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Next Mother’s Day, we invite you to think of the word mother as a verb (“to mother”), versus a noun. Why? Mothering transcends the female–you’re mothered by anyone (or thing) who offers you acceptance, nourishment, instruction, and empowerment.
By detaching motherhood from any particular person, you’ll begin to notice where you could personally use more mothering. Ask yourself when you feel lovable or disgusting, empty or needy, stupid or ignorant, helpless or incapable. Clear answers hint you need to patch yourself together a new kind of mother that nurtures your unmet needs.
Mountain Trek does not have mammary glands, or any other physical feature of a stereotypic mother, but we mother regardless. We provide a safe and healthful environment, teach the important rules and roles of life through our lectures on stress, detox, sleep, nutrition and fitness, and we meet your emotional needs with our empathy.
The Mountain Trek program provides a space for you to not only feel deeply mothered, but to seek out the mothering you may be lacking. After my week in the program, I learned nature is my mother, and that hiking is the mothering I need; exploring trails enriches my soul in a way I’ve never before felt. The trees wake up my mind. The rivers refresh my soul.
This isn’t to say I won’t be celebrating my biological mother this weekend; rather, I’ll also be celebrating the many ways in which we are all uniquely mothered. I’ll be celebrating nourishing foods, the open spaces we play in, and the soft blankets we swaddle ourselves in with a book. I’ll be celebrating the fluidity of motherhood, and the gift we have to see mothering as more than a trait of female humans.
Kirkland Shave, Mountain Trek’s Program Director, says, “When we’re on the treadmill of life, we lose track of the wounded child in each of us, and we need to take a break to not only acknowledge our unmet needs, but to reflect on how we can self-care.” He continues, “The need to be mothered doesn’t disappear with age, and the real work is done when we learn how to parent ourselves.”
Kirkland’s top two ways of mothering oneself in adulthood are:
- Play and wonder. Open your senses through new tastes and activities. Experience what it’s like to try something for the first time again. Take a ballroom dancing class, or try that funky-colored fruit you always bypass.
- Free your emotions. Deeply connect with yourself by letting go of the notion that adults should always be strong and unaffected. The Stiff Upper Lip syndrome only leads to disconnection, and disconnection only leads to feeling lost and neglected. Laugh, cry, go in for energy-releasing body work treatments: do whatever you need to do to tap into your raw feelings.
As the grandfather of a toddler, Kirkland feels mothered when he’s playing with his grandson. Making forts out of pillows and towers out of blocks, he’s able to nurture his creativity and connect with his desire to live boundlessly.
Other ways to mother yourself are by:
- Creating a comforting bedtime routine
- Taking a break from social media (because the unfair comparisons are driving you nutso)
- Getting fresh air daily
- Eating nourishing foods
- Saying nice, encouraging things to yourself in the mirror
- Doing puzzles, and other mind-challenging activities
- Keeping cozy comforts easily-accessible, like a basket of fuzzy socks by the door for when you take your shoes off upon returning home
- Journaling, in a free-flowing stream-of-consciousness style
- Listening to uplifting music
- Making yourself a nice drink (hot chocolate! ginger tea! sparkling lemonade!) and sipping it slowly
- Planning a special one-on-one date with yourself
- Building a cozy fort to relax in, equipped with a book, movie, snacks, you name it
I mother, you mother, he mothers, she mothers, we mother, they mother. The ocean mothers, and the mountains mother. Pets mother, and travel mothers. Look beyond the female who raised you to acknowledge all the different ways you are mothered, and can be mothered. Open yourself up to new perspectives and opportunities, and embrace the ability to meet your needs in a myriad of ways. Seek comfort in the potential. You are not alone. You are not stuck.
To realize a new kind of mothering, book your stay with Mountain Trek. Our program will uncover a new ability within you to grow, to heal, and to show up for your life as fully as you can.
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As Sir Isaac Newton taught us, a body in motion stays in motion. At Mountain Trek, we believe this not only applies to the human body, but our program as well. We must constantly seek novel methods to improve the offering—that’s the only way we will continue to help you improve your health. While this often means reading hours of scientific journals, attending conferences, or consulting with some of the best doctors and practitioners in health, this also means listening intently to our previous guests. And thanks to your feedback, we’re excited to announce that the award-winning Mountain Trek program is getting even better for 2019.
Introducing Restorative Wednesday
After three full days of the Mountain Trek program, you’ve earned some well-earned R&R. Wednesday’s schedule will focus on taking the necessary time to restore, both inside and out. With a newly built bridge by Program Director (and former Park Ranger), Kirk, we will hike a wonderful trail directly from the lodge, affording ample time the rest of the day to relax, recover, recalibrate, and reflect.
New Hiking Trail—Cedar Creek Historical Trail
After a bridge replacement last autumn over the cascading waters of Cedar Creek, and a reopening of the original Miner’s Trail, we are happy to offer a commute-less fitness hike direct from the lodge. Some alumni may well remember the old trail, but an additional section has been added to offer stellar views of the Purcell Mountains and shimmering Kootenay Lake. Not only is it an excellent workout for cardio improvement and fat burn, but the mining relics and expansive views make it a new winner!
