Mother Nature’s Mirror

By Diane Giuliani A few weeks ago I had the pure delight of spending 3 days with some of my dearest friends camping at Woods Lake. This was our 28th annual “Ladies Camping Trip”. Quite honestly …. that number boggles my mind! How can that possibly BE? Needless to say we’ve traveled many roads together and experienced numerous adventures along the way; weddings, kids, multiple pets, aging parents and the difficult loss of some of our beloved family members.

There are five of us “ladies” in total and traditionally we try to find the highest peak to climb in the area where we’re camping. This year we summited Round Top which offers a spectacular and breath taking 360 degree view with Lake Tahoe in the distance. The trek is generally considered an intermediate hike but the last part of the climb (both the assent and the descent), becomes a bit more challenging and requires that you pay attention, mind your P’ and Q’s, watch your footing, and move slowly and methodically. This was all happening of course whilst carrying on a conversation because girls LOVE to talk! Periodically we’d pause, catch our breath, and enjoy the details and the vastness of the scenery surrounding us.

While we sat on top of our conquered peak, we saw a rain cloud moving our way and shortly thereafter heard thunder. That became our sudden cue to start making our way down.  We enjoyed a Sierra summer rain shower that was even accompanied by a bit of hail as we made our way back to camp. When we returned, two of us found our tents partially flooded. Fortunately for us we were blessed with afternoon sun which allowed us to dry everything out. However, that was NOT the case the next day!!  We got besieged with rain, thunder and lightning for nearly 6 hours and we literally had a creek running through our camp. Fortunately we had an EZ-up over our picnic table so that we had a teeny tiny bit of dry shelter. We marveled and laughed, ate and talked while Mother Nature carried on with her work, doing what she does so well.

Later that day I clearly saw the mirror and the metaphor between the miracles of nature and my current life’s experience. Daily I’m asked to pay attention, mind my P’s and Q’s and watch where or who I might be stepping on. Slowly and methodically I’m being guided to move into each day with intention and purpose both for myself and others.

You know, we don’t always get to choose what we’re given in life. I certainly wouldn’t have chosen breast cancer or a 6 hour rain storm in the middle of our camping trip. However, with each new day we DO get to choose how we take care of ourselves, how we behave and how we respond to any given situation. So…. as much as possible, I choose nutritious foods to fuel by body, I choose not to dwell in my own mucky pond – (at least not for very long), I make some form of physical movement a part of my day, I appreciate and acknowledge others, I enjoy beauty and laughter wherever it shows up, I eat a small piece of dark chocolate nearly every day because it makes me smile, and I make sure to LOVE myself for all that I am, all that I’m not and all that I’m yet to become.

What choices can you make today, tomorrow or the next day that will bring purpose and intention to your overall health and well-being?!

Take excellent care of yourself ~ you’re worth it!

Blessings, Diane

Anywhere – Anytime Trail Mix

3/4 cup walnuts – rich in Omega 3 fatty acids 3/4 cup almonds – great source of vitamin E and heart healthy monounsaturated fats 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds – good source of Zinc to support a healthy immune system 1/3 cup sunflowers seeds – excellent source of vitamin E 1/2 cup dried unsweetened blueberries – rich source cancer fighting antioxidants 1/2 bar of at least 70% dark chocolate broken in to small chunks – excellent source of antioxidants and minerals

Combine all ingredients and store in an air tight container. Take this delicious and nutrient dense mix as a pick-me-up snack on the trail or on the go!

If possible soak the nuts for 8 hours, drain, rinse and dehydrate at 115º until crunchy again. This will help to break down the enzyme coating on nuts and seeds making them easier to digest.