Happy Earth Day! I’ve made a list of outdoor activities I suggest adding to the calendar, along with some inviting imagery! I thought I’d share them! If you live in the Bay Area, I encourage you to use these ideas! If you’re a global sibling/neighbor, I hope that my descriptions will inspire you to plan for similar outdoor activities that are available in your surrounding landscapes!
I joined my husband on a business trip to San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach over the weekend. We were sure to spend as much time as possible outdoors. I’m using pictures from our road trip in this post;)!
- Lafayette Resevoir ~ 3849 Mt. Diablo Rd, Lafayette
Circle the dog-friendly paved trail while catching up with a friend, watch your toddler discover the intricate two-story playground, or run the rim trail for an active work-out! I also love to walk alone, breathing in fresh air, watching the shadows change as I round the reservoir, and stopping at one of the many waterside benches to rest, think, and record my thoughts.
- Iron Horse Trail ~ 2698 Oak Rd, Walnut Creek
I use this trail for foot-and-bicycle transportation around Walnut Creek. Be sure to notice the chipper cadence of fellow walkers, joggers, and stroller-pushers, and in early spring open your senses to the delicious rhododendron fragrance!
- Lake Merritt ~ 568 Bellevue Ave, Oakland
On a leisurely summer weekend, I often fancy an energetic urban vibe. I love to gallivant along Lakeshore Avenue, choose from one of many small breakfast cafes, then burn some calories with a swift walk around the lake (if you have kids be sure to check out Children’s Fairyland!).
When we need to hear the ocean, feel relaxed, and remember our connection to nature, a slow drive to Stinson Beach is an ideal day trip! We suggest leaving home early to miss traffic, rolling the windows down on curvaceous Highway 1, indulging in a savory breakfast at Parkside Cafe, then lounging wave-side with a favorite book.
- Embarcadero ~ 1 Sausalito – San Francisco Ferry Bldg
Walk the Embarcadero, explore the piers, absorb the buzz of the city, and sample a few happy hour menus on your way back! Grab a pitcher while gazing at views of the Bay Bridge and Treasure Island on Pier 23’s sunny deck, and try the Pisco Sour at La Mar.
- Dipsea Trail – Steep Ravine Loop ~ Pantol Ranger Station: 801 Panoramic Highway
Relish this moderately difficult 3.8 mile hike into the Redwood Forest and Steep Ravine! Cross short wooden bridges, appreciate the view of the Farallon Islands on a clear day, and get your blood pumping while marveling over how many of our ancestors may have explored this land through the ages.
- Tilden Park ~ 600 Canon Drive, Berkeley
Take a steam-train ride with your youngster, soak in luxury at the botanic gardens, and escape into quiet on a hiking exploration of one of the area’s oldest parks! Don’t miss a visit to Tilden’s “Little Farm” followed by a relaxing picnic at Lake Anza.
- Mount Diablo State Park ~ 96 Mitchel Canyon Fire Rd, Clayton
Pack plenty of water and snacks, summit Mount Diablo, and treasure the exhilarating view! Explore an extensive trail system, adore the wildflowers, and cheer for the cyclists trudging up a 17% grade.
How are you celebrating and honoring Earth Day? What are your favorite outdoor activities?
Thanks for reading! Squeeze hugs from Annie, at Biocadence.
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What Makes You Feel Like Anything Is Possible? Expressing gratitude? Being in nature? Facing a challenge? Doing something kind for another… or for yourself? Looking into the eyes of someone you trust, and knowing that they see you? Behaving in alignment with your values rather than indulging in impulse? Surprising someone you love? The endorphin kick of a workout? Laughing so hard that you can’t stop? Hearing the infinite optimism of a child’s voice and laughter? Reciting affirmations or mantras? Meditation and/or prayer? Nutrition packed meals? Dancing to a favorite song? Letting silliness flow through you? Witnessing creation in one of its many forms… art, music, a sunset, birth, gardens? These are some of my many prompts to the feeling: Anything Is Possible. I would love to indulge in hearing yours!!
Sometimes I receive a whisper. Other times the sensation pulses through all of me, changing the smile on my face, the cadence of my step, the lift in my chin, the space around my body. And I think: I’m beautiful right now in the experience of momentary convening with grace. This beauty transcends feature-symmetry, a firm body, make-up, perfect hair, or fashionable clothing. It holds healing power as a beauty that can only be described poetically. This is a radiance that glows when one allows him/herself to be a vehicle for an almighty that is universal across most religions: gracious goodness. When I try to keep it, own it, encapsulate it… it escapes me. It arrives in moments of surrender to just being… to awe and wonder… to quiet abandon of the need to think. When I see it in another, I want to holler: “Thank you!”, but find myself silenced by a hope that the spell may not be broken!
I’d like to deliver a wish that we will all acquiesce to more moments of hope! What makes you feel like anything is possible? Do it! Submit yourself to the goodness that is available to each of us! This allowance will foster the well of grace available to you;)!
