How Heading Outside Can Help You Live a More Authentic Life (Lori Halliday, Congruency Coach)

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How Heading Outside Can Help You Live a More Authentic Life (Lori Halliday, Congruency Coach)

Authenticity is one of those whole-life emotional skills that makes a big difference. In a world that rewards us for putting our best foot forward every day and presenting that social media ready life, living authentically can be really hard. Learn how to align what’s really going on with you with good boundaries, and you might feel more settled and successful.

But can heading outside help you build an authentic and aligned life? Congruency coach Lori Halliday says it can, and leans on equine therapy to help her clients build those skills. In this episode Lori gives us a framework for understanding why authentic living matters and how spending time in nature can offer a gentle on ramp to learning how to do it.

Some of the good stuff:

[3:02] Lori Halliday’s favorite outdoor space

[6:18] How Lori became someone who likes to go outside

[8:24] What is “congruency?”

[9:45] Why horses are perfect for learning this

[14:01] The link between heading outside and self-care

[17:09] The release brought by nature

[21:03] Why equine therapy helps build alignment

[31:04] Do you have to get this from a horse?

[39:00] Can you build a congruency muscle?

[41:00] Tips for doing this now

[45:00] Lori’s favorite outdoor gear

[49:14] Lori’s favorite outdoor moment

Connect with this episode:

Listen to this episode on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.

Here’s an edited transcript of our conversation on The Humans Outside Podcast.

Amy Bushatz: No matter who you are or where you go heading outside, even for just a few minutes is well worth it. Welcome to Humans Outside where we’re using the Humans Outside 365 Challenge to build a life habit around spending time in nature while learning from. Fascinating outdoor mind guests. I’m Amy Bushatz. I’ve let curiosity be my guide as a journalist for 19 years, but life, including my husband’s injuries from military service had us looking for a better way to live. So we moved sight unseen to Alaska to see if an outdoor focused life was the answer. Since September, 2017, I’ve spent at least 20 consecutive minutes outside every single day, no matter what to explore, how nature can change my life. Ready to hear from experts and outdoor lovers who make heading into nature just a part of who they are while we work to do the same? Let’s go.

It can be tempting when we head outside to think that we are going to shape what we find there into doing what we want or need, you know, tame the land or conquer the peak. But the more time I spend in nature, the more I find that not only is it nature that is changing me, but the few times I feel like I do tame or conquer something I have to stop and acknowledged that it wasn’t so much me doing it as it being allowed to happen. As I note every time I run to a new mountain, I am not the boss. The mountain is the boss. There’s power in that relationship with nature where it’s less about me abusing it to get what I need and more like a respectful relationship where I find that if I ask nicely, I do get what I need, whether that be food or just emotional support.

It’s about. not hammering the world into submission. It’s about awareness. Today’s guest knows all about that from personal experience and working with her clients, she sees that relationship play out daily between not just humans and being in nature, but specifically with humans and horses, Lori Halliday is a congruency coach. Don’t worry. She’s gonna define for us what that is with a mental health background who works in equine or horse therapy. And today she’s going to share not just her journey, but the most important things we can learn from awareness and leaning into heading outside to help us become. Lori. Welcome to Humans Outside.

Lori Halliday: Thank you so much, Amy. I’m excited to be here and I love to connect with my fellow nature lovers who are cracking the codes by heading outdoors.

Amy Bushatz: So we always start our episodes asking our guests to describe their favorite outdoor space. Like we are hanging out there with you having this chat, having this conversation somewhere outside that you love. So if you don’t mind describe for us where we are with you today.

Lori Halliday: I feel like it’s a dating show. So where, , we’re gonna date nature. So where we would be is around a campfire in kind of south southern, Southwest Missouri, near Trout Lake, singing songs, playing the guitar, roasting marshmallows, catching fire flies. That’s where we’d be.

Amy Bushatz: I love it. And it’s, there’s something about that campfire location just in general that’s so good for conversation. Uh, And you know, marshmallow has never hurt anybody, so – at least not in my experience. So so there, there you go. Um, and as a side note, just for everybody, you’re actually physically located right now in my hometown, not very far from where I grew up in Rio Del Mar, Uh, which is a part of Santa Cruz, California, for people who are more familiar with the broader area. And I believe this to be a perfect place, a perfect location.

Lori Halliday: Yes, there’s there is something really blissful about 75 and sunny most of the time. I can’t deny that. And so the offer and the invitation, the draw from nature to come and participate is very high. And it’s so attractive. And so magnetic that it’s a bit irresistible.

