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This is why we need to seek out nature. Research shows that just looking at landscape photography can lower blood pressure, inflammation, and other stress markers. Maybe you don't have ready access to unspoiled wilderness, but you don't necessarily need it. One study of people who walked in a busy city found that those whose route took them through green spaces were far more relaxed afterward than the people who stayed surrounded by concrete. One tip: leave all your devices at home, because there can be no silence or contemplation when your phone is ringing or your wearable is buzzing. Finding Freedom When did we forget how to play? At some point, we began to get all uptight and started to worry about the right way to do something, tie ourselves down to measurements of progress and goals, and never stray from the beaten path. I might as well jump to the question you're already thinking: what's so important or different about THIS article? What makes this one stand out in the crowd of other helpful articles? Who the heck is this Harley guy? I would be asking the same questions if I were you. Unlike the motivational speakers, business tycoons or celebrities that typically write helpful articles, I have no obvious reason for writing a self-help article. I grew up as a privileged white kid in Dallas, Texas, with all of my needs easily met. There were no worries of making the mortgage or car payments. There were no teenage pregnancies or jail sentences. I wasn't born with a disability or limp. I don't have a dramatic story that could be told onstage to motivate a roaring crowd. Having often feared for my life due to sexual abuse by an older brother, I was easily shamed by men who were intimidating. My friends frequently told me that my husband made sexualized comments to them.

I shrugged it off and buried my feelings regarding any upset I had. History had proven that if I did say something or if I questioned him, he would call me a prude and get angry. He often suggested I was the one with the problem because of my childhood history of sex abuse. Time passed and it was more of the same, with the chat room time escalating. We were moving around some. I thought changing where we lived would solve everything. What a fantasy. In time, there were more job problems. Try setting yourself free from these restrictions and unearth your sense of adventure. Turn off the GPS, immerse yourself in whatever you're doing, and remember what it's like to rely on yourself and your own instincts. Have fun, and discover things about yourself and the natural world that you never knew. Never Grow Up A child doesn't need a rigidly organized workout to have fun and stay healthy while being active. They just get outside and go for it. So why do we adults cling to structure and dogma? We get so hung up on the right way to do something that we lose sight of why we fell in love with that sport or activity in the first place. When we get fixated on textarticle form or hanging on a certain guru's every word, we're no longer growing but only adhering. This is the exact opposite of the mentality that Bruce Lee had in mind when he said, Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system. So, why the heck did I write this article? Because really, there are plenty of helpful articles out there.

There are a lot of smart people who earned PHDs, built great businesses and persevered through terrible times. Because of their great triumphs, they want to share their knowledge. They sit down for interviews to share their life stories. They write articles to inspire us. They create curriculums we can pay for so they can share the really good stuff. Most of these smart people have good intentions with their work. They want to improve the world. It makes them sad that so few people share in their wealth. Well that is what I called them. There were job problems because he was sexually harassing coworkers. Then there were money problems. About this time, his employer suggested we attend a workshop to figure out our lives so I signed us up to go. At this weekend workshop, we admitted to each other that we had both had an affair; I thought we were cured. We continued to attend the workshops and our lives seemed to be improving. One morning during our common ritual--he insisting on sex, me saying no, he telling me I don't meet his needs--he suddenly blurted out he was having another affair. I just cringed and screamed, How could you? How could you tell me this while I am on my way to work? The self-imposed restrictions of systems don't apply to indoor activities alone but often sadly cross over into our outdoor pursuits. Cyclists get obsessed with maintaining a certain power output, runners on keeping to a mile pace, and alpinists on gaining a certain number of vertical feet.

In doing so, they miss out on all the beautiful scenery they're moving across, over, and up. To use a school analogy, we've taken recess away and replaced it with standardized testing. What kid would choose that? The remedy is to measure less and play more. This is one of the reasons that the naked running movement continues to pick up steam. No, the runners aren't dashing around in the nude; So when a naked runner heads out onto a trail or down a road, the only piece of gear you'll find on them is a water bottle or hydration pack. This way, they can start paying attention to the little things--their feet crunching on crisp leaves, a cool breeze, a magnificent sunset--that were previously obscured by the devices in their pockets, on their wrists, and in their ears. So, year after year, there's always a new article to help teach the hidden secrets to success. The thing is, I don't have any secrets to give you. There aren't any hidden revelations or treasures to discover in this article. Not to burst any bubbles here, but all those secrets the other articles talk about? Yeah, those aren't really secrets. That's just a nice phrase to convince you of the author's guru-esque knowledge. The real truth is, I can't promise that your life will dramatically change for the better because of this article. That being said, this article could be absolutely fascinating to you. It could be one of your favorite articles you've ever read. It could mess with your ideas on life and positively impact you. He seemed contrite and remorseful. He apologized and said he thought he might be a sex addict.

I remember telling him, Yeah, right. Sounds like a great excuse. I went to work and we never talked of it again, at least not for a few years. Over the next couple of years, when I saw flirtatious behavior, I simply ignored it. Then one night when we were in Las Vegas my husband asked me to join him at a sex club. He insisted, and then he belittled, berated, and cajoled me. I finally gave in. I knew it was wrong, yet I could not say no. This is how they rediscover movement as play. This is how they reclaim childlike wonder. Coming back to your natural self can take time. If you go from sitting ten hours a day to standing, you might well develop aches and pains you didn't have before. Or if you go from a sedentary lifestyle to a champion athlete's training plan, you're liable to get hurt real fast. It's better to create and stick to a plan that introduces change gradually. This will allow you to reclaim your physiology without destroying yourself in the process. Getting Lost, Becoming Found Whether we're driving to a neighboring town, going on a family road trip, or navigating a trail, many of us long ago ditched our maps for the real-time guidance of GPS. But while this technology seems inherently helpful, it is also changing our brains and killing our built-in sense of direction. It did with some of my test readers before publishing. What I look to illustrate in this article is a clear, honest understanding about a core truth with our society.