About a month ago, I was invited to return to Seattle for another Microsoft conference as part of my role as an Office 365 Ambassador. On this particular business trip, we were treated to another non-stop whirlwind of information about technology, meetings and time with my fellow online brethren, and a few field trips.
While many went on a trip to a local brewery, a few of us opted not to go (I don’t drink, so it didn’t really make any sense,) and instead opted to hop in a van and journey to Snoqualmie Falls, a gorgeous natural landmark right outside Seattle. I’ll stop short of showing you “vacation photos” of the space, but I wanted to talk about why this beautiful journey was so important.
Not the least of which is the fact that you may recognize this as the lodge from the early 90’s TV show, Twin Peaks.
In a world where we’re plugged into a device every single minute of the day, where we feel commanded to share every minute of our lives on social media and to remain “plugged in” every single minute of the day, I’m more determined than ever to step away from my overflowing inbox and the multiple devices that line my bag and just…be. The minute we rounded the corner of the falls and heard the rushing water, I remembered a very vital need that I have, one that doesn’t get met very often: the necessity for a connection with nature. The rushing water, the sunshine beaming on my skin, the lush vegetation pumping oxygen into my face: I need it. I want it. And so, I soaked it all in.
I grabbed some friends — some known, like Sarah Conley of StyleIt, some new, like the lovely Nicole Loher and Serena Norr of MomTrends, and went for a walk down one of the hiking paths, and the only usage for our phones and cameras (most of these photos were actually taken with a Nokia 930, which has a SICK camera) was to capture the beauty and the awe-inspiring display nature had decided to arrange for us.
And also, you know, to take some photos of ourselves for posterity.
Especially, you know, the silly moments.
I could feel my breathing slowing, my heart ceasing its incessant race. My brain stopped thinking about deadlines, I stopped caring about what my hair looked like in photos, I snapped images with no makeup because I wanted to capture what my face looked like at that moment.
I think this is one of my favorite photos of myself ever. Wow, I look happy here.
If you get a chance to visit this paradise on earth, please do it. There’s an amazing restaurant with delectable food and a fantastic spa, which I’d love to hit the next time I return. Because I’ll be back. I’ve caught my breath and I plan on holding onto it for a while. But, when I lose it, I know where to find it again. Outside, with rushing water and lush vegetation…a moment unplugged, one of the heartbeats along my life that will live with me forever.
Now, if I may be so bold as to make a suggestion, go outside and play. Grab the camera, take a moment, and catch your breath. Find a breathing space of your own, unplug, and give yourself a moment’s peace.