Last weekend I donned a 45-lb pack and headed several miles into the backcountry: A 2500-foot ascent in the Indian Peaks Wilderness of Colorado. When July heat bakes my foothills city, the high-country wildflowers are in peak. I thrive by getting out and among them – hiking way up a mountain pass, pitching a tent, sleeping under a million stars in a dark sky, and waking up to the smell of pine and sage in awesome beauty.
On the Summer Solstice, I posted about nature therapy’s incredible proven benefits, most of which occur by a simple walk outside.
Yet beyond this is the profound renewal that a total device detox and wilderness immersion provides. Getting totally off-grid in nature allows you listen to your own inner voice. In our world of pervasive sound and light pollution and technological saturation, the ability to hear--let alone become familiar with and heed—your inner voice is increasingly rare.
As the demands of entrepreneurship and bringing my work online have been nearly all-consuming for months, I was aching to get off-grid. During my graduate school years, I did this several times a year, but ensuing career and family responsibilities decreased the frequency of my backcountry treks. And yet the need to get into the wild and entirely unplug is more intense and salutary than ever.
I highly recommend a weekly 24-hour total unplug from all screens – and a longer unplug (36 hrs to a week) quarterly or semi-annually.
Scientific benefits of unplugging include improving your interpersonal interactions, sleep, immune system, and reducing stress levels.
This is the reason I hold all my live retreats and off-sites surrounded by tranquil, natural beauty. We have a physiological relationship to landscape. Our minds and internal spaces reflect our outer environment. If you want to create something new, gain a fresh perspective, ideas or even a new lease on your life, you must change your daily environment.
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