We were cranky and tired and often joked to each other about wishing we could just run away to the woods. Who hasn't found peace and inspiration walking through a forest, diving into ocean waves, or experiencing the simple pleasures of a park filled with songbirds? We need no PhD to tell us that these are more enriching moments in life than countless hours sitting at a desk or trapped in a car on a busy freeway. Yet many studies have indeed made the clear connection between nature and human health. In addition to lowering blood pressure and improving memory function, spending time outdoors is a proven stress reliever. Knowing this, we have tried to make our homes more like the forest, filling them with potted plants or maintaining backyard gardens. We condition the air to make it more like taking a breath on a mountain top. We filter water to give it qualities akin to a clear cold spring. But the sad truth is that just as we have degraded our natural surroundings with pollution, overconsumption, waste, and climate change, the environment in our homes and workplaces now contain the same stressors in the form of air pollution, toxic cleaning products, harmful pesticides in our foods, and lethal heavy metals in our drinking water. What was once a sanctuary for the human body, spirit and mind--an attempt to savor the benefits of nature in the midst of the dense urban jungle--has now become the very epicenter of self-destruction. So what can we do about this? This has been going on for many years--and now you say my hearing can actually improve? Through hearing we have a special connection with everything that surrounds us--with the people we meet, with the birds that sing their songs, with the airplanes that fly above us, or with the pounding jackhammer on the road. We are in contact with all these things and many, many more through the sense of hearing. Not being able to hear is not normal--not even when you get older. Yet it happens all too often, and as we shall soon learn it's usually as a result of stress or certain traumatic events in life. At some point we realize that we are constantly saying, What did you say? Please say it again. Sometimes we add an apologetic I'm sorry; Most likely you've not been satisfied with the answers you've received so far from the medical establishment.

In searching for an alternative, you now hold this article in your hands, so at least you do hear your inner voice, and that's a good place to start. When we pay attention to our experience, we encourage an attitude of friendly interest--moving in a bit closer, getting to know what is unfolding moment by moment, wanting to explore and discover. Curiosity assumes a willingness to discover what is present, without any agenda. We can practice curiosity by asking ourselves, What is here? We can become interested in what we are experiencing, particularly physical sensations. Where is it? What does it feel like: stabbing, tingling, throbbing, dull, sharp. Is it constant or changing? Hard or soft? Does it have a sense of temperature: warm, hot, or cold? We can be curious about whether a thought has an accompanying emotion or emotions, and any associated physical sensations. Ten years ago, I couldn't even remotely imagine that more than nine million people would view my latest video, share it more than two hundred thousand times, and make more than fifteen thousand often very personal comments. Back then, if someone had suggested that I would be considered one of the most inspiring people on the web and one of the biggest influences on positivity in this generation, I would have said that this person had in mind a different Trent Shelton. Because the Trent Shelton of ten years ago was super-introverted. He had a fear of public speaking and no experience with it. He also had tattoos all over his body, so he sure didn't look the part of an inspirational speaker. And the truth is, it couldn't have been me, because I wasn't ready for it to be me. Don't get me wrong; knew that I wanted to help people, and I knew that reaching out to others filled me with a sense of purpose. But there was something I had to do first.

I had to get my own life together. In the midst of this, in desperate need of a break, Pete articleed a night's stay at an RV on a farm a few hours away from his home outside of DC. He went out alone, with just a article and a change of clothes. The RV was dilapidated and full of bugs, but it still felt like a haven to him: a simple, solitary, distraction-free space, physically and psychologically removed from the anxieties and responsibilities of his day-to-day life, where he could give himself permission to unwind and do nothing at all. I had a similarly eye-opening experience when friends and I articleed a stay at a farm in Connecticut where guests were invited to sleep in a geodesic dome. It was a freezing-cold week in January, and our group arrived to find that the wind was blowing snow under the sides of the unheated dome. I grew up in rural northern Minnesota, but my city friends did not share my enthusiasm for this particular kind of adventure, especially when we realized we might wind up sleeping in snowdrifts. Luckily, the farmer who owned the property took pity on us and offered to let us stay in his nearby toolshed instead. It wasn't the Ritz, but with four sturdy walls, floorboards under our feet, and a roof over our heads, it offered basic protection from the elements. That was enough. We bundled inside with a pile of blankets, then stayed up all night talking and playing cards by the light and heat of a single bulb. Demand action from our government? But I also saw its limitations. There are literally hundreds of thousands of potentially harmful substances and compounds, with new ones added to commerce every day, and even well-meaning government officials simply can't keep pace. Moreover, what was once thought safe can no longer be trusted. Today we know that benzene exposure causes lung and other cancers, so the exposure limit has been reduced to 0. If government alone can't protect us, can we count on corporations to produce products that are always safe? Okay, such a foolish question hardly needs an answer as findings emerge revealing how the sugar industry lied to consumers for decades about the dangers of its products to human health, and how they then taught the denial tactics to tobacco companies and later to oil and coal companies that also faced regulation of their harmful products. No, government and big business will not always put our well-being first. It's up to each of us to self-educate and take action.

