The Real Things a Girl Thinks About on a Hike

Like many people who read “12 Things a Girl is Probably Thinking About on a Hike“, I was left feeling quite disturbed by the shallowness of the piece. I immediately started pondering how I’d rewrite it. A friend of mine and fellow writer, Tera Swanson, beat me to it, and did such a bang-on job, I thought I’d reblog it for you here. It is beautifully written, and one of Tera’s best pieces to date (in my opinion!). Enjoy!

Originally posted on The Wander Journals:

By Tera Swanson

After recently reading an article a friend had shared with me regarding “what girls probably think about on a hike,” it opened some conversation with the women in my life who enjoy the outdoors as to what we did or didn’t relate to, how it portrayed outdoor women, and what our motivations were for getting out there. Turns out that yes, you can care how your hair looks and enjoy hiking too. Or not care. That is also ok.

Hence, I’ve compiled my own 12 thoughts and traits of “girls who hike” that I’ve gathered from these conversations and my own contemplations – let me know whether or not you agree!

1) We check in with our hiking partners. How is everyone doing? What are our group’s strengths and weaknesses, as individuals and as a whole? Sometimes we need a little push to overcome things that seem a lot scarier than they really are. Sometimes we need to pay close attention to our partners when they are becoming more and more anxious, but won’t make the call to pull out. And sometimes we explore with people who are way overconfident in their abilities. It’s important to check in with others, as well as make note of your own thought process and comfort levels.

Read the rest of the article on The Wander Journals.

Finding Peaceful Mindfulness (Yoga Challenge: Day 20)

My mind was a bit of a train wreck tonight.

I was really looking forward to that Yin class. It’s so nice to have the lights down low, to just relax into postures and keep yourself in a half sleep for the duration of the class. But Yin is also where my mind wanders the most. And if it isn’t wandering, it’s complaining about the pain of the posture I’m in if it’s particularly difficult.

Some people tell me that yoga is a great place to “figure stuff out.” There is a danger in this, however. If we can take our minds off of things than, yes, yoga can help. But by thinking about things too much, we may as well be ranting about it with a girlfriend over coffee. It usually gets us nowhere. I had something on my mind tonight and I thought yoga would help me work through it. But when the class was over I felt like it hadn’t even begun yet because I never let go and relaxed into the class.

Lesson from Day 20

Tonight I should have just stayed in Savasana or seated meditation if my goal was to calm my mind. Instead I went through the motions of the class with my mind completely elsewhere. Sure, I learned this lesson and stretched out a few kinks, but for the most part I wasted an opportunity to get away from my nagging thoughts.

Don’t waste your mind in yoga. Just keep it focused on your body and on being free from judgement.

Peaceful mindfulness is as valuable as your time, if not completely interconnected to it.

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I’d love to hear what you have to say, what you’ve gotten out of these posts, and for those of you doing the yoga challenge as well, how the challenge is going for you! Feel free to comment below, post a comment on Facebook, send me a message through Twitter or send me an email.

© Meghan J. Ward, 2011.