I’ve been honest here (and certainly on Instagram) over the past few years about a lot of life ish that has been extremely tough to navigate. While I don’t need to share my entire personal life, I wanted to take a moment at the end of this year to acknowledge how tough this has been and how much nature has played a part in keeping me sane.
I spend my days at YogaGlo dreaming up new offerings and services that help meet people at every stage of their life – from stress and anxiety to illness, grief and heartbreak. It’s an honor to spend my days thinking about how best to meet people where they are and give them the tools they need to navigate what’s tough and find their way to a better place, all while taking care of themselves.
Yet no tool we create has completely given me what I have needed: a return to the places where I felt the most free in my life, a return to the places that hold such powerful memories of loved ones who are no longer with us. Nature has been the salve for a rough couple of years. Period. Full stop.
On the longest hikes, on the scariest climbs, step after step, pitch after pitch, I’ve found a peace that has eluded me for a long time. I grew up doing all of these things with my family. But family can be tough and mine was among the toughest. My mother died when I was a teenager, my grandmother (my mom stand-in for all of these years and the most avid hiker and camper and foodie I’ve ever known) died two years ago and my step-father (the man who raised me) just passed away this April. Both of my parents were alcoholics since I was very young. It was all fraught and complicated from early on. But to lose my grandmother and step-father so close together while navigating other challenges in my personal life…it has been a lot. Nature was my first response: heart hurts, get outside. But I have a complicated relationship with certain trails and certain National Parks because they bring a painful childhood rushing back. The good times, the crummy times, the downright “can’t wait until this trip is over” times.
And as I think of this year and the amazing trips I’ve taken – trips that have cracked me wide open – and as I plan for the new year ahead and all that I hope to discover and explore about our world and myself, I am inviting in less heartache and more adventures of the heart. If you’ve had a rough year too (or three or five, like me), I salute you for surviving. As absolutely cliché as it is, I invite you to join me this year in not merely surviving but thriving.
We can do this. And there are so many places to explore that will crack us wide open anew.