It was nearly two years ago. I was in between jobs, going through a very intense break-up with a man I thought I was destined to spend the rest of my life with, sleeping on friends’ couches, and to top it all off, my decade-old back injury decided it was the perfect time to flare back up into a debilitating daily pain.
I felt broken, body, mind, and spirit, and I wasn’t sure how to pull myself together. So, as I so often had done before when life got me down, I turned to Mother Nature.
I shut my phone off, left a note with my friend as to where I was headed, and I ran off to the mountains. A light, early fall snow blanketed the trail, and ice was beginning to form on the banks of the river. I tied my boots up tight and set off into the woods with the stoic determination of a warrior going into battle. I would not come out of that snowy forest until I regained some semblance of calm in my heart.
Letting the silence of the snow soak into my bones, I meditated.
I ran as fast as I could through knee deep snow drifts, and I screamed at the top of my lungs until the birds and squirrels fell silent.
I breathed. In and out. Fresh mountain air permeating every cell in my body. I did this until the cold tears stopped falling down my cheeks, until I realized that everything was exactly as it should be, that I was actually as free as I could ever possibly want to be.
As I drove back down the mountain, I formulated a plan:
Step one: Sell everything. Okay, almost everything, but definitely all that junk sitting in a storage container. Bye, junk; Hello, cash.
Step two: Go anywhere. Yep. Anywhere. I was free!
Two months later I was on a flight to Costa Rica with enough cash to get me through 5 months in Central America, and a mindset to get me through a lifetime of adventures, all thanks to a little love and nurturing from Mother Nature.