get outside

A BOLD Move in the Retail World

Today’s post was supposed to be about what I learned backpacking for 10 days. It will have to wait until next time because something important happened this week that I think is more worthy of sharing. As you know, I work part-time at the outdoor outfitting store (and largest co-op in the country), REI. The six values REI holds sacred are authenticity, service, quality, respect, integrity, and balance. The company works very hard to ensure these values are upheld in everything they do, from the way in which they support their employees, the way they do business with their customers, and the way they support the environment with each individual store contributing money and volunteers to help people get outside and enjoy a richer life.

So if you haven’t heard yet (but I’m pretty sure you have), this past Monday Jerry Stritzke, the President and CEO of REI, announced to both his employees and the world that REI would be closed on Black Friday, AND would be paying all of their employees, AND is inviting co-op members, employees, and anyone else interested to #optoutside for that day instead of slogging it out at the stores or spending hours online shopping.

BRA-VO Jerry!

Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

Not only that, they’ve set up a website, optoutside.rei.com, for people to go and share what they’ll be doing outside with their friends and family the day after Thanksgiving. I call it Thanksgiving 2. Giving thanks to mother nature for all that she does for us. Without her, we would not be here at all.

Think about the for a moment. Black Friday is one of the largest money-making days of the year for retail stores. My company, has decided that it’s okay if they don’t bring in millions of dollars that day (MILLIONS). AND with zero coming in they are going to give out a day of pay to over 12,000 employees. That’s not a small chunk of change. We can all shop 24/7/365. But REI is saying not at our store. You have one day you can’t. And please, for the love of the outdoors, go out and be a part of it.

It’s a bold risk for sure. But isn’t it about time that someone in the retail world stood up and said money doesn’t have to be our only indicator of success. Maybe part of that success is taking care of your people who are the ones that have made your company so successful. And allowing for balance at the start of the crazed holiday season. And inviting everyone who can and is willing, to go outside and be, and play, and breathe, and enjoy.

There’s a reason the bottom of every page on my website, and every blog and newsletter I write says, Get Outside and Nurture Your Life. And REI’s motto is a Life Outdoors is a Life Well Lived.

Please tell me, do your best memories come from that time you went to Macy's and bought that amazing sweater? Do you remember the perfumed aisles and the awesome lighting in the dressing room? Or do you remember that time you camped out on that gorgeous lake with water so still you could see the exact reflection of the trees in it? The birds that sang to you in the morning as the sun came up, rippling the clouds in the sky with pinks, oranges, and purples so breathtaking that you just didn’t have words to describe it. I somehow believe (and really hope) that those are the memories you hold important.

This is not only a call from one retail store to stop the madness for one day, I see it as a call to start a Get Outside Revolution. Tell me who doesn’t come back from time spent in nature on the beach, in the mountains, on the water, refreshed, relaxed, and rejuvenated?

What do I know to be true right now?

Nature IS one of the main paths to our whole and peaceful selves. It not only connects us to something bigger than ourselves, but I believe that something bigger than ourselves is part of our DNA. We are not separate from the whole, the whole is part of us.

So don’t even wait for Black Friday, get outside and make it part of your weekly if not daily routine. You will never waste a second of your life if it is spent outside taking in everything natures’ got to offer. She will give to you exactly what you need if you let her. But you must spend time with her to receive her gifts.

There’s a reason REI is one of the top 100 companies to work for as rated by Fortune Magazine. Today I am one proud #REIemployee. If you's like to be a part, here's that link again, optoutside.rei.com.

Leave a comment on the blog below if you’d like.

If you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”, please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to hear from you. Coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

~ Susan

Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Why Mother Nature is a Gift

I can’t tell you how many times I hear a version of the same answer over and over again when I ask someone what getting out in nature does for them. This is what they say, “It brings me peace, clarity, expands my heart, connects me to the world.”

“It fills me with fresh ideas and fresh perspective.”

“It’s my home.”

“It recalibrates my sense of well-being and rightness in the world.”

“It gives me appreciation, calmness, grounding.”

“It inspires me, renews me.”

“It gives me peace and joy.” woman-out-in-nature-looking-at-camera

“It calms my mind and generally makes me feel happier, more optimistic.”

“It’s refreshing and peaceful at the same time.”

“Nature is my spirituality.”

“It gives me a sense of peace, awe, gratitude, and connection with the universe.”

“It helps me remember everything runs in cycles and will change”,

“It frees my body, mind, and spirit.”

Wow- that Mother Nature has got it goin’ on!

This is what she does to us, for us. She is always there to help bring us back to ourselves. Back to a more natural state of peace. Peace, groundedness, centeredness is who we are at a core level.

I can think of almost nothing better than spending time outside and feeling peaceful, connected, re-energized, grounded, happier, and with a calmer mind.

We each enjoy her differently. Some of us like to sit by a river or at the beach. Some enjoy biking or hiking, some like to photograph nature, some like to garden.

What’s most important is that we actually spend time with her. Regularly. The to-do list will always be there. For the rest of your days. So let it be.

There are times when you need to step out of your everyday, a million things to do life, and go outside. Spend 10 minutes watching the birds at your bird feeder like I’m doing as I type this. Spend 3 hours hiking along a gorgeous river, like I did a few weekends ago.

I promise you that if you allow yourself to be there and take it all in, you will leave feeling some if not all of the things mentioned above.

