For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies, for the love which from our birth over and around us lies; Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.
~Folliot S. Pierpoint
There are times, okay… MANY times, when I realize I need to take my own advice, so this past weekend I did! My Dad and I spent the morning at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm‘s 2016 Tulip Festival. SOOOOOO worth the time and effort if you are ever in the area.
For me, I get so wrapped up in business, in writing, in traveling, of trying to get through my to-do list that I lose track of my priorities and some of the reasons why I choose to pursue the crazy world of self-employment.
A few months back my friend Tiffany over at TiffanyAOlson.com had me take one of those quizzes that are designed to help you identify your values and priorities. It was a list of about 50 words to go through and narrow down to your top 5. It was hard! It turned out to be quite an interesting and revealing exercise.
My top 5 words were:
I need to see the beauty of nature, God’s handiwork, each day. I crave the simplicity of enjoying the outdoors, my morning walk with Bailey, the freedom to go explore, creating something new out of the images I capture, and to celebrate the Creator who gives these gifts of beauty.
What I realized (again… seems like I need regular reminders) is that these priorities were not represented on my calendar. Yes I go out on morning walks with Bailey but exploring or taking time to be creative are way, way down the list.
Going to the Tulip Festival was part of getting these priorities back on my calendar.
When you go to a place like this it can be so awe-inspiring to see the variety of design, colors, size, shapes, and smells. It can be hard to take it all in.
With camera’s in hand, my Dad I dove in, taking hundreds of pictures of close-ups, of grand vistas like the above, and of course a selfie or two. Some day I hope we get there on a sunny day! Our 2 trips in the last few years have been on cold, overcast and rainy days.
It’s quite a feeling to be in the midst of a group of photographers, each one there to take photos of these gorgeous fields of flowers and create something beautiful. To be in the midst of all that creative energy was just kinda cool! It’s not something one gets to be a part of every day.
We had a photographer’s pass that let us get in before the general public and it was good that we did! Once the gates fully opened, finding “the” shot became virtually impossible.
Not only can spending time in the outdoors fill the soul, it reduces stress, clears the mind and just plain makes you feel better about life in general. It’s one of the reasons I take daily walks with Bailey, to clear my head before starting my day. It helps get the kinks worked out of my legs and gets Bailey out for a run along the track or trail.
It is an activity that fills me up. On the days I don’t get out for that walk, boy do I notice!
There is joy to be found in simple pleasures. For me that comes from seeking out beauty and spending time outdoors.
The trick is to be intentional about making time for the outdoors, or anything that fills your soul. And yeah, I’m not intentional nearly enough about this. I keep trying, but something usually comes up. As I have said in other posts, we need to create an appointment and keep it!
We are worth taking the time to spend time outdoors and pursue activities that fill us up instead of drain us.
I’ve been working on a list of activities I want to get back into my regular schedule because I know if I don’t it just won’t happen. That list will include hikes I want to take, camping weekends to organize, picnics to go on, and walks on the beach to collect shells.
What about you? What activities need to get back on your calendar?
Marta Goertzen is an entrepreneur, writer, and nature photographer. She daily explores the trails and beaches of the South Central Oregon Coast with her dogs. You can follow along on their adventures on Instagram. She is also the author of several books, and now with the Selah Journal: A reflective journal and mini-retreat. Start your own daily gratitude practice with our, “7 Days of Gratitude Challenge – A Gratitude Journal Starter Kit”.