQ and I don't see eye to eye lmao, give me a camp stove any day), cooperatively did the dishes after every meal, and we visited the best comfort station EVER for hot hot showers (aka grandma & grandpas).
We had FUN despite the chaos and panic around us.
I knew without a doubt that they were working as hard and as fast as they could to restore the power ... and that it would all be okay in the end.
I was not stressed.
I simply enjoyed the quiet that no hydro brought and the disconnect from everything (no cell service will do that).
Now I know that not everyone had a blissful weekend like we did.
My husband was super busy at work (he's a paramedic). All of the essential people worked really hard to keep us safe from downed wires, cleared trees, and help anyone injured during the storm. And some of you who I have chatted with since the long weekend found their stress ramped up.
Maybe we can take some lessons from camping to heart and apply them to life and any future adventures the environment might through our way ...
... preparation is key ... whatever will be will be ... the weather is always unpredictable ... working together makes things better and often faster ... nature is healing, grounding, and soothing ... being disconnected periodically is actually good for your health and wellbeing ... slow down and enjoy the moments ... making memories doesn't have to be expensive ... your won't melt if you get caught in a downpour ... regular exercise and moving of your body is key ... as is sleep ... and everyone loves a good board game!
Embrace the here and now, the present moment, and be mindful always.
I hope that you are inspired to take a different view on your own experience during the power outage & find some beautiful memories there.
I know I plan to bring back some no tech game nights to our house in the future, and am looking forward to sleeping in an actual tent the next time we camp.
(Below are a sampling of photos from our urban camping adventures.)
2.5 days Urban camping, May long weekend 2022 ...
And then we did it again for another day and a half the following weekend, lol.
For our last less traditional meditation we are going to look at a wandering meditation. Make sure that you also check out the art and tea meditation posts while you are here.
Some of you might be familiar with the concept of forest bathing, if you are this will feel similar to you ... but a little bit different as well.
For a simple wandering meditation you can go anywhere ... a forest, meadow, garden, park, your neighbourhood, anywhere you have space to move around and maybe a little quiet as well.
The key to this type of meditation is moving slowly ... this is not a race ... this is a slow meander ... an aimless wander.
So much of our world now is fast, fast, fast … even the physical speed we move at can be fast. How much can you accomplish in a small amount of time? How much can you cram into a weekend or a day off? How productive can you be?
But is that really what is best for us?
What would happen if you tried to slow down and be a little less busy? A little less productive? Move a little slower? Accomplished a little less?
One of my favorite ways to slow down is to head to a forest for a wander. Not a speed walk, but a dawdle through the trees with my camera. Taking in all that I can and capturing all the amazing things that I see along the way.
This way of basking in nature is actually referred to as Forest Therapy or Forest Bathing.
Forest Therapy in the simplest of forms can be described as mindfulness in nature. It revolves around spending time in nature, particularly among the trees.
Taking your time to move slowly through the environment, or even just sit. Close your eyes and just breath … then open your eyes and open your senses.
What can you see … what do you smell … what can you hear … is it warm or cool … what does the light look like as it filters through the trees?
Taking the time to notice big & little things like tiny mushrooms on the forest floor or how the branches of the trees catch the falling snow.
Spending time in nature can actually be an antidote for stress!
It can actually lower you blood pressure and cortisol levels, decrease nervous system arousal, enhance immune system function, decrease anxiety, and improve mood.
“As we strengthen our connection with the natural world, our sense of beauty, wonder, awe and curiosity is restored and our brains and nervous system are calmed. Stress levels are lowered and the immune system boosted.”
Where are my favorite places around Peterborough to get a dose of nature?
So, will you join me for a little Forest Therapy this week?
I think we could all use a dose right about now, don't you?
Brien-anne RMT, CA
I am passionate not only about Massage Therapy & Aromatherapy, but also living a holistic lifestyle and empowering & inspiring others to do the same!