Amy Bushatz: And I have to say that my favorite kind of whether maybe it’s because I grew up right there on the coast is the swirling misting fog that comes and goes between those bright patches of sunshine. If anyone’s ever spent time in San Francisco and the summer, they know what I’m talking about.

but it’s it’s my favorite thing in the world. It is just deliciously, pensive. I love it.

Lori Halliday: It’s such a moment, right? It’s it’s, it’s an alchemical. It’s, you’re watching transformation happen right before your eyes. And it’s in the category of something that I love to do, which is simply sky gazing. And, we could do it at night. We could do it a day. It definitely has to do with clouds. Yeah.

Amy Bushatz: Yeah. We had a guest on, in season five who I think he called it sky swimming. You know, and I thought that was just such a beautiful term for that because it really is like going for a swim, but, just laying on your back and watching the clouds cloud swimming might have been the term.

Lori Halliday: Yeah. I like this idea of swimming too, because it’s really immersive. And if we can get into places in nature where we settle our systems and our parasympathetic systems are regulated, then we can kind of drop into more expanded states where we can take in more of the sky and play with these feelings of allowing ourselves to.

Submerged in it or swimming in it sort of, turns our thinking upside down on spatial reasoning and, and those feelings. And we get so particular about our containers and how we operate because we live in such a structured world and structured environments that don’t really mirror nature itself.

Amy Bushatz: So let’s back up just a little bit. Tell us before we get rolling into your expertise, just how did you become someone who likes to go outside? How did this become your connection?

Lori Halliday: Yeah I, I realize as I was looking into this inquiry with you and thinking about these questions about what is a draw outside, I think it has a lot for me to do with the privilege to grow up in the Midwest. I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and to have the privilege from my family support to attend summer camps. And so I think that was kind of my point of entry, the privilege to go to summer camp. And since then, I’ve done a lot of research about summer camps and the effect of humans gathering in nature.

And uh, we’ve hosted 82 camps here over the last few decades. And, And so I’m a big believer in cracking the code or making a point of entry to humans through summer camps and programs like this, where we go from our urban or suburban or whatever the environments are like into nature. And we are immersed for that one week. And we rise and fall to the rhythms of, of the nature where we are and the birds and all of the elements. And I, I just, I was so in love with it. And even though it was honestly, I’m internally introverted and externally extroverted, so going away and going to camp for an introvert wasn’t really, that didn’t feel that fun and that safe.

It was pretty challenging for me to try to relax and over that one week but um, I felt really, held by nature. And by the privilege to get in the lake, swim in the lake, you know, for the privilege to have my feet in the sand and for God’s sake, the privilege to sit on horses.

Amy Bushatz: And we will get to that very, very shortly. I, I know, I know we will. Um, And I promised in your intro that you are gonna tell us what congruency coaching is what that means define congruency for us. This was not a term that I was overly familiar. Before you and I connected. So I’m looking forward to your explanation.

Lori Halliday: Thank you. I became highly sensitized to that particular term when I began these relationships with horse partners here at the ranch and before the horses were here, we were already studying. And so. Humans as predators have a sort of, even if we’re vegans, we are born predators, we’re made for hunting the way our eyes are positioned on our bodies.

And then we have horses who are prey animals. They have their eyes situated different on their bodies so that they can scan the horizon. They are the hunted and we are the hunter. So we have kind of a base psychological difference that we start with. If we wanna look at it through this paradigm, through this particular lens and it leads us a bit into how we could teach one another about different aspects or awaken one another to different aspects. So horses being highly sensitive and always having to pay attention to the full 360 degree horizon start to really become highly sensitive to anything that is not as it appears. So for instance, if a wolf came in sheep’s clothing, a horse would know that that was totally wrong and that there was danger there and one of the horses would sense that and alert everyone to that through a vibrational field.

And so we, we now know through all kinds of interesting contemporary science that the gut is full of neural matter. It is a huge sensing, biometric sensing device and, and the gut of the horse is the length of multiple football fields. And they have this massive biometrical sensing source field. You can see it in the Heart Math Institute work where they, they just created a huge toroidal field of energy around them. And so they are a big perceiving machine. And what they’re looking for as a prey animal is they’re looking for incongruency. So anything that doesn’t fit or isn’t correct in the field or isn’t as it appears at a sort of foundational level for horses, brings them into alert or excitation. So I think it’s really the horses who, who helped me tune into this finite aspect of alignment, of walking the walk of feeling that what you are truly feeling and what you’re truly holding can be present in the moment with you. And these are kind of challenging ideas because it, it puts us to the test of dropping into what we’re really feeling. But the beauty with horses as teachers and partners is they don’t really have any preference about what it is you’re feeling. They’re not like, wow, I wish Amy was more on the chipper happy girl side today. They don’t think like that. If you, if you come in and you are carrying sadness and you just breathe oh, down into your belly and you’re just your body’s kind of slumped and you just, oh, you look over at Puppet the little pony and you say Puppet I’m sad.

