I just returned from my annual “unplugged adventure” which I started last year when I walked across Northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago (500 miles). It was such a powerful experience to unplug for a chunk of time that this year I needed to do the same, but in a new location. The picture above is from my trip, I hiked the classic 180k Haute Route in the Swiss Alps, starting from Chamonix, France and ending in Zermatt, Switzerland. I was high above the clouds, among the most beautiful peaks in the Alps, sharing trails with the wild Ibex and marmots, and a view of the famous Matterhorn in the distance, like a beacon calling us toward it.
These unplugged adventures are all about resetting, regrouping, refocusing and rejuvenating. With all that is happening in the world today, floods of epic proportions, earthquakes in areas unable to sustain them, talks of world leaders trying to flex their nuclear muscles, and just general hatred and intolerance of human beings, it’s an enormous weight to carry in addition to whatever else is on your daily plate (care giving for others, stressful work environment, health challenges, etc).
When I go off on these adventures, I DO NOT take my routine with me, or my social media, or my news outlets, or my fears and worries. I know they will all be there when I return, waiting for me patiently.
When you give yourself a break from all this, it changes you. It opens up your perspective, your outlook on life, restores your hope for change, increases your creativity when you look at something from a new angle, helps you to simplify and connect with what really makes you happy, clears the mental clutter from your brain and reminds you that all you really need in life can fit comfortably in the backpack on your back.
Here are a few lessons learned from my trek:
- Waking up to watch the sunrise illuminate the peaks will forever take your breath away
- Questioning why I have a houseful of “stuff” when all I really need is what I carry on my back
- There continues to be good, kind, joyful people all over the world
- Dropping into the silence and listening to your own footsteps continues to be the best meditation
- Taking a social media break will actually make you much happier than you thought
- There will always be annoying people around you, but it’s still your choice to join their circus or not
- Make your health a priority, you only have one “meat suit” to carry your spirit through this lifetime, so take good care of it
- Breathe in and embrace all of nature’s beauty, simplicity, and renewal to help ground you and recharge your spirit
- Make time to write your thoughts down, notice what floats to the surface when distractions and stress are not present
- Make a list of destinations and experiences you want to have, and make that the beacon you follow through your life
The beauty and power of unplugging is that you don’t have to go far away to have a powerful experience, and you don’t have to unplug for weeks at a time. It can be as simple as an early morning hike alone or with a close friend, it could be a drive along the coastline on a early Sunday morning to catch the sunrise, or it could be a weekend camping trip in the largest and oldest Redwood Grove on the planet (hint, hint).
I invite you to unplug, settle into the discomfort of not being busy, and drop into the silence and peace that is within you. The more often you unplug, the more you restore and rejuvenate your spirit, which in turn helps to strengthen your ability to weather the storms of our universe at the moment.
Feeling ready to unplug? I invite you to join me for a weekend unplugging in the Redwoods (October 19-22), we still have a few spots left:
Listening to the Wild Redwoods Women’s Retreat (click link)
P.S. Unplugging helps to clear mental and emotional clutter that contributes to overwhelm. If you are in a state of transition and feeling overwhelmed, let me support you!
“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters
compared to what lives within us.”
~ Henry David Thoreau