Today’s article is an example of the power to allow ourself to renew in nature—even when we are in “stress,” a “crisis,” or “don’t have time.” To see the video of this personal growth adventure with Angelique by Fort Loudon Lake in Tennessee, click here (and subscribe to receive free, weekly inspirational videos).

No time for nature?

Do you have more responsibilities on your to-do list than you can accomplish? Is your stress level too high to stop and smell the roses? Is there an inner or worldly crisis that captures your thoughts and hijacks your hope to relax and recuperate? If so, today’s article is for you!

The taboo of downtime.

We may judge ourself as lazy or not working hard enough when we try to relax. If we prohibit or restrict ourself from healthy downtime in nature for any reason, we may have judged that downtime is taboo and something we “should not do.”

The taboo of escape.

To escape our stress, and our own judgment of downtime, we may choose to numb or distract ourselves with sex, gambling, drugs, alcohol, porn, work, or whatever.

Overworked and wound up.

Attempting to survive or succeed, we might immerse ourself in the tasks at hand. If so, it can seem foreign and uncomfortable to immerse ourself in moments of renewal in nature, and we may feel guilty about not having “done enough,” to deserve downtime.

My experience.

I’ve sacrificed my mental, emotional and physical care as a means to survive and succeed. Days, weeks and seasons went by without seeing friends, family and my own relaxation. Results included a successful business … and serious healthcare issues—which required attention, time, energy, money and a lifestyle change to overcome.

Are we afraid to renew?

To avoid failure (or success) and the changes each inevitably brings, we may immerse ourself in a lifestyle that neither tolerates, nor allows renewal. In these situations, it can seem foreign, uncomfortable and emotionally painful to consider the idea of relaxation and renewal—let alone allowing ourself to experience the peace that it can provide.

We have the right to renew.

Each of us have the power and authority to grant ourself the right to experience the renewal of our greatest health, hopes and happiness. Whether we want to heal, be free, feel peace, know love, experience our soul or anything, we need to know that we are worthy and give ourself permission to relax and renew. Until then, we may deny, block or blind ourself to our own renewal—even if it is within reach and available to us.

Renewal is a form of letting go.

To allow ourself to renew, all judgments and unhealthy ideas about responsibility must be let go. Ideas like: “Being responsible means I don’t have time for joy,” “I am lazy if I’m not stressed out from work,” “high stress means I am successful,” “If I don’t do all this work it won’t get done,” “stress is inevitable and never goes away,” etc. After letting go of these judgmental and unhealthy ideas about responsibility, we will feel safe and secure to be renewed, knowing we won’t criticize ourself or be ruled by the stress to push and perform.

Renewal builds trust.

By “being there” for ourself, we build inner trust that we will always “be there” to walk ourself through whatever we may experience—any emotion, any situation, any thought and feeling. We build trust with ourself by staying present with our experience, no matter what. We build inner trust by not abandoning our experience—regardless what that experience may be. We build inner trust by not burying our experience of suffering alive with food, drink, drugs, sex, sweets, gambling, porn, work or whatever. We build inner trust by standing tall in our truth, like a tree—not making ourself small so others feel better (aka enabling their fear).

Downtime isn’t lazy.

Renewal, downtime, rest and relaxation are required for health. Downtime is not optional, lazy, unprofessional, aimless, or a meaningless waste of time. Not even the strongest stallion can be ridden for each of its waking hours. Like the stallion, we all need time to frolic in the fields of life, lest we lose our zest!

How do we renew in Nature?

Being with nature and ourself can be rewarding and empowering. By doing so, we provide ourself with the most basic type of compassionate care—allowing ourself to renew and enjoy.

Steps to renew.

• Step #1 Be willing.

Simply being wholeheartedly willing to experience renewal lowers stress. Even without “doing” anything physical. To become wholeheartedly willing, acknowledge and accept any urges to judge or criticize yourself. Then thank those urges for attempting to save you from laziness and make you successful. Then let those urges go to become fully willing to experience renewal.

• Step #2 Let Go.

Leave the phone, to do list, worries and stress. You can pick them up when you return, if you want.

• Step #3 Go.

Don’t wait for the to-dos to get done before going to renew. Select your favorite time of day to renew, and physically go into nature and experience its beauty.

• Step #4 Do nothing.

Only you can take yourself on a mental, emotional and physical vacation from your tasks. Be with the experience.

• Step #5 Allow renewal.

Be unapologetic about downtime in nature. Don’t feel obliged to explain that choice. Make it non-negotiable. Accept that the need for renewal is as vital as eating, sleeping and being.

Each step adds life.

By taking any of the above steps we are walking the path of renewal and allowing ourselves the internal regeneration required to live a meaningful, joyful, healthy life.

Will You?

No one can renew for us. The more we choose to renew through nature, the more health, ease and joy we’ll experience in ourself and life!

If you’d like a fresh perspective on your life which invites possibilities, hope, health and happiness, explore how a package of conversations with Angelique can invigorate your growth!

Join us for a LIVE hike!

(Advance bookings are required, see below for details.)

Tuesdays: September 20, October 18 in Townsend, Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains

Revel in a full Day Hike & Dinner with Angelique!

This invigorating, moderate-level, wooded, trail walk through Cades Cove to Abrams waterfall is followed by a casual, 5-star supper on the patio of the Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro and Lodge in Townsend, TN. Overnight stays available. Click for details and book your tickets today!

Friday: September 2nd in Wausau, Wisconsin’s Rib Mountain

Delight in an Inspirational Chat and Sunset Hike with Angelique!

Experience a cozy nature talk with guided meditation. Open up to receive intuitive messages from nature. Take an awe-inspiring trek through monumental granite and quartzite boulders and enjoy a sunset view atop the observation tower! Click for details and book your tickets today!

Join us for a LIVE workshop near the ocean!

Friday October 28 Writer’s Workshop at the Pat Conroy Literary Center & Festival in Beaufort, South Carolina.

Workshop: Personal Growth Through Journaling: Invite Peace, Passion & Joy

What do we invite into our life? Let’s frolic in the creation of a fruitful, customized practice to observe and write in ways that welcome and celebrate opportunities for peace, passion and joy! Click for details and book your tickets today! 

For the tour schedule, sign up to receive complementary email updates, or go to the tour page of our website. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Always with love,