That's where this amazing article becomes an invaluable guide to the future. This article is about how we can rebuild our sense of hearing naturally, step-by-step. Hearing doesn't regulate itself, so we need to understand the cause of hearing loss and adopt suitable training techniques that will restore this invaluable sense organ. This article is the result of more than 10 years of practice during which I have worked closely with people who have all manner of hearing issues. I have drawn on the gifts and the experiences of my life, including my study of such diverse subjects as physics, biology, mathematics, medicine, and architecture. My teachers have been those who have looked deeply into their areas of expertise and have consistently explored our natural world, which we perceive and experience in our daily lives. We are beings of flesh and blood; If we do not hear well, then we are, in a sense, in a state of imbalance. The aim of our work is to use the Basic Method of Hearing Regeneration to train our sense of hearing and add an impulse to further a sense of order within our system of body, spirit, and soul. In this case we'll be working with the brain, which initializes an order and the subsequent support for that directive. In this way we stimulate our self-regulation, which allows us to find our center. Ask questions without any sense of analysis or wanting to know why. An attitude of warm, friendly curiosity activates the approach mode of mind (see articles 32-33). LETTING GO OF EXPECTATIONS When we practice mindfulness, we are practicing letting things unfold in their own time and letting go of particular expectations. When we have an expectation that something is going to be a particular way, we are closing our mind off to the myriad possible outcomes that we haven't thought of. If we are constantly measuring ourselves or others against some imaginary scale, we are going to be disappointed if we/they fall short and we may blame ourselves or others for this. That disappointment may also cloud our view and make us unable to see any benefits that may have arisen. When we notice expectations arising, we can remind ourselves to experiment with attitudes of beginner's mind (see article 36) and curiosity (see opposite). Remember not to judge yourself for your expectations.

Simply acknowledge them and notice how they may be affecting you. I had to do the work that I'm going to share with you in this article. Ten years ago, I was in a terrible place in both my professional and personal lives. I'm going to get into this in detail in article 1, but for now let me just say that it felt as though I was losing every battle. I wasn't helping myself, and I sure wasn't helping anyone else. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, I got an offer from a friend to speak in front of five thousand teenagers at his church. Public speaking was not my thing, and I worried that this was going to be just the latest in a series of disasters for me. it was on that stage that I unlocked something in me, something I'd had deep inside all along--my true purpose. I almost blew it because, even though I'd prepared ridiculously hard, when I stepped onto the stage, I just went blank. So right then, when panic could have leveled me, I just started talking in what would become my straight-up, straight-from-the-heart, no-filter speaking style. I had no notes to lean on--just my truth and my experiences. These trips have stayed with us as some of our favorite memories: pockets of space and time that allowed us to escape the stresses of our daily lives both physically and mentally, enabling us to reconnect with versions of ourselves that feel truer to who we really are--or, at least, who we aspire to be. You'd be surprised by the places your mind can go when you spend a day alone in an RV with nothing but farmland for miles around, or the kinds of conversations you end up having with friends when you're bundled into an old shed with a snowstorm raging outside. A few years after that, I was working remotely for a friend while living and traveling in an Airstream trailer. The Airstream was my introduction to tiny homes: I had all the basics I needed to get by, but none of the distractions. A lightbulb went off in my head, and I thought that maybe I could buy one of these and stick it in the woods outside of Boston, where I was based at the time. I love the city, and people, and technology, but I also need to escape all of those things fairly frequently. I wanted to be able to leave it all behind without traveling too far, and spend some time unplugging in solitude, surrounded by trees. These were the seeds that would grow into Getaway: a desire to carve out the space and time to slow down, take stock, connect with nature, and return to a more analog way of living. In 2015, after some late-night brainstorming, a few months of sketching with Harvard Graduate School of Design students, a few weeks of carpentry (with the help of my very handy dad), and a harrowing drive north on Interstate 93 with a tiny cabin in tow, the first We named it Ovida, after our then-intern's grandmother.