iPhotography · Prompts

My Mindful Journey 11 Stories In The Air

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“This week, head to the top to take your best shot.”

The Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio is one of the prettiest parks to spend your spring and summer mornings. The glorious sights, sounds and smells of nature work me right into a mindful self aware state of mind. You can get lost in your meditation while appreciating the ever changing glory that is the forest. Sounds so cliche, I know.

Life is once again at a massive turning point of decision making. There are so many paths I want to run down and explore in life, but I do need to sink my roots. Being in the USMC since 2007, I have lived out of foot lockers, sea bags, and these horrible metal dresser type stands that are just waiting to fall on you. It’s been a constant moving, changing, and adapting. I’m over it. Mini Demon is over it. So much comes tied to putting down roots though- a job, a place to live, new friends, new schools… it’s all so much. I feel like I am drowning in the feeling of “I have to make a decision right this very second” when in fact, I do not. I am in such a hurry to set down roots, that I am nearly jumping the gun on opportunities and options that are right under my nose- all while fearing setting down roots, because temporary is all I’ve ever known.

As someone who battles anxiety on a scale that goes from functional anxiety to holy-crap-I’m-going-to-sleep-all-day-and-ignore-the-world anxiety in the flick of a switch, this “rooting” process has me wound as tight as the cables holding up the canopy walkways. I find my days getting less and less productive, and my “need” for sleep getting more and more.

When I head into nature, especially someplace as gorgeous as the Holden Arboretum, it reminds me to pay attention to my mindfulness. To BREATHE. To take a second and just- be. Each level that I got closer to the top of the Emergent Tower , I felt lighter. I was more and more aware of what was around me and how I felt. (I mean, I was nearly dying trying to climb 11 stories straight vertical! Not to mention the stairways twist so I am trying not to get dizzy!) It’s so easy to get lost in your mind and all of the what-if’s, but I am here to tell you; there is nothing but awe and absolute in-the-moment glory when your 100+ feet in the air overlooking everything that is doing exactly what you need to be- just being.

It was in that moment, overlooking the top of my surroundings with nothing but sun and wind on my face, nothing but my heartbeat and the breeze in my ears- that I came to understand that it’s hard work to get anywhere you’re going. There are so many what-if’s, (like, what is this thing blows over..since its so tall it sways in the breeze) so much exertion and even times when you want to just stop (that was around story 8!) It’s true what they say though- nothing worth having comes easy. At the end of that insane climb I was rewarded with an expirence and view unlike any other, and the trip back down was now easy, and certain, and confident.

This Gallery was prompted by The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge “Atop


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