Conscious Content: Storytelling

Flipping the Coin: Why Nature Doesn't Heal

By Conscious Adventurist Admin

Flipping the Coin: Why Nature Doesn't Heal

By: Alice Bellini

Take a fish and keep him in a tiny splash of water ever since he’s born. He will be on the verge of choking his whole life. He won’t even know swimming exists. A sense of frustration and anxiety will accompany him everyday. In a word, he won’t be a fish.

And even if he is “lucky enough” to live in a fish tank, he won’t be able to experience streams, corals and sands, nor all the other species of fishes and living beings that are meant to surround him. Storms and sunlight. Freedom of choice. He will never develop resilience, nor the capacity to believe in himself against fear and adversities. He won’t be able to eat properly. He will struggle against a complete disconnection. Almost certainly, he will never be able to be at peace with himself, because he’ll spend his life figuring out why he’s not happy in that splash of water, or in that fish tank. Why he’s not good enough and strong enough to feel and be calm and happy.

Then take that fish and put him into the ocean. All of a sudden, he feels, and he feels good. Connected, at peace, fulfilled. So he’ll believe the sea has a healing power, when it actually was all the rest of his life that was sickening.

Likewise, we believe nature has a healing power, when it actually is society as we know it––made of consumerism, judgments and corporate ladders––that have the power to take our humanity away, disconnect, drain and anesthetize us. Eventually, make us sick.

Distraction is one of the greatest tools of control, after all. Calling things the wrong way. Distorting our reality.

So when we experience nature, it’s not healing we feel, but rather what life is really meant to be. We go back to our roots, we discover the chance of being grateful and focused on the present moment; we become human again and we just feel plain good. In a word: authentic.

Conscious Content: Mountain Trail

We start to make more conscious choices, we embrace our vulnerability, our limits and our mortality, because we suddenly realize they allow us to feel love, express kindness, be curious and explore the world. They allow us to live in a dimension that is way more appropriate for us. Actually, they allow us to live.

We all equally experience that, because nature is in our guts.

So if we start calling things with their proper name and if we really find a power to nature, then that’s just the capacity of being unmistakably ourselves. Not trying to be something different just to be liked, approved or shared. We don’t demand invincibility, immortality or perfection. Everything is just as it is. Here and now. Breathing and being. No distractions, no instruments of control, hence freedom.

If we don’t know where to start, we can start from ourselves: aren’t we nature too, after all? We are not superior, nor owners. We are not something apart. We are fully and gratefully part of this planet. If you observe the outside, you will find many great correspondences and teachings about the inside, and the other way around: that’s what they mean when they say we are one with the universe, like everything else.

We too have a role, we too serve a purpose. The less human we are, running after unnatural and unrealistic fabrications, the more we’ll experience and breed shame. The reason why we constantly feel we are not something enough is that we are not in the right environment. You don’t expect a fish to feel adequate, happy and healthy outside of water, do you?

Conscious content - water breaking over rocks

The reason why we feel so disconnected and always craving something we’ll never obtain is because we are not tuning into the right frequencies. A lion will never be at peace if he tries to live the life of a computer, or that of a superhero. If he’s after immortality, if he poisons himself a bit everyday. Perfection is not the purpose.

Diversity teaches us that there are many different ways and points of view, we just have to find the one we resonate with the most. Embrace our nature and become humans.

Does this mean we all have to go back to living in caves and giving up on our creativeness, never invent anything and stop being animals with critical minds? Of course, not at all. It means to choose to use our tools properly. We, differently from all other animals, can be aware of ourselves and develop thoughts and actions consciously. We can name what we feel. We can choose, but most importantly we know that we can. So the way we use our brain, and our products and our means, that’s what makes the difference, that’s what allows us to be one change or the other. That’s what makes us men-men instead of machine-men, as Charlie Chaplin would call them.

Conscious Content - Mountain Top

To cultivate our awareness is vital. Of course there are many ways to do it. Mindfulness is one. But if none of them convinces you and if you don’t know where to start, then start from being aware that you breathe and that that’s what makes you alive. That’s the first exchange you have with the rest of the world, that’s the first sign you are here and now. Inhale. Exhale. Feel the air. Acknowledge your presence and your present moment. You don’t need an hour, you don’t need any particular equipment, you don’t need anything else but yourself, like every other living being on this planet.

