I camped at Hapgood Pond in Vermont for the 4th of July weekend. I left my computer at home and -- with no cell coverage available -- I kept my cell phone in airplane mode. Unplugged!
Again and again throughout the weekend I noticed how calm nature in summer was, how complete. Noisy humans came and went, but underneath those moments I felt a still, deep, underlying support everywhere I looked, and with every sound I heard. I felt like I emerged from some tomb to see this always-available gift with fresh eyes.
This is in direct contrast to my life leading up to the weekend, and an even starker contrast to the modern world I returned to after the weekend. I don't need to describe that world -- we all live in it.
I'm reminded of a Thoreau quote that has often reoriented me toward plugging into a larger feeling of purpose: "Read not the Times. Read the Eternities."
Nature helps me be at my best. It's always present, even when I can't directly access it while teaching in a windowless room in some conference center in a business park. Any day with time spent in nature is a better day, even five minutes, even looking out a window.
This may or may not be true for you as well, but it's worth a try. And if nature doesn't do it for you, I know something does. Something helps you through the stress of modern life, calms you down, gives you a larger perspective. What is it and how can it help you today?
Rob Fletcher is a consultant, author, speaker and coach for a wide variety of corporations and organizations. He is the founder of Quixote Consulting.