Look Up from Walden Pond


Walden_Pond_Massachusetts_by_Author_Heidi_SiefkasWalden Pond

This month, I revisited a special place, Walden Pond. Located a short drive from my mother’s home in Massachusetts, this small pond and wooded area was made famous by Henry David Thoreau in the mid-1800s. Its small, wooden cabin was his home for two years, two months, and two days. During which time, he wrote the book Walden, documenting why he went to nature.

Book Walden

Thoreau_Statue_Walden_Pond_Massachusetts_by_Author_Heidi_SIefkasI first read Walden as I was recovering from an accident that left me in a brace for nearly a year-long recovery. One of the most popular quotes from Walden that stayed with me is,

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

I, too, was drawn to nature in order to find answers and calm my worries. It awed me as I connected to how my body was going through seasons of healing and recovery just like trees shedding leaves in the fall and flowering again in the spring.

Nature’s Cure – Be in the Moment

Whether you are red, white, blue, purple, or other, I think we can all agree that by being in nature away of society, technology, and other man-made things, we become more mindful, paying attention to the moment. We notice the beauties around us from gentle winds and clouds to ferns and falling leaves. In Thoreau’s words, this occurrence could be summarized by, “live deliberately” in my words it would be Look Up.

Reminder to Look Up from Walden Pond

Author_Heidi_Siefkas_and_Tree_Pughkeepsie_New_York_2009Nearly a decade ago, I created the powerful mantra of Look Up. I did so to share with you and the world the lesson that I learned from my freak accident. Ironically, the teacher of the lesson happened to be nature in the form of a big, heavy tree limb. It struck me breaking my neck and leaving no part of my life unchanged.

However, through removing myself from my routine and spending time in nature, I saw life through a microscope lens. That’s when I embraced the most important life tool, which is the power of perspective. I knew that if I could create something that was easy and catchy to remember, not only would you and others be able to remember it, but also I wouldn’t forget the most important lesson of my life. With the help of a brilliant friend and writer, I selected two words that are a double entendre. Look Up reminds us all to: 1) Be in the moment & 2) Find the upside in all of life’s hiccups or hurdles. I firmly believe that by adding Look Up to your tool kit, you can overcome small obstacles as well as the When All Balls Drop moments. Look Up forces you to pivot and see your situation or world differently.

Walden, Nature, and Look Up

Walden_Pond_Tiny_Home_by_Author_Heidi_SiefkasIf you happen to be in the Boston area, I recommend a visit to Walden Pond whether for a short walk, swim, or visit of THE first and most famous tiny home. If you aren’t in New England, you can do the same by getting out in nature wherever you are. And for those of you that can’t leave the office or the confines of man-made things until the end of the workday or week, use Look Up to inject a good dose of perspective.

As always, here’s to looking up!


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