By breathing, you’ll just connect. And there the human journey begins, toward a more mindful and conscious way of exploring the world. It’s a first step, on probably what will be the greatest of expeditions.

Nature doesn’t have a healing power, she teaches and involves, that’s what she does. She demonstrates the obvious, if we are willing to see it.

Embrace and accept. Show up, collaborate, experience the present moment. Nature has the power of coherence, of being the change she wants to see, of recognizing the important things.

The moment we understand that, we’ll flip the coin. We’ll initiate a culture of gratitude and mindfulness, of sharing, belonging and living authentically. We’ll stop consuming and we’ll start using. We’ll cease fear and we’ll start coexistence. We’ll inspire instead of compete. We’ll stop perfecting and we’ll start embracing.

We’ll become humans.

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A Conscious Life with Slackliner Andy Lewis

By Conscious Adventurist Admin

A Conscious Life with Slackliner Andy Lewis

What got you into slacklining?

A love for adventure, travel, problem-solving and a need for an artistic outlet led me to slackline. It was such an easy idea, an easy concept; rig a line and walk across. What slacklining involved into was something I could have never imagined.


Do you recall a defining moment when you knew this is what you’d do for the rest of your life?

There were many moments I recalled that I would probably slackline for the rest of my life. From not being able to go anywhere without a slackline for years, to seeing people of 70 - 80 years of age with the ability to learn slackline, to teaching kids and receiving almost more joy from their joy than my own personal accomplishments. All these small moments led me many times to thinking I would slackline forever. However, there was one day on February 11th that I got a "SLACKLIFE," tattoo, and that moment definitely committed me to a life of balance, teaching, travels and adventure.


What do your parents think of your lifestyle?

My parents, like my friends, and sister, all were very uncertain of my lifestyle at first. I started up with sports fast and just kept going harder and harder and harder, and many many people were just "waiting for me to die."


For instance when I free solo a highline––walking a slackline high off the ground with no safety––the people around me will always go silent, not wanting to think or say anything at the risk of it breaking my focus and killing me. Their hearts pound, their hands sweat, and many will come up to me after and tell me personally they really didn't like how it made them feel. And it’s funny that all that happened while I was in my happy place.  


What did your childhood look like?

My childhood was amazing. It was very cozy with a mom, a dad and a sister. We all hung out all the time, went hiking, biking, to the beach and were taught to have open minds and follow our hearts from a young age. My parents were semi-religious but also very philosophical and even more into the arts. My childhood was immersed in literature, music, art, adventure and exploration. I definitely have to thank my dad and mom for raising me in a way I hope to one day raise my own children.


What goes through your head when you’re highlining?

When I am doing it right it is a meditation that wipes clean all thought except the beauty of the moment being embraced as a whole for then and there. The complete now. Sometimes though I have to give interviews, do tricks, try lines I can't walk, and during those times thoughts are so fast and spontaneous it’s hard to list them all. Tons and tons of things machine gun through your head, and the beauty of conquering that stream of thought into full relaxation and acceptance is part of the beauty of the sport.


How do you practice mindfulness?

I do a lot to practice mindfulness. I have become interested in the idea that the first step to changing the world is to change your world first. When you want to start seeing better food, recycling, protection of the environment, the first step is to manipulate your life around you to see how to do it in a microscale. Once you see the complications that come in your day to day life it is easier to help other people transition to being more mindful too.


What’s coming up next for you?

Next is the month of November which brings on the most beautiful time to have a huge team of people come to Moab, Utah to do the biggest and coolest projects ever seen by man! So needless to say I am super excited. We are hosting some trash bag challenges for Conscious Adventurist, we are hosting a fundraiser for the local police, Bureau of Land Management and state and we are having the largest extreme sports festival meeting in the U.S. and rigging a bunch of highlines. Hopefully I will break my current personal record of 230 meters.

 

 

 

Anja Semanco

Creative Writer & Journalist

@ansemanco

 

Anja Semanco

Anja is a professional freelance writer living in Boulder, Colorado. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and appears in such places as Terrain.org and Zoomorphic magazine. Keep up with her at anjasemanco.com.

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