Friluftsliv: literally translates from Norwegian to "open air life" but the idea and concept is as broad and expansive as nature herself and represents the Scandinavian outdoor lifestyle. I love this word because not only does it roll off the tongue and it's fun to say (come on, try it..you know you want to...) it reminds me that life is meant to be enjoyed outdoors, connecting with the earth and nature. It reminds me to get my cold midwestern ass outside and breathe in the fresh air.
This time of year I always remember how much I need to be outside, mainly because I've been hibernating from the depths of winter cold and snow. With the hint of spring around the corner, the skies being blue, and dare I say, a strong little bird singing, I was reminded today of the power of coming OUT of hibernation and into the outside again.
As a country, the US is dreadfully disconnected to nature. Our president just kicked off the "Every Kid in a Park" initiative for 4th grade kids across America to have free access to National Parks in an effort to get kids OUTSIDE. (At first my thought was, why only 4th graders, are we really that cheap that we can't have one year of ALL kids having access, but call me crazy.) The idea that we need to get out and play in nature instead of parked in front of our computers, xBoxes, movie theaters, and devices may seem like the "olden days" to our kids, but research shows us that being outside is good for our bodies, our minds, and our souls. We benefit immediately from increased oxygen to our brains, blood flow to our cells, and most people can feel a shift in mood just from exposure to sunlight and fresh air.
Fresh air, movement, remembering that we are part of something bigger than ourselves...these are pretty powerful catalysts to creativity, productivity and inner peace.
So my call to action for today is to find time, soon, to get out side and experience some friluftsliv. You'll thank me for it.