Camping Freely

What does camping freely mean? Whatever it is, I was determined to do it, as I went on a quick camping trip in the deep mountains of Idaho last weekend. I wanted freedom. From stress, expectations, and the emotional draining of my work.

As I drove from the sun-filtered valley to the frosted backcountry, I wondered why people do this. Why do they spend days, weeks, and hundreds of dollars to “rough it?”

If it’s to “get away from it all”, why do we insist on taking most of IT with us sometimes? All for the feeling of leaving it all behind.

People spend hundreds on camping and thousands on the equipment to achieve that feeling. I remember when I first started listening to Tony Robbins, he talked about one of the basic needs of everyone is variation. We need variety in our lives to combat boredom.

  • 1. Certainty: assurance you can avoid pain and gain pleasure
  • 2. Uncertainty/Variety: the need for the unknown, change, new stimuli
  • 3. Significance: feeling unique, important, special or needed
  • 4. Connection/Love: a strong feeling of closeness or union with someone or something
  • 5. Growth: an expansion of capacity, capability or understanding
  • 6. Contribution: a sense of service and focus on helping, giving to and supporting others- Tony Robbins

Camping provides the variation and may increase connection to actual humans without technology. If we allow it to.

Whether camping, glamping, homeless or vacationing- people are still trying to meet their daily physical and emotional needs. In the safety of home, the physical needs are a bit easier; but take away a few comforts and it gets a little harder. That’s why so much of our vacation time is spent searching down food, and supplies- things we forgot.

I didn’t have any cell service on my camping trip and with my many kids and grandkids; and a son in rehab; I made the trip down the road every morning to get service to make sure everyone was ok. Other than that, it was nice to be free.

The second day I came down with a kidney infection. With no cranberry juice within 40 miles, I had only water to treat it. I realized that no matter what our plans there will always be new needs that arise. That’s why trusting in a higher power works for many people. But what it really did was force me to take care of myself. I spent the mornings sleeping and the afternoons reading.

As we rode around in the soon to be snow-covered ground; with my mind not cluttered up with the need to check social media or my blog for viewers; my thoughts were FREE to just roam. Like the moose we saw trudging through the trees, my heavy weights of worry I had been carrying were like the backdrop of a silent movie- still there but non-threatening, not all-consuming.

Everyone says nature is a grounder. It brings us back to center. It reduces the clutter in our mind because we have less obligations to worry about and more time to think about what matters. To the moose, all that mattered was getting food and water and staying alive. Even though we are not cavemen anymore, we really do spend our days meeting our needs.

My trip turned out to be a nice breather. We left a day early due to impending snow. Back into the groove of life where problems and worries remain but I had a little bit of heightened energy to face them. That’s what self- care does. Give’s our bodies time to catch up with our minds.

Here’s some pics from this trip and here’s my last one, if you missed it. Happy camping!

🏕️ 🏞🔦 ⛺ 🐂🦌🐻🌄🌌👨‍👩‍👦‍👦

Staying in The Moment

At my job, we teach staying in the present as a coping skill.
The last few weeks and months seem to have a lot of minds busy with turbulence & unrest…

One of the things I’ve learned most about helping people in duress is to bring them back to the moment.

“Grounding” is the new term.

Since most or at least some forms of anxiety usually come from thinking about too many scenarios that may happen or problems you are having and feeling overwhelmed, it’s important to slow down those thoughts & ground yourself to the moment.

One great strategy I’ve found is to say:

“We don’t have to fix this all right now”.


“What is your body telling you that you need at this moment? “

Recently I was looking in my old journals and I found in one of my notebook ramblings from 2006- long before all my current job training-which had MY SIMPLE TRUTHS written at the top:

#1: I don’t have to fix everything right now

I think we instinctively know what we need at any given moment ….it’s just breaking down the barriers to reach that wisdom. Being quiet enough with our egos & fears & insecurities to allow peace in.

Which is really the whole premise to meditation.

I haven’t mastered meditation or even stuck with it long enough to master it, but yesterday I found Joe Dispenza’s motivational videos and I just might start again.

As a life longer “self improvement obsessive-er ( because I can’t say junkie) I never really stop looking for life hacks. But along the way of doing this, we can still get lost in the ” fixing”.

Whether it be fixing ourselves or someone else, or just a situation in crisis; There are moments in your life when you come to a crossroads and realize that you are losing yourself in the process.

Mine was seeing a picture pop up in memories from three years ago. I saw a vibrant, white teeth, soft, freshly colored – gray hair covered-styled hair, person who’s biggest problem seemed to be to make it on time to dance class at age 49.

Now, having fun seems so far away from my mental health after being in survival mode for so long.

I’ve heard that desperation and pain are great motivators for change. For me, seeing a picture of myself caused me great distress in my need to change.

So, just for today, I will tell myself:

Yoυ don’т need тo ғιх everyтнιng rιgнт now, or  тoday, or even тoмorrow

Then ask my body, what is it you need right now?

Today, mine is saying freedom from this excess weight that has been used as a cushion to comfort me in times of great stress.

I’ve become a Hibernating 🐻 Bear on a Long voyage to Mars. ( Since I can’t say “trip”. But it’s time to come back to Earth.