Anything is possible today! Let’s lift our chins and spirits to optimism, and KNOW that we have something special to offer the world today. No one is just like you, and only you can manifest your unique combination of attributes and interests. Harness them, and package them for the betterment of our world! Consider what may be if we each identify who we came to this world to BE… what we came here to GET DONE. Find a place/venue/job/community that needs your particular strengths, rather than fretting over the spirit-diminishing task of changing self to fit a mold. However “utopic” this may seem, we can always move closer to the ideal we envision. I promise that trying will only yield positive results!
Squeeze hugs from Annie at Biocadence!
I love morning. Anticipation… Inventory… Bravery… Morning carries bravery in her basket.
There are barb prongs uprooted from my skin… Layers of caging removed… Disillusions soothed… Saved in a rattling tin can, for the days when I need proof.
Someone said I couldn’t feel light on my cheeks, because I’m bad, because I’m wrong, because I’m weak. Spirit penitentiary has rules that change with each move we make. Victory only comes in discarding the need to stake.
What if there is no sun in my soul? I hold my breath… What if they’re correct? I open the door in spite of them, in spite of myself, and step forward into delicious white… blessed.
At last I’m free, outside my cell. But still I stay close, feeling dirt under my bouncing frame. If I could take my captors with me, no magnet would remain.
All of me dances… even my face… even my hair. Feet drum. Stamping silent cries. Defusing the mirage. I submit to a cadence my soul has always known, banishing the demons back to their home.
Most of my scars are beauty marks now, others are infected… Iron slivers, bits of wood, bloody shards yet rejected.
“One day soon, happiness won’t feel so rebellious,” she whispers… “Each fragment will know that self-love is not self-ish.”
“How does freedom feel?”, probes Mother Earth. I want to answer her with a 24-carat glimmer in my voice, and so I search.
I close my eyes and I see: A transgressed limp… Trombones crying… Transitory cacophony… And I’m inhaling and exhaling… And the shine is not in my voice, but in my tearing eyes, and I say: “I’ll have to get back to you on that; all I can do today is dance”.
Squeeze hugs and hopes that you are dancing too! Annie, at Biocadence.
Quicklinks to Most Popular Biocadence Posts:
- Monday Morning Musing: Kindness (& bravery) are everywhere! (muselan.typepad.com)
- Just Another Musing (waitingforthekarmatruck.com)
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- Monday Morning Musing: Fear does not mean stop (muselan.typepad.com)
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Dubbed “extrovert”, I was an expressive enthusiast for many of the first 30 years of my life. I was so familiar with the role, that I was nearly comfortable with the dis-ease it was prompted by. I have been practicing quiet intermittently for a few years. This has opened space to learn patience, calm listening, self-love, and boundary setting. As a beginner with this curriculum, I have come to wonder: how did I survive nearly three decades without these skills?
Calm listening expands time. One could say it’s mighty generous to be an active, inquisitive listener of a friend, colleague, or spouse. I’ve learned that the calm listener is doing the getting, to be sure! Consider the gifts:
- The satisfaction of sharing in another’s experience.
- The intimacy of entering and exploring the maze that the other is mapping at the moment.
- The richness of observing human behavior, impulse, compassion, and interconnectedness.
- The receipt of another’s knowledge pool of raw data that is inevitably distinct from my own.
- The energizing wonderment in another’s attributes that make them unique from any other being, drive their purpose, and shape the lessons they entered this life to learn.
Through calm listening, I learn and share more inside of each precious moment. It expands time.
When practicing quiet, I am not always silent. I do speak! When? What are my words? What is my intention for speaking, and for the message, tone, and delivery I choose? The answers draw me nearer to knowledge of self. They also magnify opportunities for adjustments. Who do I want to be? I get to decide.
I used to be vocal when I disagreed. In practicing quiet, I explore: what would have been my motive to say something?
- Would it have been pure?
- Would it have been to try to change another person… to change their mind? If so, then why?
- Would it have been to satisfy curiosity, to engage in debate, or test my argumentative prowess? If so, then why?
I observe the result of not speaking up. Quieting when I disagree makes me feel like I’ve deceived another and myself. There must be another option, beyond the saying or not saying, as intention-guiding leaders have shown us. I think of peace-evoking Martin Luther King Junior, Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, and the Dalai Lama. Who do you think of?
Compassion involves seeking to understand another’s opinion, to understand the foundation another balances upon to form their opinion, and most importantly, to understand the experience that may have led another to build that foundation. In this intention, an interaction escalated by differing opinions, likely indicates I have many more questions to ask, and responses to calmly listen to. In some cases, the other’s intentions may be to confuse, harm, or enmesh. The most compassionate practice may be to state acknowledgement of difference and quickly disengage.
I am a beginner in this curriculum. A starry eyed, eager novice, reinforced by the fruit of my triumphs and hiccups. And so, I continue trying.
I invite you to join me in my favorite mantra for the time:
“May all beings be peaceful and know they are loved.”
Thank you for reading, beautiful people! Squeeze hugs, from Annie at Biocadence.
Quicklinks to Most Popular Biocadence Articles:
- Grace and Poise
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- Stand up for what YOU believe in. (whowillyoubegsu.wordpress.com)
- HUSH – Practicing the Art of Quietness Before God (edifier1.wordpress.com)