Summer 2020 looks a lot different than I thought it would.
Bet you can relate.
One modification we made—instead of spending 4 days in a lodge in the middle of Sequoia National Park, we took a couple day trips up there instead.
All the beauty, less risk.
Hiking in natural splendor is one of my very favorite things to do. Being with my family is another, so these getaways are my idea of heaven.
After scoring a parking spot in the shade we donned our masks, water-backpacks, sunscreen and bug spray and off we went.
The first part of the hike had us exploring a gorgeous setting of boulders and flowing water, complete with pictographs and a “kitchen rock” (a place where acorns were ground hundreds of years ago).
We then went off the beaten path to find some swimming holes a bit further away.
The trail was a bit overgrown, there were bugs and it was warmer than I’d like, but the ample shade, the view and the river more than made up for it.
At least in my mind.
Not according to my children.
After awhile there was a constant stream of complaints.
“Not worth it.”
The trail was narrow so we were walking single file.
I was in front trying to enjoy myself despite the never ending grumbling.
I just kept thinking, “so much complaining!” “I wish they’d stop.” “They’re ruining this day!”
Then it hit me, they weren’t ruining it—I was!
By focusing on their complaining, I was missing the forest for the trees.
That realization changed everything.
Once I accepted the reality of the situation—they were complaining and I was hiking in a gorgeous, albeit warm, setting—I could put my attention on the gorgeous part.
And guess what?
I had a better time!
I was free to notice the breeze on my face and the multitudes of plant growth on the ground. I took note of the butterflies, so many butterflies, floating above the river. I enjoyed the company of my husband.
After a little while, I heard one of my sons appreciate the sound of the river.
I noted the quiet of the other.
We were all having a better time.
When we pay attention to the negative, we feel bad.
When we intentionally focus on what we can appreciate, we feel better.
It’s human nature. It’s just how it works.
So often, if we pay attention, we can hear the stream of negativity in our own minds:
We’re too fat, we shouldn’t have eaten that, we must do something about it, we can’t believe we’re in this position again. We can’t do it right or we never have or never will.
All the negativity can get to be a habit—and it’s a bad one.
We feel terrible when we think terrible things.
It’s hard to get things done when we feel terrible.
It’s well worth it to cut that shizz out.
The good news is we don’t have to forcibly stop it.
We can just let it be, like my kids.
Let the negative stream of thoughts exist, but look for some good things to focus on also:
My skin is soft today.
I made a great lunch decision yesterday.
I was kind to Lila.
I did what I said I would do.
I washed the dishes.
I drank my water.
When we train ourselves to look for the good, we feel better.
When we feel better we make better decisions and we get better at looking for the good.
We find it more often.
It’s an upward spiral of goodness.
This is how we consistently make better decisions about our health and food.
This is exactly how to lose and maintain weight.
It starts and ends in our mind.