Escape for the Soul

Last week I did a quick getaway to the mountains of North Carolina to spend time with a dear friend and to explore. This wasn’t a vacation, it was a soul escape. A few short days to wander in different terrain, to get into wilderness, and to refresh my soul. My life is good, it is more than good and yet I find that even in a good life we sometimes need a few days with different scenery with something outside of our routine to give us some energy and make sure we keep perspective.

The weather was a bit drizzly and foggy for a good portion of the trip, but sunshine and blue skies did come out to visit. We made the determination to enjoy the time regardless of the weather and even in the rain we explored, we laughed, and we enjoyed ourselves. This little trip reinforced what I know about life, but often forget – we cannot control everything in our life, we can only control our reaction. In spite of the weather I got to enjoy the beauty of waterfalls and rivers, of mountains, of flowers that braved the cold to share their colors, and of seeing thick layers of ice on the ground (for this Florida girl seeing white all over the ground was a big deal)!

My soul was a bit weary when I was getting ready for this trip. After the holidays and months of work stuff I found that I was tired in a way that requires more than just sleep to recover from. Taking this little bit of time helped me revitalize and set some priorities that I wasn’t taking the time to put together while juggling the hubbub of every day life. There is something about being in an airport or hotel room with time to let your brain wander that seems to help me get focus. It actually is a bit peaceful in a strange way. Mix that with wandering into the woods, scrambling on rocks and trying to avoid stepping too deep into the stream as you make your way to new areas to hunt for rocks or explore other parts of the shore and it is a great way to get out of the whirlwind of your brain and into an almost meditative state.

Travel and exploring can get us out of our routine and the mundane. Our horizons expand and our dreams grow. We need these things to find the true heartbeat of life I think. To remember there is so much more out there than the little circle we tend to stay in as part of the day to day life.

Even if you can’t travel far, try to step outside that circle of your life. Get outside when you can, read to keep your mind and soul alive and growing, and most of all remember that we can make even the things we see often into something special. The morning after I got home from my little adventure I took my Mellie walking at a park we go to often. It is so easy to look around and think about how we go there often and to not enjoy it as much. However, there is still reason to enjoy it and appreciate the beauty of it.

My life is full of good things and while I long to live somewhere that looks and feels different than where I am, I also appreciate what I have here. Sometimes we start to take the things around us for granted and don’t really appreciate what we have because we see it so often. It is good to step back, look from a different angle, and remember how blessed we are.

Take a moment to really see the good in your life. To appreciate those who love you (animal and/or human), because connection with others is important and a life without people to care about who also care about you would suck. To step outside and breathe it all in. It is easy to focus on what we don’t have or what we wish we had. It is just as easy to remember what we have and truthfully, most of us have so much to be thankful for.

Much gratitude and love.

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