Social media is full of mindfulness apps and posts about the benefits of meditation and getting outside. You're reading this on a phone or laptop and very likely not on a mountaintop. I've always found mindfulness apps a bit ironic. Phones and social media are distraction masters, they've been built to absorb us away from ourselves and our environment. They're built to be addictive and immersive. So can they really help us step out into the world and tune into our senses, our being-ness? I'm guilty of always taking my phone on walks and hikes and I tell myself excuses, for safety, to keep track of time. It's a crutch that many of us are never without. Interestingly, for many of us the only time we let go from the mental leash of our phones is when we're out in the wilderness, far enough away that the cell towers can't reach us. It's almost like the wilderness requires our full attention, its a more natural state but definitely not a comfortable one.
But we shouldn't have to go hours away to experience true mindfulness and presence of mind. Maybe we can start with a phone free walk around our neighborhood or a known hiking path where we take a watch and a map instead of a phone. Soulhikes is not an app or a gimmick. It's a practice of looking up from our phone tethered life and truly looking outward into the world.
So, stop reading this post, put away the phone and step outside! What treasures will we find there?