And then Puppet’s gonna take a big breath, a big razzle, and he’s gonna relax. And downregulate because you are as you really are. You’re appearing, as you truly are. Your vibrations are aligned, they are congruent. And and that’s all they’re looking for. So they don’t have a preference for what we carry, but they do have a preference that we will be aligned with what we carry.

Amy Bushatz: So then congruency coaching is learning how to be in alignment with what the state you are surrounded by?

Lori Halliday: Yeah. If I have to break it down into something really practically, I would say what happens usually for quite a while with human partners who are doing congruency coaching with us and I, by us, I mean, there’s different, partners here, including the horses.

They are yeah they’re moving into closer to their own heart’s desires and therefore they turn towards self and we do a lot of self care in the beginning of the practices. There’s a lot of turning back to self and it’s not that like, I mean, it’s kind of popularized the idea of self care is kind of popularized now. But the deep ritual, and the practice of self care and the accountability of self care and the aligned resonant field of self care are not always fully practiced and fully implemented. And we go after that so that whoever it is, is coming resourced to their game and to, to their table.

Amy Bushatz: Because. We think about self care in popular culture as a spa day, or sort of these gifting yourself. I don’t know, even goods, right. Purchasing something or something like that. But not in terms of this work that you are talking about. So stepping back from the, you know, if we can throw out that um, you know, maybe getting your nails done is getting in touch with your, with your self at some point, but if we can just put that aside as a, as what we mean by self-care in this conversation, what is self-care to you?

If you could expand more on that. Um, And then what you see as this connection between that self-care and spending time outside, like what is the what’s the link?

Lori Halliday: Well, interestingly for me, I have the great privilege to work outside. And so I have chosen a kind of caring for myself in my my passion and my desire to be outside and to be with horses.

I allowed that to, and others helped me in creating space to go forward into the field. And so the privilege and the the effect of being with nature every day are blended into my life’s work. And so, I mean, if you’re an outdoor lover and there’s any way to blend with nature in your work life, I would highly recommend it to keep moving towards that in whatever ways that that looks like. For some people that may mean having more days where they’re working or officing from home and on those days they are, flexing their hours so that they are doing their run or their swim or their soak or whatever they love to do, gardening and then working at another time. But however, you can work it in to keep, to keep weaving it and, and bringing it in.

And yes, when I get time off and I do need time off, because I am in a hard on your body kind of outdoor working lifestyle as a ranch, as a rancher. So, so then I do take time myself and I go and I study with my beloved teachers who I really get a great download from, by being physically with. And usually when I’m doing that, there’s water there.

I’m getting into the water and always, it is always in nature and rooted in nature. And so I am also respiting into other kinds of mother nature, other kinds of being held by mother.

Amy Bushatz: So I’m, when you, when you use that term held by mother it brought to my mind this idea of turning to going outside to fill whatever that void is that speaks to you. And so while some people listening to this may not resonate with that particular phrase, if you think about what you experience just by going for a walk in the woods. And we’ve talked a lot in the past here about that moment after you’re outside I don’t know, maybe 10 minutes where it’s, it’s almost like a shift and suddenly you’re just like, you take this big sigh and it’s never, like, you never plan to take a sigh. It’s just sort of this load falls off in this moment of release where you are suddenly hearing the birds that maybe your brain was too full to hear a few minutes ago, or you’re noticing things that you weren’t noticing before, or maybe this is because day over day, you’ve gone to the same path and now your awareness is, has increased. And those things if, if I’m understanding how you are explaining this concept of self care correctly um, and even of congruency correctly are an awareness and an alignment with being where you are, and using nature to fill that bucket.

Lori Halliday: Yes. Yes. My, my dear friend, Dr. Kevin O’Connor got to live with the Inuits in um, near the north pole and the grandmothers there talked a lot about something called wetico, which is a kind of darkness or a kind of sickness that has come over humans and it’s in relationship to technologies and to all of the structures and systems that are hurting the planet and that are hurting people. And we are all quite bought into all of it. We’re quite plugged in. And even we could stretch into our own culture and talk about just for a moment, the constructs of the patriarchy how certain kinds of brown and black bodied people did not have access to nature, to water. And they don’t know that well about mother, even though they perhaps most richly most recently come from mother . And, and so there are all these ways that the systems, the patriarchy, the wetico, whatever, the technology, whatever you wanna call it has taken the animal, the horse, us, has taken us out of mother out from the, from the arms of mother and put us in these stalls and in these structures and we have forgotten our ways. We don’t rest well, we don’t eat well, we don’t breathe well. We don’t know how to rest our eyes, our actual ocular eye functions have changed which creates a certain kind of excitation in the body.

