I have always believed that the quality of our thinking is impacted by the place in which we are doing that thinking.
Give a group of students a writing assignment while they are sitting in a park, surrounded by trees and birds and clouds drifting across blue sky, and what they come up with will be much different than if they were sitting at their desks under fluorescent lights, surrounded by four walls.
It is the same for all of us – take some of your thinking, planning, scheming, or visioning outside in the natural world, and, I believe, the outcomes of your thinking will be better. As educator David Orr puts it, the quality of a person’s thoughts is a “merger of landscape and mindscape.”
This is why so many people turn to the outdoors to recreate and, by default or by design, to think. We walk, we jog, we hike, we fish, we saunter – and we often do some of our best thinking outside. Hence, I do much of my writing outdoors, as my thinking and, hence, my words, are as influenced by where I am as by anything else.
“The interior landscape responds to the character and subtlety of an exterior landscape; the shape of the individual mind is affected by land as it is by genes.” ~Barry Lopez
If you would like to incorporate this concept into your work with me, let’s set up some Walk & Talk sessions. We’ll take a walk, an easy stroll, or a more vigorous hike – whatever works for you, in my familiar walking places or yours – and we’ll explore your vision, your project, your aspirations.