7 things I learned from spending a week in the woods

Rob and I have just come back from spending a week conquering mountains, hunting waterfalls, and exploring forests in Vermont, with Toby of course! It was one of the best weeks I have had in a very long time. Nothing quite compares to removing yourself from the “ordinary” and chasing down the “extraordinary,” getting rid of all the unnecessary excess and spending time surrounded by the true luxuries of this amazing planet.

Here are 7 things I learned and truly came to understand from our week in the woods:

1. You are never really lost.
You might think you are, and you might feel completely lost, but the only time you won’t find your path again is if you stop moving. Keep going, even when we want to sit down and give up. Look for small signs that you are moving in the right direction, and then just keep going. Keep your eyes open and look around you. You will be surprised by how many trailer markers (aka friends) you see around you, ready to help get you back on the path.

rob and toby

2. You can lead a dog to water, but you cannot make him swim. 
You can only help others as far as they are willing to let you. At some point they have to take the plunge, or act on the advice you have to offer. You will discover that there are many who genuinely want help, while there are also many who just want to continue the way they are.

Toby

3. It is all about perspective. 
We spent one day hiking to a waterfall. We knew it was there, we swam in the icy cold mountain pools, we could hear it, but we just couldn’t find the overlook to actually SEE it. It took us another day of hunting, and ultimately having to change our approach, in order to see the actual waterfall. We had to find the right perspective in order to see the beauty of the thing we had been sitting right on top of. You never know the true magnitude and magnificence of something until you find the right perspective.

Falls of Lana

4. The journey is always so much better with friends.
Sometimes it is great to go at things alone, I get that, I am very good at being alone. But when you have friends with you there is always someone to give you a pep-talk, help you over a huge boulder, push you further than you would have gone on your own, and allow you the opportunity to do the same for them. Find friends who push you to go further and be better, you will be so glad you did.

Toby selfie fail

5. Give yourself permission to rest.
Don’t feel guilty taking a break. Rest is vital to our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Whether it is taking a rest day, taking time to have a cup of tea, or taking a month off to travel through Europe, give yourself permission to recharge and reboot. You will be amazed at what it does to your mind and body.

sleeping toby

6. We are mightier than we know.
So often, the things that hold us back from greatness are not those physical obstacles, but rather what our minds believe we are capable of, and what our thoughts tell us about our circumstances. Learning to master your mind and create your own life is probably one of the most challenging, yet most rewarding opportunities this life presents to us. Whether it is climbing a physical mountain or a figurative one, the struggle is the same (#thestruggleisreal). You can either steel yourself and fight because you know you are worthy and deserve to see the top, or you can give up along the way and settle for less than you are capable of. Either way the choice is yours, but know that you are worthy, you are capable, you are mightier than you know!

crow

7. The view is ALWAYS worth the climb.
Sure, sometimes the climb feels absolutely impossible, you see no end in sight, you are pouring sweat, being swarmed by mosquitoes, and just want to turn around and quit. But know that the view at the top is ALWAYS worth the effort it takes to get there. Celebrate each step you take, realize that you will feel frustrated and tired, but don’t allow yourself to wallow in those feelings. Pick yourself up and keep going, because nothing compares to the view from the top!

south side of Lake Dunmore

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