Why Nature Is My Favorite Medicine

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My Wonderfully Human Emotions

Individualized mental health struggles are as unique and diverse as the humans in which they inhabit. Or maybe they’re not, who knows. All I know is that I have bipolar; a condition in which the highs are high and the lows are low, but no one ever talks about it.

They say the brain in a manic state lights up like fire the same way a brain does on cocaine. Impractically fixated on multiple tasks with burning desires, the human heart races at the speed of lightning. Endorphins dance in drenched sunlit euphoria coated by an ability to do anything and everything at once with not an inkling of possibility to halt any irrational decision conjured. Nothing can stop me. Nothing. Not my boss, or lover, or parent — I’m soaked in superpower emotions, living in a constant state of purple-prosed grandiosity. Sounds cool, right? No. It’s royally destructive.

Depression is a lonely concept that, thankfully, more people are starting to understand better. For me, it’s more or less a dark hovering cloud of ill-empathized existentialism than it is a feeling of deep sadness. Hardly do I feel like interacting with friends for long periods and much of the once-beautiful aspects of life seem utterly meaningless and forgetful. It’s a dreadful emotional experience that can often last for months — or years.

However, the bleeding aspect between the two polarized emotions that sheers a remedying capability seen by nothing else is, my friends, the pure, organic and mesmerizing sunshine. Leaves falling on the deck of my patio. The smell of fresh pine needles at the bank of a riverbed. The way the salty ocean water makes my hair more curly. It’s these little things that add up into one big therapy session.

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Connections with nature are biologically linked to happiness and ecological sustainability. So much, in fact, that our emotional depended-ness to the natural world is unique amongst other psychological links in our lives. When I feel connected to my natural home, Mother Earth, I’m increasingly more likely to live a sustainable lifestyle in support to environmental causes that educate and engage others with the natural world. Long forms of natural interaction, such as camping, put me through problem-solving challenges into where self-esteem and a sense of self-efficacy are profoundly improved. Moreover, while it’s true the most physical activities tend to decrease stress, nature tends to augment those impacts ten fold. I feel liberated.

Will zero intention of coming across crude with hippy, tippy jargon — I do mean everything I say. There is nothing more freeing, more rejuvenating that time spent in the outdoors; be it a mountain or a rocking chair on father’s back porch. There are multiple other resources in which I feed off to cope with this perfectly imperfect human disorder, too. I have my medication(s) readily on deck in the bathroom counter, and my therapist is, quite literally, my favorite human of all time. However, nothing compares what is felt in the forest or desert or jungle scraping the dirt from my fingertips.

There are days where all I can do is merely lay still in the warmest, sunniest places possible. Minimally clothed, sucking sweet nectar from seasonal fruits like a child fixated on their tiny popsicle. Sticky strains of pomegranate juice leaving collective stains on my fingertips, hardening by the sun. Those small blades of grass pricking my necks, shoulders, back, and thighs as I soak in the feeling of warmth hugging my eyelids. Light breeze, dirty knees, and a skimpy tee. Everything feels in place, you see. No matter the which of the two polarization my body threads itself to, my mind is quiet and my body still. Most importantly — I feel in control.

And it feels so damn good.

What Happens When You Take a Company Offsite to Mexico

Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
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Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer

Tulum, Mexico

Where was the greatest place you’ve ever awoken at? Was is your grandmother’s cozy muffin-ridden guest room, a tropical cruise stateroom, or an expansive space tapping between dreaming and the day? Perhaps it’s a hazy space that puts the guest in the wonder of wherever life will take you; space where reality has yet to creep into sudden change. Villa H20, a boutique hotel nestled between palm trees and grass cabanas that the Moment family stayed at in Tulum, feels like you’ve never left that first moment between sleep and awake. It felt unreal — the melting of land and sea, the ethereal mixing of the senses.

Remote culture means hustling in even the most exotic of locations; toying with some perpetual vacation syndrome — even the easiest of days means waking up at the crack of dawn to go heads down on support, write product copy, or photoshop graphic renders. Then, as soon as the warm afternoon sun blankets the jungle, we set out for an adventure. Perhaps it’s a catamaran ride splashing against the cozy Caribbean seas or an expedition to the famous turquoise cenotes just across the horizon. Whichever we choose — Moment plays hard.

Many times, us humans want our tender moments to be temporarily unbothered. We wish to escape the violent snarl of a 9-5, the dreariness of routine, and the fidgety nature of everyday life. Much like the moon, we want to rip through ever-changing tides to feel full again, like escaping amongst the panthers in the jungles of Mexico. These natural blessings create a heightened sense of awareness, leaving our souls replenished and full. With a large group of nearly 40 individuals searching for that same purpose, there comes an inevitable bond between work and play.

If you talk about doing something for long enough, you’ll come to a point whether you either have to see it through or let it go. The fantasy of taking a company-wide offsite to an exotic international destination was one of those things. Intending to drive our revenue 2x over a year ago, we mustered the drive to ramshackle that very opportunity.

Mexico is a fascinating place where leisure exists, which is why we quickly jumped on the invitation as soon as we had the idea. It reminds us that we’re happier, stronger, and more focused when we bond together as a team in a thoughtfully curated and gently placed landscape that exists in harmony with nature.

New Journal Post on Norway

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The Lofoten Islands | Discovering Norway's Unbeatable Beauty

Norway is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful countries on planet Earth. The vast mountainous backdrops, snow-capped vistas across the horizon, vibrant hues from the aurora borealis, and a stunning cap to the remarkable simplicity that is Oslo city. Travelers from around the globe come and witness and photograph Norway's absolute beauty, but some of the most gorgeous spots you'll see lite deep within the Lofoten Islands, located just North of the Arctic Circle. You'll never forget your first approach to the islands' gaping epicness; their tall, craggy profiles stand against the sky like some spiky sea dragon. The beauty of this place is just staggering.

Read my new journal post on Norway, link here.

Alvord Desert

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Alvord Hot Springs, OR

Reyce and I roamed the wide open roads in Oregon remote Alvord Desert just a few weekends ago. It was amazing to say the least… here’s a few of my favorite #120film shots. Oh yeah! And we got our very OWN hot spring bath at our campground.