Anxiety meets the tipping point

Wow!  I may have actually reached the tipping point with acceptance of life.  I am a planner by nature, but not a detail oriented planner.  For example, plans for my recent road trip included destinations and sleeping location. There were no plans made for each destination except to be in nature.  Exactly what that would look like was pretty loose.  I wanted to listen to my heart and body each day for what it needed, and then do that.

I left Virginia with a plan to go back to Glacier National Park. I wanted to visit Bowman Lake again. The day I sat at the water’s edge in 2015 was filled with acceptance of life while experiencing amazement of such natural beauty. I designed the trip to revisit Jack the Jackass in the Badlands as well. Every other stop was decided with the intent to get there and back without insane driving days.

My second stop along my 2017 road trip, was in Illinois visiting my brother on the way to Sioux Falls, SD.  I awoke to a friend sending a link of information about Montana being on fire and Glacier’s evacuation.  Hmmm, that may change my trip completely, I thought to myself.  Even though, I kidded with friends that I may not return.  I was referring to me continuing my journey to California, not being caught by fire.

Sharing this with my brother and his beloved, we broke out maps to reconstruct the trip with the main goal being at the forefront; walk in nature.  Within a matter of hours, I redesigned the trip while listening to my heart.  At one point in the process of regrouping, I felt tightness in my heart.  With taking a breath to listen to the quite voice of my heart it asked me to go sit outside.  Around the fire pit there are beautiful trees.  I leaned back in the chairs to look at the trees and take in the spectacular sky.  With breathing quietly and listening, my heart said, “You need to drive a bit as well.  Let’s go to the edge of South Dakota.  We can hike in the naked mountains of the Badlands and the dense forest of the Black Hills.” I calmly listened and followed my heart.

After new reservations of where I’d sleep in what town were all done I returned to the fire pit.  This time my brother joined me.  He sat and abruptly shared how amazed he was with how calm I was during the whole process.  He even shared that he would most likely go with the original plan regardless of the fires or needless danger.  Simply because he planned it, he’d go come hell or high water.  Well, it would be fire in this instance.  He made a comment that my medication was certainly working.  I smiled as I turned to him and said, “I am not on any medication.”  He responds, “Really?  That is amazing; something is certainly working great for you!  I am proud of you.”

In that moment I realized that the tipping point of leaving unwarranted anxiety and fear behind has finally been reached!  All of the years of therapy, writing, shining light in the darkest areas of my life, listening to my heart, hiking in nature, practicing yoga and meditation have paid off for me.  There never is a quick fix, and certainly not an an overnight success story.  My overnight success took me about a decade of nights to get here today.  I am just able to experience the layering effect of those practices.  It is pretty amazing when you can roll with the ever changing tides of life.  My trip changed drastically several times along the way.  There is still anxiety when things have to change, but I trust the process far more than I trust my anxiety and fear.  As a result of the changes, the trip was spectacular and better than anything I could have ever planned; much like all of the amazing experiences of life.  I will return to Glacier National Park one day, it was just not meant to be on this trip.

Kristin Springfield
Surrendering to life with gratitude

We all have baggage

During dinner one evening, a friend’s beloved said, “Honey, we all have baggage.  It is your responsibility to keep it zipped up and leave it in the car.  This is not the time or place to open it up and share it with everyone here.”  Simple yet profound!  At dinner with friends is clearly not the place to open your baggage or luggage and go through it.  More often than not, the items are dirty.

I have had a bunch of stinky clothes from hiking in my bags.  There is no place other than the laundry room to open that up.  Looking at emotional luggage is much like dirty laundry from long days of hiking.  There is a time and place to go through it, and almost always, is not when at dinner with friends.  Yes, we all have baggage, but not everyone needs to see it.

Much of my travel has been with the purpose to open any residual emotional baggage and to honestly look at it.  With an open mind and heart, I have the opportunity to look at each piece and decide what is worth keeping.  It is always helpful to have a loved one with you during that process.  Sometimes you must go at it alone.  Time on the road, during long hikes, and meditation allow this cleaning process of that emotional baggage to be effective.  I take the time dive right into the messy parts and talk about it with the Universe.  Somehow in the moments of fatigue or intense focus clarity shows up.  Maybe it is the sweat and tears, but there is definitely a sense of peace that washes over me when any baggage is released.  On this trip my effort has been to lovingly release all that no longer serves my highest good or the highest good of others.  So far it has been an amazing adventure!  I continue to lighten my load and allow life to transform before my eyes.


Kristin Springfield
Actively decluttering her baggage

The power of a 9 year old girl!


I had the privilege of spending time with a family at Circle View Ranch in SD.  Their children are all 9 years old and younger.  One day stands out to me when I was reminded how amazing life is for a 9 year old girl.  It is before the hormone shift and the massive changes in your body.  That is when you are roughly the same strength as all the others your age regardless of whether you are a boy or girl.  You have mostly likely not been brain washed completely on how you should look or act.  You are free within your body and embarrassment is not life threatening yet.

One morning my favorite 9 year old girl took me on a tour of her ranch in search of Jack the Jackass.  Our adventure took place on a motorized vehicle called a Mule.  How perfect could that be?  She drove with such confidence as her hair blew in the wind.  The cattle dog racing by her side as her eyes sparkled.  Her inner power just radiated and she didn’t even know it. I turned my head to look at this incredible creature and all of a sudden remembered something about myself.  This is the place where I strive to return to in myself.  This is why I walk in the woods, seek out play ground swings and find laughter in the simplest things of life.  My inner 9 year old is coming back to life.

After decades of believing the outer world on what happiness and success are suppose to look like, I am finally returning.  In that moment with my amazing partner in crime, my heart opened as my soul yelled, “It is about damn time you heard us!”

We went on to find my Jack.  Our laughter and glee could be heard for miles.  She encouraged me to try driving.  I gracefully declined for 2 reasons.  First of all, I have exactly zero experience with driving a mule.  Secondly, I wanted to witness this amazing girl take the reins of life so confidently!

Thank you, Katie, for reminding me how amazing life is through the purest eyes of a 9 year old girl.  My only recommendation to you is to keep that part of you alive and well.  For me, this journey back to my inner 9 year old has been challenging and worth every step.  You inspired me to ride the bunny statue and be the unicorn!  You will continue to inspire me in ways you will not even be aware of.  xoxox


Kristin Springfield
9 year old girl at heart!