The kind of looking we do on screens, and shapes the eye in a certain way. And The bodies are very different. Most adults and youth who come here cannot climb a fence. And we have to spend a lot of time learning how to climb a fence, which brings their body back into the kind of abduction and movements through moving the body on a transverse plane that it would take to even think about mounting a horse.

And, And so, um, it’s, it’s, it is a um, it is a discipline to wake up and remember that you are the one who’s in control of the, these structures and constructs. You could literally stop listening to the podcast right now. I don’t recommend it. But you know, later to take off your later, go outside later, go outside of wherever you are, whatever temperature it is.

Take your shoes off and just put your feet on the ground. The the closest patch of dirt, grass water, whatever is the closest thing, and just get your feet in there. And if there, if you’re really lucky and there’s a garden near put your hands into the soil enough that the soil is underneath your nails.

Because the microbiome in the dirt heals things that are chronic in our culture, like Crohn’s disease uh, depression um, uh, fibromyalgia, like things that are pervasive are totally supported and healed by dirt. I mean, it’s like, it’s like mother is definitely trying to get us to come back. You know?

Amy Bushatz: Yeah.

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You have mentioned, of course and we’ve talked about already your specific work with horses. And you note on your website that working with horses and learning a relationship with them can help you understand relationships elsewhere in life. So with other humans with rest of nature more broadly um, and I’m wondering if you could talk a little bit about that.

How and why does a relationship with the horse do that? Does it go back to the, that energy field we were discussing earlier?

Lori Halliday: Yeah it’s, it’s a lot about that. And it’s also about all the pieces we’ve been talking about. Like when we become focused on our own self, our own wishes and desires our own health, our own self care, and we become an aligned individual and we decide we’re gonna take that energy and that practice.

And we are now going to stand in the face of, 1300 pounds of prey animal . It’s an agreement. It takes an alignment and a focus to get into practice with an equine, which is like a small dragon. And, And so. Yes, all of these parts have to come into play in one’s own body of an aligned self of a congruent self of how I feel and look, and act and how it is perceived outside of me by others in a way that is undeniable.

And that is what will create the kind of relationship, movement, draw, drive, dance with a horse. But if I come in there and I’m acting happy, but I’m really blue or I’m acting relaxed, but I’m really not confident at all. it’s just gonna be a, a mess. And so all of these practices of coming home to self of knowing thy self, of aligning this self of having a self who you are in such a great relationship with, because you’ve done so much care, you’ve invested in the time, the practice, the support, the food, whatever the things are.

And there’s a trusted friend there in self. Then when you come to be with another- a friend, a lover, a horse. Well, the person, the one who appears is the congruent one and there is something to be in relationship with there and so it is an incredible leadership training. It creates outlandish magnetism. It makes things very clear.

Amy Bushatz: Yeah. Because I’m like, I’m just sitting here thinking about all of the ways. Well,, we, you know, we, we sort of laud fake it till you make it right. But also when you see relationships fall apart, or having trouble leading in your organization or whatever. And you think about it, it often does come back to this idea of inauthenticity.

That authenticity is magnetic and people can sort of sniff out when you are being a faker. And that’s certainly true in your close, you know, your more intimate relationships with a, with a partner or with your kids. And so much of that, like I just sitting here wondering how much of that is stems from this idea that you’re not being authentic with yourself first, that you’re not acknowledging who you are and what it is that you want as a person, or you’re burying you know sort of down in your inner self, any sort of challenges that you just would rather not think about. uh, and not face towards. And that, that really prevents you from having the ability to have those successful relationships outward. But back to what we’re talking about, that having a, a. non-communicative animal, right? Like the, an the horse isn’t gonna argue about what you’re having for dinner tonight or, if you stole the covers in the bed. Okay. Having an animal teach you that is maybe a gentle on ramp, courtesy of nature to figure out how to do that.

Lori Halliday: Yeah. Yeah. And how to feel act, and move like what you think you are trying to say.

Like, because we have ideas, we have intentions and it’s kind of like, well maybe you should tell your face and what is your body doing? And you know, you know what I mean? Like it’s, it’s like how to, how to get all the parts aligned and then how to practice, like practice with each other, and practice with a partner and practice with a friend and all the.

