Barefoot in the woods
This week I “came back” to Tirol, Austria where I used to live before. The mountains have been calling me for a while now so I answered them. And here I am sitting by the stunning Achensee and being inspired to write this little post.
First of all I’d like to tell you why I choose train instead of my car for transportation. You might think is is cheaper but to be honest not… And even way longer… But since I participated on a training about Climate Change I am even more aware of the impact of my actions. And with this train ride I saved almost 400 kg of CO2 going into the air. As some Buddhist phylosophy says it’s always good to think about others as well then yourself. Furthermore if you are not busy with driving you have time to do whatever you wish or even better just TO BE. Enjoy the view as the train passes by enormous mountains, crystal clear lakes or just floating though curvy tunnels. This reminds me of our travels with Team Superlekker across Western Africa. For days we were just looking out of the window of out camper bus and just watched the landscape passing by. That is were my mindfulness practice deepened and I understood its meaning.
That was 2019 and since then I practice mindfulness daily. Not only in the formal sitting practice but throughout my day in all different ways. Such as today walking barefoot in the woods:
As I enter the forest I usually set a threshold, a gate where I enter a sacred area. Here I set the intention not to harm any beings living there and be as present as possible. Climbing towards a waterfall I felt the wish to take a bath in the stream, so I got off the path and did. Standing barefoot in the freezing and running water on slippery stones I instantly felt connected and present. In dangerous situations there is no other way then to be present. Like in adventure sports (that’s the reason I like to incorporate them to my retreats). There are no place for wandering thoughts or overflowing emotions.
So I decided to keep on walking barefoot as a mindful walking practice. My feet touching the different surfaces of the ground I could completely feel each step I take. Each moment I live my life. None was missing. I could live my life the fullest.
Until some other hikers came or an interesting view or just a thought. Then right away the soft surface of the ground got spike, or I step on an ichi plant or twist my ankle. Wake up calls! You are in autopilot – I reminded myself then got back to the practice. As we always do in mindfulness practices. That’s exactly why it is called a practice. Over and over again restart. Each moment is a new beginning.
If you are interested in practices like this or want to try out how to connect deeper to Nature join one of my online MBSR trainings or Wellness retreats such as Nourish & Prosper in Norway this November or Ski & Soul next winter.