You know that moment when you are starting to put your clothes back on, after taking (PG rated) naked picturesNaked Hiking on a winter hike, and 3 guys come around the corner of what was otherwise a deserted trail? Wait… you don’t? 😉

On our hike yesterday, we decided it was the perfect time to contribute pictures to a private Facebook group that my fiancé belongs to. This wonderfully tasteful, fun and inspiring group is dedicated to showcasing people and nature in their raw beauty. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend Black Friday.

It was 38 degrees at 11:30 when we left the car. There was snow on parts of the trail, and running water on other parts. Were it not for the fact that we were hiking up hill my warmth-challenged body would not have been too happy. However, when we stepped out of the trees to the overlook, it was actually warm! Warm enough to complete our photographic goal, then continue our hike.

We stopped at one point during the uphill climb. When I looked up at the enormous tree in front of me, it felt like it was moving toward me. I had spent so much time looking down, watching the ground come toward me, and focused on the goal of getting to the top of the mountain, that when I stopped the objects in front of me still appeared to be moving toward me. While the moment itself was fun in that non-drug-induced-psychedelic way, it also brought to mind something I’ve thought of so many times before. It is partly the difference between achieving a goal simply for the sake of achieving a goal, versus enjoying the process of getting there. It is also about perspective in the moment.

We saw waterfalls and icicles, tiny wolf/rabbit/rodent/other footprints, much bigger deer and elf hoof-prints, giant shelf-like mushrooms on the sides of trees, huge boulders in the middle of groves of trees, huge trees amongst rocky terrains. Each one of these could be seen in passing glances OR enjoyed as an amazing surprise around every corner.

My challenge to you is this: Throughout your day, when something irritates you, or (this could be even more challenging) when you see or do something that is very ordinary for you, think of it as a little surprise. Be curious and excited. Watch how it changes your perspective on your entire day.