Cooking Classes with Chef Simon
Join Chef Simon to learn new culinary skills and Mountain Trek recipes. Growing up in a mainly vegetarian household in Vancouver, Simon was exposed to a wide range of cuisines and ingredients. At Mountain Trek, Chef Simon has developed a style of his own, blending different ethnic influences while maintaining a distinctively West Coast flavor. His food is at once balanced and bold, light and intensely flavourful.
Mindfulness Grass Walk
Walking Meditation is a common tool in the Buddhist tradition, where practitioners walk barefoot on the grass, bringing the mind’s attention to the mechanical placement of the foot and the sensations felt by reawakening the millions of nerves on the bottom of the feet—which have been turned off by decades of imprisonment in shoes. Brain science has shown that going barefoot fires more neurons in the brain and this practice can even reverse early onset of dementia and improve libido…not to mention help us feel like a wild child again! Join Program Director Kirk for approximately 15 minutes to explore this optional exercise.
Sensoral Integration (Nature Bathing) Session
Sensoral Integration is the practice of sitting in deep nature and bringing one’s mental focus to each of the 5 senses, noticing as much information as possible. For example, what do we see close, far, peripherally, in the shadows and shapes and the various hues?… then what do we smell? This ‘dropping’ deeply into our senses is an effective practice to control stress levels when we are over stimulated through constant bombardment in our urban setting. The result is the enrichment of the ‘feel good’ hormones and lowering of our stress hormones. Join Program Director Kirk for approximately 15 minutes to explore this optional exercise.
Experience the New Schedule
If you feel like it’s not only your body composition that you’re constantly battling, but your stress levels too, it’s time you experienced the updated Mountain Trek Program. Rediscover and redefine your health.
We’d love to have you join us this year. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to receive an updated program schedule or to start planning your visit.
Hot springs are full-steam ahead on being the #1 luxury that vacationers prioritize when picking their holiday destination. Why? Not only are they great for post-ski socializing, they work wonders for your body, physically and mentally. Japan and Europe have known about the healing powers of hot springs for thousands of years, but Canada is also home to some of the best sources of balneotherapy–the therapeutic use of water for relieving pain, stress, skin woes and more.
Our lodge in British Columbia is fortunate enough to be located in Ainsworth, home of a large healing hot spring pool that was first visited by the Ktunaxa First Nations peoples, who recuperated in the hot water after a long day of hunting, fishing, and gathering roots and berries. Mountain Trek guests have unlimited access to this marvel of nature during their stay, and here’s why it’s important to take advantage of soaking in the hot mineral waters.
What is a hot spring?
A hot spring is an all-natural body of water that is warmed geothermally. One way to classify a hot spring is that it must be well above the temperature of the surrounding earth, and usually hot springs hover around the 100 degrees Fahrenheit mark. The temperature of a given hot spring depends on the heat supplied at depth (sometimes from a magma chamber), the rate at which the water flows, and if there is a mixture of cooler groundwater into the flow of hot water.
Where are they found?
Hot springs truly are the world’s original spa – interestingly, the term ‘spa’ originates from the town of Spa, Belgium, made famous for its hot springs. Typically, hot springs are found where there is volcanic activity or magma chambers, or where there are fault lines in the Earth.
Hot springs have an especially high mineral content, because heated water can hold more dissolved solids. This means they contain everything from calcium, magnesium, silica, lithium, and even radium. In other words, they’re a multivitamin for the skin. The heat in hot springs envelopes and helps soothe aching muscles, and the minerals present in the water get soaked up by the skin, stimulating certain bodily processes.
Here’s how the combination of these minerals and the hot water help us:
Musculoskeletal problems: Documented in Chinese and Japanese history, hot springs have been used to aid with swollen joints, arthritis, muscle fatigue, ligament damage, and more.
Eczema: Chronically dry, flaky skin, otherwise known as eczema, is a skin condition that affects up to 15% of Americans and Canadians. Regularly soaking in hot springs has been found to reduce eczema itching and redness.
Nasal Congestion: The heat of the water, combined with sulphur, makes for a winning way to combat nasal congestion caused by the common cold, allergies, or even chest congestion.
Circulation: Sodium bicarbonate and calcium found in mineral hot springs help with good circulation in the body. This can have numerous positive impacts, including lowering blood pressure. The weightlessness that comes with floating in the water also helps improve circulation.
Relaxation: Never to be underestimated, is the power of de-stressing and relaxation. A stressed state can lead to all kinds of health complications, such as high blood pressure, depression, and an increase in the output of the stress hormone, cortisol. When cortisol is released in stress-induced doses, our hormones are thrown off balance, which affects our mood, immune system and metabolism. Long story short, if you’d like a faster metabolism and the ability to shed those pesky pounds, you’ve got to make sure your hormones are balanced.
In regards to the different minerals in hot springs and how they help our health, here’s the lowdown:
- Magnesium: aids with clear complexion, and healthy-looking skin
- Potassium: eliminates toxins and promotes healthy skin
- Sodium: decreases inflammation in swollen joints, and can help the lymphatic system
- Sulphur: helps with respiratory problems and skin inflammations
Don’t hesitate another moment–hurry over to a healing hot spring; the rewards you’ll reap are thoroughly worth it. Or, come visit us and use ours!