Craving Clarity - Tramping Up Mountains to Rise Above the Haze
I'm really into solo adventuring. I do enjoy the company of people, and I wouldn't call myself anti-social, but I do my recharging when I have my mind to myself. I have a tendency - a flaw, perhaps - of adjusting my behavior to "suit" whoever I'm with. I try to guess which aspects of my personality my companions would find most enjoyable and this is what I provide to them. I'm a people pleaser - I don't like to disappoint, so this could very well be a reflection of that trait. But that isn't being true to myself. It's something I'm working on, and in the meantime, I find my solace and healing in solitude.
My most recent adventure was a scramble up Yellow Aster Butte, a gorgeous alpine hike in Mount Baker National Forest. The past few weeks here in the northwest have seen some incredibly hazy skies due to some rather unfortunate wildfires up in B.C., and I've been missing the views of bright blue sky. I made it a mission on this particular hike to see how high I needed to get to break above the smoky skies, and in hindsight, it seems that it wasn't just literal haze I was escaping. I was craving another sort of clarity.
Mental clarity can be achieved by removing yourself from your perceived problems and instead focusing on what is right in front of you. This is made particularly simple when you've got a pack on your back and a steep incline in front of you - it's hard to focus on anything but your next step and the sweeping views that become more stunning with each foot gained in elevation. This is what I love about hiking, and in particular, solo hiking, because you are in your own dreamworld, and there is no need to think about anything or anyone else. Clarity starts to sweep out the dusty corners of your mind, brushing anxiety and stress right out the door. It's an incredibly healing way to take care of yourself and your mental health, and there's a refreshing realization that this is a place you can return to mentally whenever negative thoughts start to cloud your mind.
Funny, that sounds very similar to my yoga practice.
Hiking, yoga, running, sitting, walking, baking, painting, photography, writing, playing music...what's your meditation? How do you break above your haze? It seems like humanity could use a little more clarity.