(I had technical problems today :-( Sorry about the blank page or whatever you saw.)
The warm days have begun to show up around here and it sure feels nice. Yesterday Bobbi and I hiked up into the mountains near our home where the wildflowers, the smell of the forest, the views and being in nature felt so nurturing to our spirits. Being out in nature always seems to make me feel good. The hike reminds me that I need to do this more often. This time of year is great for walks in the woods.
We brought along sketchpads on our hike and did some drawings. I think drawing, even if you can be challenged like me at it, does something with the brain that is calming and balancing. When you are feeling out of balance or your mind is too charged up take a few minutes and draw something you are looking at. It doesn’t have to be well done, as I was saying, but the effort will have a positive affect. I find drawing really improves a lot with a little practice.
A few years ago while traveling in Europe, I had a very small notebook that I drew in and by the end of the 6 weeks my drawing was beginning to look like I knew what I was doing. I remember a wonderful home I was staying in the Italian Alps and the drawing of that place is still my favorite.
That trip was wonderful for all the beauty of the places I saw. Paris was an amazing city full of endlessly interesting neighborhoods, history, famous sites, museums and friendly people. Lourdes, in the south of France, is known for its healing waters and the nightly procession of lights of people from all over the world. I had to go there because as a child I was told it was a holy place. The beauty of the place, the mountains, the people, and the sacredness of the intentions of so many that come there, did make it a special place. Avignon was another French city I enjoyed. It was full of history almost like a little walled in Paris in some way.
I also travel to Spain, Greece and Italy on that trip. Italy stood out because it seemed the friendliest and the language is so great to listen to. I remember coming into the train station in a small town called Santa Marguerita and hearing the Italian being spoken over the loud speaker and it felt like I had returned home. I have never been to Italy nor is their Italian in my heritage as far as I know. Something about this country spoke to me and ran through my veins. Maybe it was the great food? I was in heaven there as I traveled around. My favorite place of all in Italy was Assisi. This wonderful little town out in the country was where Saint Francis had lived. I walked where he had walked and visited the church that holds his remains. Assisi truly felt like a holy place to me.
Well I am not sure how I became a travel writer today but that is where my intuitive guided fingers took this journal entry. The walk in nature, the drawing and travel all do tie together for me. They are each ways of self-care and freeing the spirit in me. Travel does so much to make me feel new, fresh and alive. As I said above nature and drawing can be offer soothing balance and restore a sense of inner peace.
What works for you when you need to find your balance, return to your inner peace, and refresh your spirit? What calms you down? What makes you feel alive? What gives you energy? What is calling you now in life to bring you more into balance and harmony?
Have a good week and listen for what you need. Summer is an excellent time for doing what feels good. Go on a trip, walk in the woods, take up drawing or whatever would feel like the inner you is being taken care of come kind and loving way. You will feel better for doing so. Encourage the same self care in those you love and together you can enjoy the celebration of life.