I Left My Heart in the Mountains
I’m a self-professed mountain girl/mountain lover/ mountain climber. Except that here’s the thing: I don’t even live in the mountains – not even close!
Years ago I traded in my mountain lifestyle for a new and exciting opportunity on the other side of the country – and I wouldn’t change that decision for the world! But I must confess what I can’t shake…the mountains stole my heart. Here’s why:
The mountains are good for the soul
I have never in my life claimed to be an adventurer or outdoors lover – until I started hiking in the mountains. With the lovely, lush green forests and foothills, the tantalizing teal lakes hidden away like a secret prize waiting to be found, and those stunning sky-high jagged peaks, it was love at first sight. But more than that, hiking in the mountains became an immediate passion because of the way it made me feel. I was able to just be the real me and connect with the version of myself that felt the most authentic and true.
Being surrounded by the mountains has a powerful effect on something deeper. It’s as if being amidst something greater than ourselves, changes our perspective and insight on life and the things that really matter. Somehow without trying, you are able to confront your demons, re-evaluate your problems or your goals or your desires – you are able to widen your perspective and reflect on ‘the big picture’.
They have healing powers
Call me crazy or cliche or what ever..but there is no denying it. Maybe it’s that dose of fresh mountain air, the exercise or the litres of water I drink when I’m hiking, but I swear to you that after a visit to the mountains I feel enormously better. It’s as if there is an energy source in those summits that you can tap into and feed off of. Getting out there literally fuels you and rebalances you; you will notably feel more calm and happy, and less irritable or anxious. There was never a time that I left the mountains without feeling refreshed, happy and inspired – ready to take on anything that came my way.
They serve as an opportunity for personal growth
Through challenging yourself, both physically and mentally, you grow. Through pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and getting out there, you flourish. Through completing something you started and seeing it through to the end, you make progress. Through getting lost or falling down or failing to summit a climb, you learn to not only be kind to yourself knowing you TRIED your best, but you blossom into a more humble person! Through interacting with nature and wildlife, you develop respect for the earth and empathy for the wellbeing of the environment and of the animals.
They disconnect us to reconnect us
Spending time out in the mountains really takes things back to basics. There is no wifi, no cell service, no social media – money doesn’t matter out in the woods or up on a mountain top. It’s just you and mother nature.
This time spent without our devices allows us to just be in the moment and recognize the beauty of the little things. When was the last time you allowed yourself to let go of thoughts centred around emails and work or the “things” you want or “tasks” that must get done? When was the last time you stopped talking or thinking for long enough to really listen to the birds sing, or appreciate the smell of that earthy scent after the rain, or to gaze out on the landscape in front of you without ‘seeing right through it‘? We take these little moments all for granted – personally I found that spending time in the mountains reintroduced me to the value of the little things in life and the beauty of these tiny moments.
So no, I’m not able to get out to the mountains much anymore – but I’m not hanging up my hiking boots just yet, nor will I cast aside my ‘mountain girl’ identity. I left a piece of my heart in the mountains – or more accurately, I think took part of them with me…and that’s a long distance relationship I’m okay with!
Can you relate? Let me know in the comments below!