4 Easy Steps To Enjoying The Journey
Life Is About The Journey
If you read my last blog(2 Down, 28 Years To Go http://kevinbradyhealth.ca/2-years-down-28-to-go/), you know that my daughter Lauren and I spent the week out in Whistler on what we called “Training Week 2″. It was an amazing week however I noticed on one of our hikes up the mountain, that I was super focused on the destination (which in this case was reaching the top of the mountain) instead of the journey. However, by focusing on the destination, I was missing the entire reason for the hike which was to be out in nature, to see the mountains, to connect with Lauren, and ultimately to connect with the earth.
Lauren and I were a few days into our training week when we decided to hike up to Black Tusk and Garibaldi Lake. The last time we had done this hike was in 2013 and it is clearly one of our favourites. It is a long hike as it is approximately 26 km of hiking round trip (not to mention the 7000+ foot vertical climb up and down the mountain) so we were very focused on ensuring that we were able to complete the hike before we lost the light at the end of the day.
We were hiking quite quickly up the Mountain and we were approximately halfway up when I realized that I was putting all my emphasis on getting up the mountain quickly instead of taking in and really enjoying the journey. I found that once I realized this and “plugged in” to all that was going on around me on the mountain that my entire experience changed. I very quickly noticed the amazing and beautiful nature that was all around us. I noticed the beautiful forest we were hiking in, the abundance of oxygen, the sunlight shining through the trees, the birds and insects around us to mention a few. I feel that if I didn’t take time to really notice and engage in all the nature that surrounded us that I would have ended up at the top of the mountain (the destination) and missed the entire purpose of the hike.
I have read and listened to many podcasts on the mental and emotional benefits of being close to nature. For those that missed my previous blog on “The 5 Reasons I Exercise Outside“, you can access it here: http://kevinbradyhealth.ca/the-5-reasons-i-exercise-outside/
Notice The Big Little Things
I believe that in order to really feel the therapeutic benefits of being or exercising in nature, we really have to take the time and make the effort to “notice nature” and notice the journey. I like to say that it is easy for us to all notice the really “big” things in life however the real benefit comes from us noticing the really small and little things around us. I found on this particular day, once I noticed all the little beautiful things around me, my entire mindset changed for the better.
Applies To Life
I think this same theory applies to our lives. I believe that so many of us are so focused on the destination that we forget to enjoy and appreciate the journey along the way. If I think of it from a career or work standpoint, I know in my earlier years, I was so focused on my goals, my next promotion, my next accomplishment that I didn’t fully appreciate the journey along the way.
If I use a personal example in the health and fitness realm, I think of my Triathlon racing career where I was very focused on my goal each year of qualifying to represent Canada at the World Championships. I was successful in accomplishing this over the past 5 years however I can honestly say I always did not focus or enjoy the “journey” or the workouts along the way.
The 1 minute solution to “Enjoying the Journey”
I have found that a Mantra that I practice daily puts me in an amazing mindset and allows me to live in the moment and enjoy the journey. I try to practice this “Manta” a few times a day, typically when I am doing a workout and once again prior to going to sleep. Here is my quick 1 minute (or longer if you wish) fix for really being in the moment and enjoying the journey.
- Be in The Present
Here I really focus on the present and everything that is going on around me. On my hike up the mountain, it was noticing the Sun, the sky, the trees, the sound of the birds, running water, and just the beauty all around us that the world was offering.
Here I focus on everything in life that I have appreciation for at that moment. In the case of our hike, I was thankful for all the beautiful nature around us, my ability to hike up the mountain from a physical standpoint, thankful that I was able to spend time in this gorgeous place and thankful for me spending quality time our daughter Lauren.
Here I focus on everyone in my life that has touched me in my life in a profound way. This is typically family, friends, those that are no longer with us and anyone that has had an impact on my life. I also use this as a time to think of anyone I know in life at that time that are experiencing difficulty or perhaps health issues. I send positive vibrations to those people and pray for them and their families.
4.The Future Is Bright
Here I focus on all the amazing things the future holds. Too often I believe people get too held up in the past. I find that the happiest people that live the most joyful lives, live in the present and really look forward to the future. Here I think of all the great things that could and likely will happen in the future from a personal, family, health, fitness and work standpoint. My feeling is that we have so much to look forward to in this great life ahead of us.
You will find that by using this 4 step short “Mantra,” it will put you in a very positive and amazing mindset.
Once I slowed down my mind on the hike, noticed the “little big things” and practiced my Mantra, everything changed on our hike. It wasn’t that we necessarily slowed down our pace, I simply noticed and engaged in nature that made all the difference in the world. The remainder of this hike was amazing as we were living in the present and appreciating nature. I also found that I was very focused on being in the present the rest of the week once I had this “awakening” in terms of enjoying the Journey.
The Reward – Garibaldi Lake
The reward was that we truly became one with nature that day. In fact, when we got to the top we went swimming in the freezing cold but crystal clear Garibaldi Lake which was one of the highlights of the day. We then laid down on the warm rocks of the shore and took in nature to its fullest. We were in “awe” with the amazing beauty all around us. The aqua blue glacier water in front of us, the sun shining on the snowy glaciers around the lake, the rocks and forest around the lake while rays of the sun warmed us up. It was simply amazing.
So there you have it, the formula for living in the present and enjoying life all around us.
1. Live in the Present
2.Think of all you appreciate
3.Think of all you love
4.Look forward to the future and all it has to offer
Please try this easy formula on a daily basis as it has really helped me slow down and enjoy the journey along the way.
Wishing you and your family all the very best in Health and Happiness,