Outdoorsy AF – Member Diary

Unfurl life’s joy by fully immersing yourself into nature. After all, communing with the great outdoors and this land is the birth rite of Black folks as both the building blocks and architects ofthis nation.  Like frondescent foliage in autumn, African Americans have a rich and colorful history of contributions to many of our nation’s grandest outdoor spaces.  Carolyn Finney writes extensively about African American interactions with and use of  national forests and parks. Others have written about feelings of isolation or not belonging in outdoor spaces predominantly occupied by our white counterparts.  

Exploration of my own relationship with nature, unearthed a connection yielding solace, respite, and healing from personal trauma.  Overtime, I’ve developed a practice that’s quite intimate, meditative, and grounded in a hyper awareness to the natural environment.  That is, during a trek through the forest for example, disallowing my mind to be busied with the circumstances of life’s judder but rather heightening all senses and immersing myself into the forest.  I recommend nature-based activities for everyone especially those wanting to buildself-trust. The spontaneity of being in the wild engaging in open air activities, lends itself to demonstrating survival skills which can improve self-confidence such as self-reliance, critical thinking, quick-wittedness, physical endurance, and fortitude.

I also recommend hiking specifically as a go-to first datebecause it requires walking, climbing, and descending rocky terrain, and can be quite dangerous.   Nonetheless, hiking is a sure fire way of assessing the characteristics of a potential partner e.g. valor, dependability, protection, care, patience, reciprocity, and support. Albeit not 100% full proof, while hiking if your potential partner extends a hand to help you climband descend, offers his shoulder for support, encourages you stay the course, and cautions you on what lies ahead, chances are he’ll exhibit those characteristics, to some degree, in other aspects of your lives as the relationship evolves.  

In my experience, hiking may shed light on less than desirable character traits as well. About a year ago I went hiking with a man I was intrigued by. Dark-skinned and 7 feet tall, he stood behind me as we posed for picture taken by a fellow hiker. Unexpectedly, he shoved me forward as a signal to hurriedly recollect my phone and continue along the towpath. I was embarrassed and wasn’t hurt, but I learned a valuable lesson that day: he was a man who uses his hands to communicate; and I don’t mean sign language. Of course, there is a level of generality and discernment considered. Yet, the crux here ladies is whether hiking or partaking in another rigorous and precarious outdoor activity, if your potential partner is disconnected from your general wellbeing and you don’t feeleven the slightest bit of safety from his presence, chances are those characteristic you seek in a partner may not come to fruition later in the relationship.

Author bio:
I’m Kelli Hudson, an ACTP Certified Holistic Life Coach, founder of Obsidian Girl Adventures, & CEO of Obsidian OM Holistic Life Coaching.

What are some life lessons you’ve learned being in the outdoors?

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Responses

  1. Loved reading your perspective and lessons learned from the outdoors @ObsidianGirlAdventures  . I do think that being out here has taught me a lot about people too. Maybe being connected to nature opens us up and offers a different type of clarity. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I agree with the aspect of finding a sense of peace and tranquility in nature. Although I am never disconnected from God…I feel his presence even more sitting in his Garden looking at the night sky and hearing his creatures. I often lie in my hammock on the porch in the early morning and listen to how the city awakens as the sun rises and find my peace even in the hustle of the city. 

  3. What a beautifully written post. I agree that outdoor activities especially hiking and camping can definitely show you a lot about how someone could be going forward and it’s important to pay attention to those little things. Being in nature is my space and taste of freedom

  4. @msvee I appreciate you reading and drawing me back in to this forum. I’ve been away. Which also means I’ve been disconnected from one of my most meditative coping mechanisms; nature. My name literally means “of the wood or forest”.

    I love the connection you make with nature and having a sense of freedom.

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