Do your soul a service and take a break sometimes, ok?  Take a deep breath and go outside. Look at the sky. Find a large body of water somewhere, and give it some thought. Seek out a giant, ancient tree. Contemplate something bigger and older than all of us. Get some perspective. Put yourself in the way of beauty.

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This past weekend, just hours before Sunday evening’s presidential debate, the writer Elizabeth Gilbert offered up the following timely advice for escaping some of the media rage surrounding the upcoming election, to her legions of followers she preached…  “If any of you are feeling similarly news-crazy: Be a good citizen and stay informed, by all means (and for the sake of all that is good and holy, people, VOTE) but do your soul a service and take a break sometimes, ok? Turn off the commentators. Take a deep breath and go outside. Look at the sky. Find a large body of water somewhere, and give it some thought. Seek out a giant, ancient tree. Contemplate something bigger and older than all of us. Get some perspective. Put yourself in the way of beauty.”  We applaud her call to action and offer up the following four easy edits for keeping it real for the next thirty or so days…  and beyond!

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One…

Grab you favorite four-legged friend and head north to Crane’s, or south to Sandy Beach and saunter the soothing Atlantic Coast.  Both beloved beaches welcome dogs after October 1st.  The word “saunter”, according to Henry David Thoreau, is said to have been derived from “idle people who roved about the country”.  In his lovely tribute to this lost art, entitled Walking, the author/philosopher goes on to state, “I think I cannot preserve my health and spirits unless I spend four hours a day at least – sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.”  While we don’t expect you to hold fast to his four hour regimen, perhaps you might reserve just one or two with your true companion?

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Two…

Head to your local library or bookstore and befriend some poetry.  Given, (Counterpoint 2006) by Wendell Berry is a gem of a collection with a heavy bow to nature and th great bounty that this earth has to offer in winter, spring, summer and fall.  The River From My Mouth (Shanti Arts, 2016), a new release from the Vermont poet and painter and poet Karla Van Vliet, is a wonderful tool for accomplishing just that.  The publisher refers to the book as a “collection of lyrical poems that run like a mountain river through the territories of love and loss, identity and voice. Cut down to the bare essentials these poems speak to the inner life’s raw landscape.”

Or, try a new twist and experience poetry come alive at one of the many special events hosted at Harvard’s Woodbury Poetry Room.  Founded in 1931 in Widener Library, in honor of Harvard alumnus, poet and scholar George Edward Woodberry (1855-1930), the Poetry Room is now housed in the Lamont Library.  Its centerpiece is its collection of sound recordings. With over 6,000 recordings on a range of media that span the 20th and 21st centuries.

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Three…

Team up with a tribe of kindred spirits and follow your bliss – whatever it happens to be.  A perfect outlet for doing so is with Boston’s Stryde Squad.  Every Wednesday at 6:30 pm (sharp), the squad meets for a non-competitive run around Boston. The pack loops through parks and over bridges, burns some steam all while logging  4 miles.  A great tour of the city and a great way to meet some running buddies! The social runs are organized by MYSTRYDE, Boston’s first indoor running studio.

Four…

Wind down with music.  Soothing music.  Put yourself “in the way of beauty” 24/7 by simply dialing your radio to Boston’s hub for all things classical, WCRB.  This longtime New England station offers many ways to listen and stretch the mind.  With this playlist, Kendall Todd offers a fascinating take on the “crossroads of pop and classical music”.  Whether your cup of tea is country or heavy metal, classical music is a wonderful escape and a proven antidote to all the bluster!

Author Susan Currie is Managing Editor at BOSTON YOGA and an Associate Editor at LA YOGA magazine. Beyond her contributions to these publications, her words and images have been featured in the Boston Globe, Elephant Journal, Yogi Times, the Huffington Post, Spirit of St. Bart’s and on the cover of the book Moving into Meditation (Shambala) by Anne Cushman. 

Susan is also the creator of the Daily Inhale and an RYT 200 registered yoga instructor. She unpacks her various professional experiences through creative (and yoga) workshops she leads throughout the country. Her new book, Once Divided (Shanti Arts 2016), a blend of visual and verse, is now available in wide release. GRACENOTES, its follow-up, will be published in 2017.