For the second summer, for various reasons, including financial ones I have lived more in nature than in any apartment, house or conventional structure. What I have learned from this has been amazing. 1. GRATITUDE As the super blessed American people that we are, many times we take our simple tasks in living for granted. When you are living out of a car, camping with no running water or showers, or toilets, you begin to realize and appreciate everytime you turn on a faucet and water comes out, even just to wash your hands. And the luxury, yes, luxury of having a toilet to go to the bathroom in. There are hundreds of thousands of people in this world that have NEVER sat on a toilet seat. Are you understanding what I am saying? Its the little things. When you live like this, you are working to live. In the mornings, you hike to go to the bathroom away from your campsite because of animals. You hike away to do your dishes because food smells draw curious bears, wolves, and other animals. We recently moved next to a river which makes dish washing easier but you still carry your dishes about 100 ft or more down to the river. In the evenings you walk around and collect firewood for the evening fire. This simple camping/living is refreshing and free. I drink my morning tea while watching the water flow over and around obstacles in the river which serves as my daily reminder about life. Flowing, like water over and around obstacles. Mornings I try to do a little fitness, 5 Tibetians or yoga to start the day. This life appeals to me and today I was wondering why. What I realized is that nature is freeing because there are no expectations of you in nature. Its a place where you can just BE. And be you. If I walked into public places in a city with my hair all crazy like it is when I wake up in the woods, people would assume I was dirty, homeless, mentally unstable or something. Its not that I value too much (or really at all) what other people think of me, but I do think we can all agree that we feel the pressure to be a certain way depending on our surroundings. I am a beach girl from Florida and I live in bathing suits and I have noticed when Im travelling through places sometimes wearing a bikini as underwear, I think, wow maybe this is not appropriate wear for inland Georgia. I still do it but I acknowledge this societal pressure I feel to be a certain way. In the forest, you can do whatever, there are no mirrors, no glass to glance into and say, ugh my hair looks bad or this dress is not flattering, there is just beauty and fresh air surrounding you, greenery, life energy, little animals, flowers and trees magnificent old trees that shelter you. If you haven’t experienced this lately, try it…its a good, free happy feeling.