I love hearing the crunch beneath my boots when I’m in the mountains. The air always feels more crisp instead of stagnant. Everything smells like dirt. I feel small in the most nurturing way. Being in the outdoors allows me to refresh my brain and feel grounded again when everything else feels overwhelming and chaotic. (Even when I’m getting lost or tripping over my own two feet!) There’s just nothing else that reminds me that life isn’t about all of the noise, it’s about the small, quiet moments. The wilderness has always been a place of peace for me.

For those who know me or who have followed me for a long time, you’ve seen this relationship I have with the mountains. It has to do with my childhood and how I grew up, and it’s also connected to the way I’ve learned to nourish my body both mentally and physically. The mountains may be my peace, but they may not be yours. However, there’s power in discovering what your peace is.

I feel at home with the trees and the dirt, and my body feels stronger.

Nourishing my Body

I am not the kind of person who loves the gym or working out (I know, that sounds weird coming from me), but I love how I feel after I get there and exercising. However, being outside, especially in the mountains, hardly feels like a workout. I love my outdoor runs, but I live for the time that I get to hike in the wilderness. I feel stronger out there, and more myself. It’s nice to appreciate the trust I have in my body as well as my problem-solving skills. Lord knows I need them with all of the predicaments I’ve gotten myself into out in the wilderness! But I feel at home with the trees and the dirt, and my body feels stronger.

The Mountains and My Mental Health

The outdoors are great for my ability to stay active, but it’s mostly beneficial for my mental health. Like everyone else, I question myself all the time. But when I’m in the mountains, I feel confident and self-aware. I may stumble (literally), but I have faith in my footing and my ability to ground myself. Recently I was on a hike and I got lost away from the trail. While getting lost, I stumbled into an amazing waterfall. It was such a profound realization for me about finding beauty when things seem difficult. The little things like that are why I love being out there. My body feels stronger, my mind feels rejuvenated, and my mindset begins to shift.

My mind feels rejuvenated, and my mindset begins to shift.

Finding Your Peace

There are a lot of people who don’t love the mountains or the outdoors. That is totally okay! That’s the beauty of finding your own peace, it’s yours. The only characteristic that your peaceful place should have is its ability to put your mind in a healthier place than it was before. Your peace might be you cuddled under a blanket with a good book and a cup of tea. It might be behind the wheel of your car, music blasting, and a length of road in front of you. Maybe it’s walking downtown between the bustle of strangers while you window shop. It might be swimming, listening to the way the water tends to mute the world beyond it.

Finding your peace can be your place just for you. Not you as a mother, or a wife, or a boss, or a friend: just you, in all that that means.

What is your peace? I’d love to hear what gives you the feeling that the mountains give to me.

So much love,

Natalie