Walking on the ground, running on the ground, running together, over things, making agreements, trying new things, creating new pathways in the fantastically plastic brain, creating new neural pathways for more integrated ways of functioning, learning, and experiencing through the experience, getting the experiential learning benefit of doing it, and learning it while you do it in a regulated, aligned body that can uptake information.

Amy Bushatz: Yeah. And as you just said, even just get, having your face, communicate what you want it to say. Why is that so hard?

Lori Halliday: Yeah takes practice. It takes practice. And especially, I think after two years, of Covid, you know people are quite socially not they’re feeling inconfident they’re lacking confidence in their body language, in their social capacity.

And so I think it’s more of a time than ever to connect with people, connect with nature connect with ways of learning, how to align, whether that’s your yoga, or your therapist, or you engage in practicing with horses or do congruency coaching to keep aligning with self so that you can find the most aligned way to go into the things that you love and to be, as you pointed out the most authentic tone of yourself, even though we are all feeling a little warbly and a little like weekend warriors for the game. Yeah.

Amy Bushatz: What you noted about COVID and being out of practice, I think is a really important point because as someone who’s worked from home behind a computer for more than a decade, I can confirm that I have lost the ability to control my face in public because it just don’t have to do it.

And people so rarely see me on video. We do more video calls than we used to, but I have noticed my face is my internal monologue. And sometimes that’s not, that’s very authentic, but some, sometimes that’s not the authenticity you need to have in that particular meeting. And so, you know, I just uh, yeah, and being able to practice how to have that in a whole life perspective. Because also like my internal monologue is not necessarily reflective of my actual long term feelings. And so to be able to sync those things and then communicate them, not just within my face, but with my body language um, is I think a really important skill that not a lot of us have the ability to do while receiving the kind of feedback that you get from an animal such as a horse.

Right? Like they’re not gonna, again, yell at you about the covers. They’re just going to be like no, or yes. Is that your experience?

Lori Halliday: Yeah. And it’s paradoxical too. Isn’t it? It’s like, you, it’s in the sort of base language of the horse. They go towards things and then go away. They go towards things of interest and then they go away.

And so we could learn from that by allowing ourselves to notice that we’re doing our, our act, interesting act uh, responsive facial body language action, rock back, take a breath, retreat from it. Now that you’ve noticed it, rock back literally onto your heels and take a breath and retreat from it, and then come forward and still your face and go back to active listening.

And so I think that it’s never a, this or that, that if that’s what the horses have always taught me, you know, or not always, but yes, always this is what the horses are always teaching me is that life is paradoxical. And the old, the older I get, the more razors edge the paradox appears to me and so I think it’s both Amy. I think that you can do your reaction, your body language reaction, which in this case you’re saying is like a sort of internal facial reaction talk . Which I do too. You can always know what I’m thinking about. My heart is on my sleeve. I’m extremely transparent. And that is just how this horse rolls.

But So, so yes, I think it’s good to like, let it come up. Don’t shame it like, well, there it is. Take a breath. Rock back, soften your face and go back to active listening or whatever you’re doing, cooking, whatever act, active, cooking, whatever you’re doing, jogging. Because these patterns that we get into are not bad or wrong. They are, as you pointed out, they’re actually a part of another communication and another layer and another dialogue. And so they do have a place. And I, I um, a lot with um, humans and horses I feel that some softer ways into putting our arm around parts and healing parts can be with this focus of blending.

So that we can break out of the paradigms that are so black and white and we can trust the truth, which is the paradoxical nature of life and of nature. And we can just broaden a little and kinda hold the paradox um, in, in our maturity, we can start to hold the paradox.

Amy Bushatz: So, I wanna talk about ways that people can find this feedback without working with a horse. Maybe with other animals, or maybe even just with a space such as we talk about in forest bathing, because unfortunately for better or for worse, not everyone has access to to horses the way that would be wonderful if they did based off of what we’re talking about today.

So it, I mean, is it possible to get this maybe from a dog or elsewhere?

Lori Halliday: Yeah. And from some of the things we’ve talked about that are sort of the ethos of the horse world like approach and and retreat. Like it may be that in the mornings on the way to work, you drive by this certain river or this water or whatever. And that’s a part of a rhythm where you go towards the water and you know, maybe you don’t, you don’t even stop. I don’t know but there you are moving towards her. Her is mother. And then and then you’re off to work. And then in the midday, you only have 20 minutes. You go out as far as you can, and you end up at a park and then there you are in mother. And then you run back to work and you know, so I don’t know what the many ways are to go towards mother in a day, but see how many you could do in a day. Like the ocean moving towards the shore and moving back away, moving towards the shore and back away, take up one of her rhythms like that towards your attraction of nature.

