A Trip to the ‘Mountain’
Every few months (or whenever I need it), I try to take a day where I get away from my family and the dog and the house and the to do list that never ends to pause. To reflect. To journal. To escape.
Last weekend, I took one of these days. I call them my ‘trips to the mountain’. It wasn’t a real mountain (I’m from Colorado so I actually used to go to the mountains hence the name). It actually happened to be the second story of a bookstore with a floor to ceiling window overlooking the trees (and a parking lot). Part of what I took away was that I wanted to share my experiences as I find that these ‘trips to the mountain’ help me re-find my footing and my direction when I am feeling lost.
Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.
– Maya Angelou
On my most recent journey, I explored Colibri. I’ve been building Colibri for a year now and I wanted to take a step back to see where I was compared to what I had expected. To see if what I had built was a reflection of what I had imagined and was serving women and building community in the way I hoped. In a day, I was able to take a step back and tweak my path moving forward in a way that I would not have been able to do without stepping back.
These ‘trips’ have kept me grounded through some very challenging times simply by giving me the space to think. Below, I try to give some direction around how to do it but over the years, my journeys have been so very different.
As I mentioned, this particular journey was at a bookstore, surrounded by journals and books and magazines that I had discovered from all corners of the store. On another, I took a notebook and my dog and spent the day letting my mind and my legs roam through Chautauqua Park in Boulder, only to stop to jot an interesting thought or idea in my journal. On a third, I took paper, pens and paint to a friend’s art studio for the day and literally let my creativity fly. My only requirement for the location has been that it inspires me in some way – be it nature or creativity or books – it must inspire.
What I do and the outcome is all over the place as well. I have written books, fleshed out business ideas, set lofty goals, set not so lofty goals, created artwork (if you could call it that – I did not inherit the art gene from my parents!) and done nothing. I have cried, screamed, laughed, danced, daydreamed, felt the sun on my face and the grass on my feet. I have given in to the whims I am feeling on that particular day, have felt utterly free to feel every emotion, to dream bigger than I could imagine, to explore deeply and to do everything I want (not need) to do. Be flexible and just see where the day takes you.
These trips have been and continue to be an incredibly powerful tool for me in my life. They have taken me to remarkable places both in my community and within myself. They have helped me reflect back and given me direction moving forward. And, they have helped me truly be present and spend each moment based on my whims and emotions.
Take these steps back from your life.
Take a pause and go to the mountain.
Unplug yourself for a day and get off of the spin cycle.
Make sure your path is headed in the right direction.
No matter the outcome, whether you validate your direction, you find you need to alter your course or you just take a pause, it will be a day very well spent.