And what happens when you get back to your regular life? Because you feel more grounded and centered, you'll have more energy, you’ll able to make more clear decisions, you'll prioritize better, you'll discover what’s more important at the moment. You can often get out of the muck and focus.

And that’s the gift. Mother nature brings you back to yourself. Your best self.

So I suggest you grab your calendar right now.

Right.

Now.

And flip through the next month, and schedule yourself time in nature. I don’t care if it’s once a week, or once a day. For 6 hours, or 20 minutes. But schedule it. And do it. And enjoy. Not only will you like yourself better. Others will like you more too.

She not only sustains everything on this planet, she sustains us. Without us, she would continue just fine.

Appreciate her and she will nurture you.

If you’d like, Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

If this struck you and you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”. Please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to  hear from you.

susan small sig 05:14

Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Get Outside (Really) GET OUTSIDE!

It’s fall in many parts of the country. The air where you live may be crisp and cooler, the leaves changing and falling off the trees (or not). There may even be snow all over the ground already and it may look like winter. And now is the time to get outside before full-blown winter arrives (whatever that means for you). As we all know, it’s only going to continue to get colder and darker.  woman in nature

The holidays haven’t arrived and I’m betting some of you get pretty busy when they do. Which is why now is the perfect time to do it. Throw on an extra layer (or 2) if you need it and take a walk in the crisper air. Notice how it feels and smells so different. Notice the trees. Do they look different than they did a month ago? What animals are around that you don’t normally see? What bird sounds do you hear?

You already know you’ll feel better. You don’t need hard science to tell you that.

It’s the changing of the seasons. Transition time.

Be a part of that transition. It won’t happen again until spring. NOW is the time.

Get Outside!

Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

If this struck you and you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”. Please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to  hear from you.

susan small sig 05:14

Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Why I don't listen to the news (and you don't have to either)

I don’t listen to the news. I really don’t. Yes, I might hear something “news-y” on NPR when I’m driving from point A to B, but I don’t read the paper or watch the news on TV. I’m sure some people think I might be “missing out” on something or won’t be “informed” of an important issue going on. But so far, the lack of news in my life has not been a problem one little iota.

In our completely connected 24/7 world, I can get information any time I want in a number of ways. I can find out almost anything that’s happening most every place, but why?

I’ve got my own life to live right here where I’m sitting, in this moment, on my back deck. Yes, there are crazy things happening as I write this, but I’m not where the crazy stuff is. I’m here. And if I wasn’t sitting here and was watching the news instead, I’d be completely missing the 3 hummingbirds flying around our feeder. Watching them chase each other through the trees, hearing the hum of their wings as they wiz by, trying to figure out what type of hummingbird each is based on its color.  annas hummingbird

The war in Gaza doesn’t concern me. See? Just because I’m not actively paying attention to the news doesn’t mean I don’t find out about things.

And that’s my point. The universe has an amazing way of informing me what I need to know when I need to know it. It never fails.

There are a bazillion things I will never hear about. And that’s okay. My job is to be present in my own life. And I can’t do that if my mind is thousands of miles away in someone else’s war.

This also goes for my next-door neighbors. If I’m worried about what they’re doing then I’m not present for my own life.

I’ve got enough going on in my world without having to worry about everyone else. How about you?

Try just two days without the news and notice what's different for you. Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

If this struck you and you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”. Please forward it to them.

I love hearing from you.

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Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Choosing the beaten path

My husband, our two furry friends and I, love to hike. When we lived in Alaska, hiking often meant we wouldn’t pass another soul while we were out. We loved that! That doesn’t happen so much here in the lower 48.

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Over the weekend we decided to go hike one of the endless trails here. We chose a popular one. There were a ton of cars in the parking area at the trailhead. I have to admit, we weren’t really all that excited about sharing the trail with a bazillion other people.

But for some reason we didn’t come across that many while we were out.

No only that, the longer we hiked on this well worn trail, the more awesome the landscape became. Mt. Bachelor was to our left and Broken Top was straight ahead, front and center. It was, as my husband likes to say,

“spectacular”.

And we never would have seen all that spectacular-ness (made up word J) had we not chosen the beaten path that day.

While they say the road less traveled is where life happens, I’d say the well-traveled road has its perks too. It’s well traveled for a reason.

Have you got a story about taking the road more or less traveled? Please. Share it with us.

Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

If this struck you and you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”. Please forward it to them.

I love hearing from you.

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Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Welcome to my new website! A virtual home for women who want to relax, slow down, and learn how mother nature can nurture their lives.

Let me get right down to it.    standing close up

I'm on a new mission.

To help women transition through change in life better, slow down in this fast crazy paced world, and get outside and nurture their lives.

It's time to get out and become present to all the amazing beauty that surrounds us.

There is so much research on the huge benefits to our health, minds, and souls. The more we spend time out in green spaces, the more peaceful we feel. The more at peace we feel, the more our cells are in a happy place in our body, able to keep us functioning at a high level with a good immune system.

The happier and healthier we are, the more energy we have to share and give to others.

The time is truly now.

So get to it. Feel the sun on your skin, hear the birds singing, smell the air, see the buds and blooms.

Don't just take my word for all of this, get outside and notice how you feel. That will be your true test.

Tell me what you think. Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me directly, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

If this struck you and you think, "I know one friend who would really like this". Please forward it to them.

I love hearing from you.

~ Susan Get Outside and Nurture Your Life