Maybe it is, oh, I’m so drawn to, to this one Little park and this one tree, and I’m gonna now get in a little rhythm in a cycle where I’m gonna go there on Fridays during lunch, and I’m gonna go and sit and I’m gonna just let my bottom and my legs be on the roots and on the ground of this tree. And I’ll ask her permission first. Tree, can I sit and breathe with you? And if she says, yes, you could do that. And then you could start just a gentle communing there. Maybe you eat lunch, maybe you sketch, maybe you paint. Yeah, I, if you live with anyone or near anyone who has a garden, they would love for you to be intrusive and ask to come and do weeding, and if you live near me, you can call me after the show and get on over here, put your gloves on and help a sister out.

Um, Yeah, that you would be, I think most gardeners are there for the love of mother. And you could penetrate any of these environments and become a tender, a tender of mother. So, I mean, of course water, any water nearby for me, it’s on, I’m constantly trying to go back out towards the edges and towards the water.

Amy Bushatz: Yeah it’s that draw, it’s that draw you feel it’s almost like a mag magnetic draw? I think for many people in the region I’m in it’s the mountains. It’s not even for so many people, it’s not even climbing the mountains. I hear all the time from people who’ve moved. Oh, I miss the mountains. I miss the mountains. And these are not people who spend a lot of time up in the mountains. So what they miss is not the act of going into or of experiencing the back country. What they miss is the visual cues, the visual awareness and the presence of those mountains. . And and so it’s this magnetic draw and I feel that way about the ocean that, I mean, you know, tell me there’s a, or hint and an ocean nearby, and I am like a moth to the flame. And it’s a magnetic draw for me.

Lori Halliday: Yes. Yes. Me too. I, I really have it. And I was feeling mountain while you were talking about it, the way that mountains hold spaces how vertical they are, how it akins to our notions of spirit and father and mountain, and these great stable and kind of triangular are also transformative um, aspects and um, they definitely are not a thing. They are an entity, they are an energy. They have a, an energy, which in many cultures is viewed more as like, an embodiment or a characterization, not a mass. And, and so I, of course people are there in in the resident field of the mountain and then when they are away from the blessed one, they feel the distance.

Amy Bushatz: Yeah. Yeah.

Lori Halliday: Just like you in the ocean, just like you and the ocean.

Amy Bushatz: Yes. And, and what you, you know, okay so in the summer mountains are well, they can be very jagged and, and rocky, but in where we live, many of them become lower down very green. So lots of trees with leaves on them. And it’s sort of, if I’m gonna just like visually describe how the mountain holds space to, to the phrase you used, it would be lumpy. It’s very lumpy. Okay. In the winter time, when snow has come down and the green is gone the thing I notice is the geometry. So it is these almost triangles sections within the somewhat triangle sort of mountain that is very noticeable in the wintertime. And you gotta be like, like, you know, it’s there in the summer because you saw it in the winter so you can notice it if you want to. And I’ve stopped to look, you know, can I see that in the summer? And you sort of can, but wow. It’s just, it’s really very upfront in the wintertime and there’s something and now we’re sort of going into this mathematical space where I am a writer, not so much with the math, but there’s something about seeing those patterns that is comforting in a way it is the weirdest thing.

Lori Halliday: No, it is not. I mean, it’s wonderfully weird. It is sacred geometry. And it’s something so ancient inside of you, Amy, who is observing this sacred geometry. And just today, I was listening to Dr. John Amaral in a class talking about how the more we understand about atoms and the nature of energy is that it is not as we originally thought, like this kind of ball bouncing, bouncing around as we originally imagined them. It is more like a fluid crystalline nature.

And so I think the essence of energy and of our three-dimensional body and existence and energy is some kind of crystalline nature, which is basically like a sacred geometry of mountains. Like what you’re seeing there. And that crystals and these shapes are as they are the oldest thing that we know of you know? and um, so yeah, yeah. It’s pretty. It’s pretty good old stuff.

Amy Bushatz: Yeah. And it’s just, it’s so fascinating to sit there and have this awareness enough to notice that’s happening. Yeah. And I have to say.

Lori Halliday: I could see it.

Amy Bushatz: Yeah. And I have to say it’s, it is a gift of spending time outside every day, that you have these day over day experiences. And that opens the lens for being able to even, even be in a place that you would see those things to start with. Like, why would you have even gone to that spot if you weren’t trying to find reasons to go outside, but second, because you’ve gone to the spot more than one time, you start to notice things you weren’t noticing before. And the mathematical patterns of the mountains is definitely one of those things.

