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RENEWING OUR INNER SELVES

RE's picture
RE
Posts: 4606
Joined: Feb 2004

This is a blog I posted on the Expression's Gallery, I decided to post it here as well and ask where or what some of you do to renew your inner selves.

Today I was sitting with my husband enjoying one of the National Parks series on PBS (we had recorded it previously.) I love this series by the way as it is our desire to visit as many of them as is humanly possible once My Guy retires. Needless to say I was enjoying myself immensely when a woman on the show mentioned how many of us have a National Park that is near and dear to us, one that holds family memories, one that we visit and revisit. I thought yes ours is Yosemite since I am in California. We have taken our children there many times to camp and for day visits. We have gone in the winter, spring, summer and fall. My husband’s side of the family even rented a Cabin there for a reunion and to celebrate his parents 50th anniversary as we converged from 3 different states to be together in a place of beauty. I camped with my parents there and my dad camped with his parents there. Each time I have had cancer I have gone to Yosemite for day trips to renew my inner self, my soul. We have hiked up to several waterfalls and visited Half Dome in the night hours to enjoy the stars with an astrology group and to greet the sunrise; it is a place of great beauty and strength.

This woman then went on to say she has spoken with many people who have retreated to National Parks in times of distress and illness for the comfort and fulfillment one experiences while there. She spoke of how she visited a National park with her family and brother in his last months of life as he was battling cancer. In an instant I was tearing up, I could not stop the emotions that even in happy moments seem to be just hiding under the brim of my soul. If you know me you know I am a pretty happy gal with a strong faith, but even so this sneaks up on me in moments I least expect it. I could relate to what she was saying, as mentioned above each time I have had to fight cancer I have gone to Yosemite. I have also hit the road and gone to Yellowstone, The Everglades, Mount Rushmore, Pointe Reyes, Muir Woods, and the Mojave. I have gone to these Parks both while in treatment and just afterwards. I go for the peace and tranquility they provide me, being there aides in my healing it renews my soul in a spiritual way no other place can. I suppose we all have places like this, they do not have to be National parks they just have to be places that calm our inner self and help us to heal.

RE

Marcia527's picture
Marcia527
Posts: 2731
Joined: Jul 2006

I feel I can renew my soul in a spiritual way best outdoors. Where there is grass and trees or nature, not in the city. I love the state parks but just going into the backyard will do. Especially mornings when the sun is just coming up. It's a special time.

RE's picture
RE
Posts: 4606
Joined: Feb 2004

I agree Marcia the back yard will do too. In our old home we had a huge back yard and I had a special place I would go for quite time, prayer and contemplation. Our present home has a tiny yard with a pool that takes up most of it. My Guy has planted many plush plants some that specifically attract humming birds so even though it is small it is quite peaceful as well. In the warmer months when he comes home from work the two of us head to the back yard for a bit of quiet time.....about ten min. really because if the grand ones realize we are out there they want to come be out there with us! :-D Trust me that too is very wonderful!

Hugs to you my friend,

RE

Marcia527's picture
Marcia527
Posts: 2731
Joined: Jul 2006

Yes, and if you are facing the sun as it is rising and close your eyes, you can feel it on your face and don't realize how big or small the yard is. I have limited landscaping, only a few pots of flowers but really it makes you appreciate them more. Mine attract butterflies also. Sometimes if you have too much you get lost in it. Plus it takes so much time maintaining that you don't have time to sit and enjoy.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1612
Joined: Aug 2009

As I read your post, I thought of our last trip to Yosemite. My husband passed away on Oct. 20 this year. On Oct. 16 we were in Yosemite. My husband had a final wish. He wanted to go to Yosemite and stay at the Ahwahnee Hotel. Our church took up a "bucket list" collection to help with expenses. The Fall colors were beautiful and brought tears to his eyes. He was in a wheelchair so we couldn't do much, but just being there was wonderful. It was a very spiritual time for us that I will always treasure. I picked the pictures up the other day and felt him looking over my shoulder. Fay

RE's picture
RE
Posts: 4606
Joined: Feb 2004

Fay, I am so sorry for you loss! How nice that you were able to go with your husband to Yosemite as was his desire. I agree with you that he was most certainly enjoying the photo's with you as well I am sure you will treasure them always!

RE

ms.sunshine
Posts: 710
Joined: Mar 2010

I go to the beach. I walk out on the pier and look as far as I can into the Gulf of Mexico. I close my eyes and feel the wind whistle by, and smell the salt water.Somehow this calms my soul, gives me peace, and I just know everything will be alright.

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1580
Joined: May 2009

I envy you!!! My husband and I lived in Florida for 5 years, we were about 15 minutes from the Gulf and used to walk on the beaches every weekend. We used to enjoy walking out on the pier at Reddington beach and watch the pelicans trying to steal the fish that were being caught ;-) We moved back to New Hampshire 10 years ago but I can still see the beaches and the beautiful sunsets.

I think the place I feel the most relaxed and at peace is the road I live on. I live at the base of a mountain in a very small town. Once you go past my house the road goes straight up the side of the mountain. I walk as far up as I can (I have lung cancer and emphysema so I usually only make it 2 or 3 miles). When I turn to start walking down I am always in awe of the beautiful view I have, you can see for miles. I do a lot of reflecting when I go for my walk and I have found that I always feel like God is there with me when I reach the top. It's hard to express the feeling of peace and tranquility I get every time I go for my walk.

pattyanny's picture
pattyanny
Posts: 523
Joined: Jul 2009

I too head for the beach ms.sunshine. I walk the boardwalk, find a quiet seat and enjoy the sun reviving my body, while inhaling the salt air, and feeling the warm breeze over my body. It is where I can center myself. I also read Psalms, or tracts, and feel closer to God. Just for a while, we all need to shut the world out, and have quiet time.

Glenna - glad you are keeping up with your walks. I can just imagine the beauty of those mountains. Ahhhhhhhh! It's all good.

mariam_11_09's picture
mariam_11_09
Posts: 693
Joined: Nov 2009

I love Yosemite, in particular Toulumne Meadows. I spent many a weekend rock climbing there and if I didn't go for a couple of weeks I felt I had withdrawal symptoms. It was the first time as an adult I had the experience or rather conscious experience of being present in that moment, wanting nothing, lacking nothing and feeling very expansive and whole as well as calm and joy. It was my sanctuary here in the US.

Anywhere in Africa I can feel what I felt in Yosemite as well as an underlying sense of contement and support no matter what is going on. It has been a long and ardous journey to feel that here in the US in my everyday life in the city. What has helped is meditating on the open sky which creates an inner sense of expansiveness, calm and peace. All you need is to see the sky from a window, or balcony or the bus stop or whatever. A very dear teacher taught me this one. It has great value.

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