Regular recovery, on the micro-, mid-, and macro-levels, can often do the work of psychiatric medicine, only naturally.
~ Tal Ben-Shahar, The Pursuit of Perfect
It’s time to go MACRO!
For two weeks, I will explore the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest.
View Nathan’s MACRO Break: The PacNW in a larger map.
(You can even “add” this to your maps in Google – click on “Save to My Places” once the map loads)
If you’re reading this in email or otherwise can’t see the map, click here.
This may, in fact, be the first time I’ve ever done something of this nature, and certainly with the intention of doing this trip offline.
I will not be checking email, going on Facebook/Twitter/Google+ (gasp!), and will refrain from using the phone as much as possible.
I won’t even have a GPS – I’ll be relying on good ol’ fashioned paper maps, my intuition, and the kindness of park rangers and fellow travelers! :-)
Some of the planned stops (and I’ve never been to ANY of them):
- Bend, Oregon
- Hood River, Oregon
- The Gorge, Oregon
- Crater National Monument, Idaho
- Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
- Glacier National Park, Montana
- Mt. Rainier, Washington
- Mt. St. Helens, Washington
Total driving distance: just under 3000 miles – and I can’t wait!
I was recently told about Find a Spring, for places to get fresh water – so cool! Plus, I’m going to experiment with some different foods on this trip:
- Chia seeds
- Goji Berries
- Dried Seaweed
All in an effort to remain as healthy as possible during the two weeks!
It begins Wednesday, August 3rd.
Why am I doing this?
See the quote at the top.
I first learned about this concept through Brian Johnson and his PhilosophersNote on the book:
“First, we’ve gotta realize that we’re not robots/machines. And, if we were, we’d be the kind of machines that needed a 15 minute break every hour or two (micro-level recovery), a seven to nine hour break every day + one day off per week (mid-level recovery) and a two to four week break every year (macro-level recovery)! “
I’d say I’m pretty plugged in and working just about every day. Now, I enjoy what I’m doing, so I don’t consider it all “work” (at least not the boring, mind-numbing kind). But I still need a break!
Man was not designed to create status updates all day long!
There’s a whole WORLD out there that I’m excited to discover – and then I’ll tweet about it… ;-)
So what if you’re on board with all this and yet aren’t currently taking the breaks you’d like to? Brian adds…
“Remember: No need to get upset with ourselves with where we’re falling short (that would be the perfectionist’s way of dealing with life!). Let’s be good optimalists, honor the constraints of our lives and build in the regular recovery that’ll best serve us! :)”
I currently use Time Out to schedule a one-minute break every 20 minutes, and a 10-minute break every 90 minutes – I’ve found a tremendous increase in my energy and productivity.
Sleep is very important to me, and since I’m bouncing from place to place quite frequently, it requires even more attention to ensure I get a good night’s rest.
I aim for at least seven hours, and every now and then will just “sleep in” if I need to catch up. If I’m in bed for 9.5 hours, that’s fine by me.
Sometimes I forget to set my alarm – while the initial reaction is “OH NO,” I’ve been working on shifting that energy over to, “well, I guess my body needed the rest”; this was the Universe’s way of telling me so.
Fortunately, I usually don’t miss any appointments – my biggest reason for getting up early is to be productive: exercise, meditation, and creative work.
Macro-Level (this trip)
This is new ground for me.
I have a car, a tent, and a sleeping bag. (thanks Tabitha!)
I plan to enjoy the nature out there, while still being safe. I’m not exactly looking for the “Into the Wild” experience. ;-)
What do I hope to get from this trip?
Clarity. I’ll have my journal and my ideas – time to really dream, brainstorm, and crystallize with reckless abandon.
Rejuvenation. I get an amazing amount of energy from being outside, feeling the sun, walking among trees, breathing fresh air – it always makes me feel relaxed and alert.
Appreciation. This is such a beautiful world and I have so much to be grateful for – I am excited to renew my gratitude for all the gifts and people who are in my life.
What does this mean for the site?
There will be NO posts during this time. My rough plan is to resume on Thursday, August 18th.
Also, I had this idea the other night: what if this trip is just for me? I imagine I’ll journal about it, take some pictures, maybe even shoot some video – and then I thought, what if I don’t share it? What if I make this a wholly personal experience?
If I’m talking with family or friends and I want to share a specific moment with them, of course I can do that. What if I just don’t make this whole event a thing, where I’m intent on making it something, and instead, I just let it happen.
I think it’s healthy to keep a few things for ourselves.
And somehow, even when we do, the world will continue spinning. :-)
I’m excited to reconnect in mid-August. Until then, may you have a wonderful, healthy, and exciting time. I know I will.
What are YOUR micro-, mid-, and macro-level breaks? What would you use a Macro-level break to do? And what do you think of the whole concept – agree/disagree?
I’d love to hear your answer along with any other comments you have below.
Until next time,
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