Lori Halliday: Right And this is one of the gifts of maintaining the practice of going towards and going away of going towards and going away. And then as you go towards and away from the thing that you love, which we encourage Amy and I are encouraging, be something in nature. She will reveal all of her secrets to you. Yep. Yeah, just like that. You don’t even have to try very hard. You will suddenly realize there’s a geometric, magical formation happening in your eye and your eye is reading it in a way that is very mathematical and almost beyond your own contemporary thinking. Beautiful. I can see it in my mind’s eye.

Amy Bushatz: Is this something that you can practice a lot right now and then ha like build the muscle for, or is this a constant check back in practice? And I’m not talking about the practice of going outside every day, but I’m talking about the practice of building that awareness and congruency.

Lori Halliday: Yeah, I think for both though, building the congruency muscle and building the reconnection of the animal body to nature, both of those can be strongly affected in a punctuated evolution. And that can change you for the rest of your life blended with um, constant work and discipline and practice. That is the paradox. We will be integrated and healed in particular times and blessed and endowed with information, understanding and access in particular times. And then we will also go towards and a way from it on a mundane more daily practice. It is both. I believe, I believe.

Amy Bushatz: If you could gift listeners sort of as a final thing with maybe three or four tips for developing this awareness and grounding that we’ve been talking about. You know, we’ve sort of walked by ways to do this throughout this whole conversation, but maybe just in a nutshell is a final thing to take away from this listen.

Lori Halliday: So obviously, as I mentioned earlier, wherever you are to not judge the nature, that’s there. To simply go out into. It’s not to judge if it’s hospitable or if it’s this, or if it’s that, it’s just to try to go out into it. So first is go out, get put on your shoes, walk out the door, go somewhere. And if you can, then number two would be take off your shoes. Get thee out of the house. Leave your phone in the car, go see if you can tap into some other network that’s in the, mycelium under the ground. That is how all of nature is coercing and communicating in an energetic resonant field around. Beautiful huge uh, turkey vulture just flew right by while we were talking.

And to tap into that by going outside, by not having your technology with you and rewilding and plug your body in like an avatar by putting your feet on the ground. Best case scenario, lay down on the ground and let your whole body as if you have roots coming out of your back body sink into the ground and let the roots from in mother- imagine those kind of coming up into you and do a little rewilding and earthing just by going out again, shoes off our body down, sit down, whatever you can do. Touch the land. And then lastly, water I’m big as are you Amy on any kind of water. And if that’s a swimming pool, okay that. River, creek rocks with water, ocean. Yeah. Lake, whatever you can do, hot tub, any, anything where you can put your whole animal body and submerge and have buoyancy and water and be looking around and filling your eyes with nature, all these trainings and practices and gifts that I’m talking about train us through the experience to remember how we are nature. How we are nature. And to let go of this kind of forgetting and this wetico, and this trance by submerging and immersing back into it.

Amy Bushatz: Those are very beautiful, first of all, but also completely practical tips. And so I hope that everybody listening to this takes some time to take some of those steps.

You all know how much I love my hot tub, although I don’t think I’ve ever thought about it at, in terms of getting back to nature in a submersive and water way more like a convenient way to stay warm while outside.

Lori Halliday: So yes it’s both.

Amy Bushatz: It’s both. So we’re gonna go ahead and put that down on the reasons. I’m glad I have that. And that was my um, If you, if I haven’t mentioned it to anyone else um, my pandemic purchase was was my hot tub. And so no regrets. Yeah. So far, no regrets.

Lori Halliday: Yeah, me too. We have a pandemic purchased hot tub. Took forever. It’s here. We literally like praise it on high. Um, and, And of course it’s, it’s such a privilege and it’s expensive to run it. So we like, make people who live here, like you should also get in the hot tub.

Amy Bushatz: Yes, I do the same thing. I do the same thing. Like, have you seen my hot tub? Do you wanna sit in it? Have you considered coming over to use it because it’s right here. Yeah, I do. I do the same thing. I also sort of require myself to use it about once a day if not more to justify having it because, you know, again.

Lori Halliday: You’re my hero. You’re my hero. Okay. I’m, I’m getting in .

Amy Bushatz: So you know, now that we’ve mentioned our favorite, maybe it is our favorite outdoor gear, you know, end of our episodes, we often discuss with our guest something that they use outside. That can be not too materialistic, but in this case, I would say a hot tub fits the description. Um, something they use outside that really enables them to have a best of experience or something along those lines. Another example would be, you know, sometimes your best outdoor gear is just a really good snack. Um, So with that, with that in mind, what is something that you use or lean on that fills that box for you.

