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3 Important Life Lessons Mother Nature Has Taught Me

Sophrosyne (n.) - a healthy state of mind characterized by self-control, moderation, and a deep awareness of one's true self

By: Sabrina Weng + Save to a List

1. I Am Capable of More Than I Think I Am

Before I fell in love with the outdoors, I was a total hermit. I lived in my safe little world and never took any risks or did anything adventurous. Why? Most of the time it was because I was scared something would go wrong or that I wasn't capable of succeeding. I'm the total opposite now. I've hiked in terrible weather conditions, walked long distances, and successfully executed a 5-day camping road trip through Utah (with minimal planning). Of course I still get scared, but I've done things that I never imagined myself doing. Spontaneous adventures are just adventures to me now because if I want to do something, I just go. Time is so precious and not to sound like your stereotypical millennial but - "You Only Live Once." 

Who knew I was capable of camping in 20 degree weather?

2. Perspective Is Everything                         

For my 22nd birthday I decided to revisit Rattlesnake Ledge - the most popular hiking destination for Seattleites...also happens to be one of my least favorite hikes. The huge crowds and what seems like never-ending switchbacks are what deters me from this place. So why go back on my birthday of all days? It was a weird test for myself. Giving people second chances is something I struggle with because once I have a set opinion of you, it doesn't change. I wanted to challenge myself and see if this was something I could work on - with the help of Mother Nature of course. Instead of hiking Rattlesnake with the crowds of people, I decided to start out on the trail with my friend (and headlamp) at 5AM. It was cold, rainy, and dark but surprisingly the darkness made the switchbacks a lot more bearable (probably because I couldn't even see them). The original plan was to catch the sunrise at 7:15AM and although we didn't get to see it, I'd say the winter wonderland at the top was just as breathtaking. Sometimes life doesn't work out the way you plan it to, but that doesn't mean the end result will be bad. Like I always say, "it's all about perspective." 

Rattlesnake Ledge on my birthday

3. Don't Forget To Look Back Sometimes

Everyone always says "Don't look back, keep moving forward" and I agree with the moving forward part but I don't think it's bad to look back. We all have things we want to forget and emotional scars that haven't healed but when I look back, whether it be on my life or on the trail, I see how far I've come and how much I've grown with each and every step that I took. Sure I might not be exactly where I want to be yet, but that doesn't mean I won't get there eventually. The past can be a scary thing sometimes but it is also what makes us who we are today. We don't necessarily have to go back to it but we also shouldn't be scared of it. How else were you supposed to get to that beautiful mountain top view at the summit if you didn't scramble through those jagged edged rocks right before it?

Sometimes the view behind us is just as beautiful as the one in front of us.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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