Lessons From the Trail: Fall Backpacking Essentials

Lessons From the Trail: Fall Backpacking Essentials

Nature is such a powerful force, and venturing out into it provides for such a genuine connection, both with the outdoors and oneself. Nothing, at least anything I've experienced, is as freeing and pure as waking up in the woods, with faint sounds of birds chirping, the wind gently finding its way through the trees, and hikers moving around and crunching the ground outside of your tent; as hiking solo or with a dear friend on a beautiful trail; of witnessing breathtaking, secluded views after hours of uphill battle with the granite surrounding you.

Regardless of the beauty, there is great importance in preparing accordingly for the known and unknown when exploring, whether it be a quick stroll to view the autumn leaves changing or a backpacking excursion.

In the Canyon, We Are All Just Canyoneers

In the Canyon, We Are All Just Canyoneers

I was swallowed directly into the canyon walls, coming out alive; spat out with underlying strengths but also smitten in realization that the same soul and old wounds I’ve sometimes ignored still reside right inside my bones. Now, maybe that sounds bleak, but canyon walls speak truth, make you feel real, strip you away and allow you to just be.

Where the Mountain Meets the Sea

Where the Mountain Meets the Sea

August 4th, 2018 was absolutely the best day of my life because I got to marry my best friend. I feel incredibly blessed to have found my equal partner in life. A man as wild in spirit and vulnerable in heart as me. During our wedding ceremony, which took place on a rocky beach on Lummi Island, Washington, we asked Zack's mother, Holly to do a reading. She read aloud an original poem that simply put, blew everyone away. It embodies not only the love that Zack and I share together, but also how integral nature has been in our lives as individuals, and together as a couple. I wanted to share this poem with the Howl Often community, because I believe that every wild woman (and wild man) will connect with, and appreciate the essence of these words, and the remarkable magic of love. ~ Alexandra

August Theme: Experience the Unseen

When we are exploring in nature, or just living our daily lives, so much of what we process is what we see. Yet when we open up our innate sensing, we can feel and experience so much more. I know this seems like voodoo non-sense so just keep with me for a little, it's worth it! 

When you meet someone, sometimes you may have a strong feeling about them - this is your sensing working. You may feel that the person exemplifies goodness and love or oppositely you get a strong feeling that you need to keep your distance. When you sense this, you are reacting to the energy or mass of that person. This is not thought-driven, meaning your brain does not say hey, i saw that this person is warm and loving, it's ok to open up. This is your sensing input kicking in. Just as your sight, smell, and hearing are inputs for your surroundings, you have a sensing screen that once activated can guide you through situations, and feel the environments you explore.

To activate it, start being aware of what you sense not what thoughts you are having. To do this, go on a hike in nature, and whenever you have a thought, recognize it and then let it go. Slowly your thoughts will go away and your mind will be still. Now, from your sacrum to the top of your head (bottom to top), focus your breath moving up for the inhale and for the exhale focus on the feeling you get when in nature coming into your body. Over time, you will build up your sensing screen and start to feel your natural surroundings - the mountains, sky, rocks, water. After a hike, you usually feel better than the start. Now you can sense why - you will sense the calming impact of nature in a greater proportion. 

When you are struggling with a person or situation, instead of thinking about it, sense it. Do the same exercise, balancing your body from the sacrum to the top of your head while you breathe and listen to what you sense on the subject you have a question about.

Experience the unseen.

 

 

A Trek To Empowerment

A Trek To Empowerment

In the Fall of 2016 I began an empowerment journey. This journey began on a plane ride to Europe, and it is nowhere near over. Honestly, it may never end. However, there have been poignant moments of growth, healing, and empowerment along the way. One of these moments unfolded early on, as I walked the coast from Fira to Oia in Santorini, Greece. My mission was to rediscover myself after years of feeling lost; to find a way to empowerment once again.