Lori Halliday: Whenever I’m out, even at work, but particularly if I’m really heading out for a hike, I always carry in water. People are kind of funny about water, like, oh, I’m good. I don’t wanna carry it. I’ll drink it when I get back. I, no, this horse needs to drink water. And so I drink, I have a water filter and I drink like a 9.5 um, alkaline water. And it’s just, my body really wants it. And so taking a good water in your own bottle is such a friendly thing to do for your body and for mother. Instead of not taking water. That’s not very friendly to your body or taking a plastic bottle. Please. Anybody who hears this please today commit to finding a way to have fresh water that you put in a bottle of your own so that you can use my tip and take that out into nature.

Amy Bushatz: And when we’re talking about a plastic bottle, you’re are you referring to a disposable bottle versus a reusable plastic bottle? Are you saying you don’t like a Nalgene??

Lori Halliday: Um, I’m saying. Don’t create any waste.

Amy Bushatz: Got it.

Lori Halliday: Or recyclable water, a bottle waste. I don’t myself like to drink out of a plastic bottle. But if you do that’s okay. But I just, yeah, I meant more like, don’t it buy water and plastic bottles? I can’t believe that’s still a thing, but it really is.

It’s still continues to increase this mass that’s I guess, larger than the state of Texas. Is getting larger and larger. So yeah. Drink the water that you provided for yourself and you put in your favorite bottle.

Amy Bushatz: Yeah, we one way we do that in our family, in case it helps anybody else in the, in the summer, not in the winter because it will freeze solid, but in the summer I carry a um, water jug, like you would take camping um, in, you know, refillable in the back of my car.

And so we leave home with our water bottles filled, but we’re never without the ability to top that, that off. Because the other thing that happens is it’s easy to get into a scarcity mindset that, oh, I I can’t drink any, because I only have so much, but when I have a five gallon or, partially filled five gallon container in the back of my car, I’m taking care of that problem by having more um, yeah. You know, it’s also possible to very inexpensively buy it’s called a life straw, so you can just literally outta the creek or, water bottles, soft last water bottles with filters on them. I use one of those sometimes when I’m running. So many ways to do exactly what you’re talking about, Lori and have water on hand, and it really does make the outdoor experience better when you’re comfortable and hydrated. Um, this horse also needs water.

Lori Halliday: Exactly Exactly. I mean, I am totally gonna get a I have the one gallon water. I’m gonna fill one and have it in my car. Thank you for that tip and back to the fresh water aspect of it. Even if you can’t afford a special filter, like I have a Kangen one, Kangen which means from the source.

But if you can’t afford that and what you can afford is a Brita water bottle filter, which is like $20. Great. Filter your own water at home, but don’t drink the tap water and do bring your own healthy water.

Amy Bushatz: And finally, if you could wrap us up just describing, you know, we we’ve been having this conversation around our campfire in your favorite outdoor space, but maybe you could describe for us a favorite outdoor moment that you have some sort of memory or just that touchstone that you like to go back to. And just envision yourself in. Would you mind?

Lori Halliday: No, I would love to do that. No problem at all. So what I am remembering is the same story I started with where we are in. I think it’s like Potosi, Missouri, somewhere in Southwest, Missouri with my grandmother, Victoria, and my aunt Emily and my brother Jude, and his best friend Mark.

And we are there around the campfire with some whole other fantastic family who we’ve met there in previous years. And they have eight children in their family. So it’s like this veritable smorgasborg of playmates in their family. Like we loved this giant family of kids and they were every, you know, a lot of people in uh, St. Louis were Catholic and as, as were they, and so they just had a incredible songs and rounds that they would do and teach us and we could sing for hours. And uh, my brother was burgeoning teenager eventually, and played all of the Beatles songs on his acoustic guitar for us, as we like were turned into budding preteens and whatnot.

And it was just like the days were so long and the evenings and the, and it just seemed like the light was in the sky, even until it was late and yeah, just the way back to this, the way you were perceiving the mist with the ocean, I would really love to watch the way the, the smoke would be moving up into the night sky and the way everyone’s face would glow with that orange light and it was so free and it was so safe. There was no, we didn’t have a care in the world.

Amy Bushatz: What a beautiful memory, Lori, thank you so much for joining us on Humans Outside today, for gifting us with your expertise and your experience and sending us out into the world with that. Thank you.

Lori Halliday: Thank you, Amy. I’m so grateful to have a peer who’s promoting getting um, these bodies out into nature. So thank you for all your beautiful work. I appreciate you.

Amy Bushatz: Thanks so much for listening to this week’s episode of Humans Outside. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, take a second to leave a rating or review wherever you get your podcasts that makes it easier for others to find the podcast too. Your positive review makes a huge difference. Now go get outside. Until next time, we’ll see you out there.

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