“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” -John Muir
I’ve spent a lot of time in the woods. In April of 2016 I decided to do something drastic. I moved my family from Southern California, where my wife and I have lived our whole lives, where our four children were born, and decided to move to Couer d’Alene, Idaho, all the way up in the Panhandle region, just 90 miles south of the Canadian border. We lived there for two and a half years before moving back to SUNNY Southern California.
North Idaho is beautiful and known for its vast expanse of wilderness. You can literally get lost in the woods and no one would ever find you. People disappear every year into the woods up there. There is so much water, the woods are so thick, filled with Elk, Deer and Moose. We had 52 lakes within 50 miles of our house, plus multiple large rivers (Spokane River, Pack River, Pend Oreille River) and streams. It was amazing to get out and be in nature every day. I was able to find solitude that I could not find anywhere else. I had the opportunity to spend, on a few different occasions, 7-12 days out in the bush. You can learn so much from unplugging and being completely alone in this place we call Earth, far away from other people, deep in the woods where no one would ever find you. I learned that we are absolutely part of nature. We come from the dust and we shall return to the dust. I learned nature is a harsh place. This world is a harsh place. I learned to be grateful for the smallest things. For the opportunity to just sit quietly and take it all in. To enjoy the warmth on my skin after a long winter. To enjoy watching a baby fawn walk with his mother during the Spring, not a worry in the world. There is so much to appreciate about this world we share together.
Our modern day society prevents us from appreciating the small things. We get caught up in worrying about the most peculiar things. We obsess and stress over the small stuff, daily. I am just as happy with nothing in the woods as I am being pampered in the Four Seasons. I think I prefer the woods to be honest. I for sure know I can learn more about myself and the world we occupy out there than anywhere else.
When you step away from society for any amount of time, you obviously begin to view things differently. You think differently. You realize that you don’t need to speed through life. In the natural world, nothing is ever in a rush. This is one of the most profound ideas I have learned by unplugging and spending time in the woods throughout my life. Why are we all rushing through life? Sometimes you need to slow down in order to speed up. Stop and smell the roses. Your life is made up of the moments you appreciate. If you are constantly in a rush and never appreciating what you’re actually doing, you’ll never have a fulfilling life. What are you rushing towards anyways? Your death? Just take some time to unplug and be alone with yourself. If you’re not comfortable in your own skin, alone with your own thoughts, you have serious problems. It takes time and effort to get there, but any chance you get to unplug from modern society and be alone with just your thoughts and your natural world to occupy you, take advantage of those opportunities. You will come back to the “real world” with a renewed sense of yourself. You will be more self-aware, more compassionate, more grateful, more successful. I guarantee it…
About the Author:
Matt DiNinno is the Managing Director of DiNinno Consulting, LLC based in Redlands, California. He and his team help Small and Medium Sized Enterprises thrive. Matt spent 13 years as a licensed Financial Advisor with firms like Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch (see his FINRA Brokercheck Record here).