Gina Murdock: Walk slowly through the wild world
Lead With Love
A friend of mine passed away two years ago in an avalanche near Ashcroft in the Castle Creek Valley. Arin Trook was a father of two, an incredible teacher, storyteller, environmental advocate, husband, adventurer, musician, friend. A lover of life. Some of the words that were used to describe him after he passed were: Old Soul, A Fully Realized Being, Sparkly, Kind, Curious, Thoughtful, Engaging, Devoted, Magician, Bright, Twinkle, Soulful and Wise, Deeply Studied, Wicked Smart, Compassionate.
Thinking of Arin, I am reminded of Steven Covey’s timeless work “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” In the book he shares the principle “Start with the End in Mind.” One of the exercises he uses to solidify this principle is to have people write their own eulogy (the thing people say about you after you die) and see if you are living in such a way that makes your ideal eulogy (the stuff you wish people would say about you) true. For instance, if you imagine your friends and family gathering ‘round to celebrate your life saying things like: “Gina was Sparkly, Wise, Thoughtful, Kind, Soulful, etc.” is it true? Are you that wonderful? And if you’re not now, when will you be? What are you waiting for to be the type of person to live up to your own eulogy?
There is no time to wait to be your most vulnerable, real, essential and courageous self. Life is short, avalanches happen, eventually our luck will run out. When it does, do you think the words that people speak about you will reflect the truth of who you are today, not who you know you are deep inside or who you would be if only you had the right circumstances?
Arin was the education director at Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) when he died. I’ve been on the board of ACES for nearly a decade and we all felt Arin’s death profoundly. It was/is such a devastating loss for our community and to the world. He was that special. When I think of Arin I think to myself, “I can do better. I can do more to give, more to share, more to be there for others and for this Earth.” Arin inspires me every day to be a better human.
It is Arin who wrote, “Perhaps the most radical action we can take today is the simple act of walking slowly through the wild world.”
Walk slowly. Yes, I’ll do that Arin because that is how I’ll know myself more deeply and appreciate the miracle of life that surrounds me.
“While our government tackles the challenge of creating a health care plan that works for all Americans, perhaps the real solution lies right outside our front door,” Arin continued in a blog post he wrote for ACES before he died. “The health and wellness benefits of spending time outside are well-known and scientifically documented. Here in the Roaring Fork Valley, we are undeniably fortunate to live surrounded by the healing medicine of the outdoors.”
We are indeed SO lucky to live in a place with such abundant natural beauty. Today, walk slowly through this wild world. For Arin, for yourself. Consider who you are and who you want to be. Start with the end in mind and make sure every thought, word and action you take is leading you to that ultimate destination, the full unbridled expression of who you are meant to be.
An acorn becomes an oak tree by design. It expresses as a magnificent tree if it is nurtured and fed because that is what it is meant to be. As such, what/who are you designed to be? What blueprint exists inside of you waiting to be fully expressed through your life?
This “canvas” you’ve been given … paint it! Live that life now and in doing so you will honor the legacy of Arin Trook and others like him. In my heart I only hear/feel “thank you” when I think of him. Thank you Arin for all the light you brought to this world and to me.
Gina Murdock is the founder Lead with Love, an Aspen-based nonprofit dedicated to shifting culture from fear to love. In honor of Arin, Gina and Lead with Love offer weekly donation-based WildYoga classes at ACES Hallam Lake starting June 15-Sept 15. Sign up at https://www.aspennature.org/classes/wild-yoga-2021. For more information on Lead with Love, go to http://www.ileadwithlove.org.
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I find myself feeling overly tired these days, which I don’t think it’s simply a consequence of nearing the beginning of my seventh decade of existence on this planet.