The Awesome Benefits of a Walkabout: How to Get High On a Nature Walk

by Sep 4, 2023Smoke Signals2 comments

The Awesome Benefits of a Walkabout: How to Get High On a Nature Walk

by Sep 4, 2023Smoke Signals2 comments

“Where is the love to be found? Won’t someone tell me because life, sweet life, must be somewhere to be found, instead of a Concrete Jungle.”

Bob Marley lays out the Rastaman’s dilemma thick and on point. Whether you’re living in a square of concrete cement in LA, those rat-ass bungalows they call apartments in NYC, or anywhere else under the hot sticky sun of mankind’s concrete Bablyon, it’s easy to feel disconnected from nature.

And it’s killing and making us sad. So we turn to the Techno Babylon, AKA the Metaverse, for escape, which only makes us sadder. A University of Arizona study recently found smartphone umbilical cords predict a higher rate of loneliness and depression in young people. 

Towering skyscrapers, blaring car horns, and a never-ending stream of strangers, especially your 500-plus gaggle of so-called “Facebook friends,” can leave even the coolest cats feeling a little frayed around the edges.

You may need to get out for a walkabout and get high on the soaring trees. Walking in nature – whether strolling in the park, hiking in the woods, or simply wandering off the end of your nose – can be extremely beneficial to the mind. It cannot only decrease mental distress but actually help inspire purpose and meaning, a where to the why, a bee to the fly, a happiness buzz that lifts you off the concrete and into the Ferngully freakiness of the instinctual soul.

Here’s to laying down those happy feet, reconnecting to nature, and getting your buzz on to the birds and the bees – letting time itself take a hike into the land of WTF.

lobelia

Tying on Nature’s Buzz with Happy Feet

Sure, you say – you need exercise as part of the Universal conquest to not be a fat ass. But do you really need to hike in nature? After all, you pay for a gym membership. Why not put your workout where your money is?

But studies show that exercising in nature, even in urban green spaces, is linked to a decrease in heart rate, violence, and even mortality, as well as an increase in mood, physical activity, and attention span. Outdoor activities have been found to increase physical fitness, improve the body’s production of vitamin D, and even enhance distance vision. It’s great for ADHD and can be deeply calming, soothing, and relaxing – its own form of meditative release against stress.

How to Go on a Walkabout

Like Miss Manner’s advice for the proper way to walk in high heels: Left-right, left-right, left-right, left-right, left-right.

If you survived toddlerhood, you probably figured that part out already.

But there’s a bit more to it than that, at least when it comes to turning on that Buddha bounce. To truly melt away the stress of modern life, you need the proper mental mindscape to step into a hike and become one with the chlorophyll.

First, kill the music. Leave the earbuds in the car, or at least in your pocket. Otherwise, you’ll miss the music of the birds, the symphony of the wind in the trees, the meditative rhythms of the atoms vibrating steadily in the silence between your ears in the stillness of the forest. 

Second, murder your agenda like Sharon Stone with an icepick. Forget any worry about goals, heart rate, Fitbit steps. You’re stepping into the forest – the Here of the Now is everywhere you need to be. In today’s fast-paced world, we are often bound by schedules and to-do lists, leaving little room for genuine connection with nature and ourselves. Step into the wilderness with an open mind and heart – tell the pressures of achievement and timeliness to take a giant flying leap over the moon with a flaming cow. Allow yourself to immerse in the beauty of the natural world.

Third, don’t forget to sit down and shut the hell up. Counterintuitively, the most rejuvenating aspect of hiking is sitting and resting. Take time to lean on a tree, stare into the serenity of a slippery stream, let the breathing chlorophyll of the trees envelop and heal you. The Japanese have a tradition of forest bathing – simply sitting in the wilderness and letting the calm of nature wash over you. Like Ferris Bueller’s words of advice: Life moves pretty fast – if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss what the trees have to tell you.

Why a Walkabout is an Awesome Time to Smoke Herbs

On a walkabout, when you do sit down and shut the hell up, smoking herbs is a perfect opportunity to commune with nature, meditate with your thoughts, and become one with the essence of Gaia. 

But we do live in the 21st Century with a hotter and drier climate. It’s easy to set the world on fire, literally and not in a good way. Empty tins of Bear Blend make excellent ashtrays and you can pack the remains of a burning ember safely in your packet without fear of catching your crotch or the forest on fire.

Celebrate the herbs in ceremony. Roll the spliff with intention – reflect on the mental patterns dancing through your mind as you lick the paper in preparation. The smoke itself is a gift of spirit given to Gaia. It’s a time to connect with the herbs and let them intermingle with the inner essence of patient time. Take your time and sip the smoke. Meditate to the bliss of it all. Smoking herbs is a sacred practice, freedom for the mind as you unwind and become one with the herbs.

smokable herbs and lobelia

DNA Destinty: Awaken the Instinct of Ancient Tradition

A walkabout in the woods is baked into our DNA. It’s what we’ve done for tens of thousands of years, long before the Internet and the IRS, even before we tilled and toiled in the dirt or owned a pig and all its shit, when we simply wandered the forest and ate from the trees and wildlife like original animals in Gaia’s Garden of Eden. 

A good walkabout is a reconnection to all that, bringing us back in time to remember and commune with our sacred ancestors. It’s in our blood, in our DNA, in our roots grounding our feet to the dirt of the ground.

Get back to your roots and plant your feet in the dirt path of the Earth. Escape this Concrete Jungle, if even for just a couple of hours. “Because life, sweet life must be somewhere to be found.” And on the other side of the Rastaman lyrics, “you use to live big today. Tomorrow you’re buried in a casket. Wake up and live!”

Open your eyes to everything Gaia has to give.

Matt Gallagher

Matt Gallagher

Wordsmith Specialist

A freelance writer for hire, Matt Gallagher is the face and voice behind Web Copy Magician. He enjoys Bear Blend as a tea to spiritually reconnect with nature and the therapeutic wonders of chlorophyll.

2 Comments

  1. Molly

    I feel tickled & inspired by your writing. Thank you for sharing these essential reminders while keeping it real. Love it, weather permitting today either way, I will heed your call to walkabout. 🙌🏽

    Reply
  2. Mathew Gallagher

    Thanks, Molly! I appreciate the kind words. Hope you get the opportunity to lay down some happy feet today.

    Reply

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