I recently wrote, in a post called “Time to Grow,” about breaking conventions from the busy-ness of our days, from the norms society puts on us to just do things, rather than take time to think about the things we do.

One way I apply that time to think and grow is through trail yoga.

Hiking and running the mountain trails near my home in Manitou Springs, Colo., frees up the flow for contemplation and creative bolts of lightning. I get out to let go, to breathe and to see, to feel my mortality and connect with my immortality.

I’m consumed by story, those of the birds and their notes, the trees and their roots, the rock walls and their silences. Stories of my own and others.

I imagine the lives and ramblings of those who tread the gritty ground before me, who walked this line yesterday, yestercentury, yester_____. What were the lyrics in their minds, the spinning thoughts and reasons for being here, breathing and touching the sun? Did they wonder the same of me, of those of us to come?

We go into nature eroded and carved by time and its experience. We call it beauty, salve for our souls, wabi-sabi inspiration for our creativity. All while forgetting it’s a mirror of ourselves, our grooves and charms, our worth and place in the world.

We look at faded walls of granite and sandstone as images of the immortal, fantastic sculptures of timelessness, shaped by winds and waters. Yet, we look at ourselves as damaged by the elements of our time, our experience.

What’s the difference in those stories, in how we receive and tell them?

Why are our scars and gnarly roots, our spirits and resilience, any less mesmerizing and worthy of art and meditation, of inspiration and joy, of contemplation and celebration?

When I go into nature, I breathe and connect. I see a fuller, brighter picture. Of the land, myself and the shared story. It’s time for contemplation and growth: trail yoga.

What, where and how do you connect with yourself and beyond?

Share comments and how you make time for contemplation and lightning bolts via Humanitou social media (@humanitou) pages on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Or send email: adam at humanitou.com.

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