My name is Mish Sommers. I founded Happier Outside in 2014 because I wanted to find a way to connect with other people who loved to spend time outside. I have found that every time I seek solace, or motivation, or a kick in the be-hind I naturally head outside. Every time I get back from a hike, swim, run, paddle, or even an outdoor meditation I feel calmer, more intrinsically peaceful and (perhaps surprisingly) energized. I truly am happier when I bring more outdoor time into my every day life.
I grew up in Western Australia and back then it was pretty easy to run down the beach, go for a bike ride or just walk into town. I think I took it all for granted a little bit. Now that I live in Maine (it's been almost 20 years!), and have family and a full time job it's much harder to spontaneously step outside every day of the year and so I find I have to much more intentional. Some days I really don't feel like it. But a practice is just that. Lots of ... practice!
In the last 4 years, since I originally created this space and thought it might be a kind of business, it has changed form into more of a membership and coaching community. I coach people (just a few each year, by request), I have formed real-time activity groups in my local community, we have a thriving social media following, and a virtual tribe who are members of various private Facebook groups that are managed by me. I notice that people come and go from these spaces and that there is no secret trick to staying motivated. It takes work, persistence, and an active desire to feel great every single day. I don't always make it outside myself every day. Like I said, it's a practice.
My wish for you is that you find time and space to get outside when you need it most, and also when you think you don't. It's one of the most affordable ways you can make a difference in your life. Just go out your door!
There is tons of research to support the premise that spending time in nature and the outdoors makes a huge difference to mental and physical health. There are so many metaphors that you can draw from in nature - growth, cycles of life, challenge, repose... the list goes on - and being outside reminds us of this.
You can join in with our HOT community if you would like tips, motivation, and opportunities to join us in activities and retreats in midCoast Maine. We also have partnered with the Boulder clothing company SkirtSports to offer discounts on their kick-ass gorgeous skirts, shorts, tops and accessories to help you look gorgeous while you are out there. I love their mission of supporting women of all activity levels, shapes and backgrounds to get active, strong and happy.
Can't wait to see you out there :)!
What is the Happier Outside Philosophy?
Just go outside. That's all there is to it. Be prepared for the elements, have a can-do attitude, plan it out... do what you need in order to be happy out there... and GO!
Access to nature is critical for the well-being of our species - kids need to get outside every day... and adults do, too.
We need to breathe in fresh air, we need to see the natural hues of green and blue, we need to move our bodies, we need to see the horizon... these are all vital to our physical, mental, & spiritual health.
We don't need to hike a huge mountain, fjord a glacial river or do anything particularly strenuous to get the benefit of spending time in the outdoors. A simple practice of 15 minutes outside every day is a great start to bringing nature and the outdoors back into your life.
FUN (AND ADVENTURE)
You need fun in your life. And adventure.
Adventure is a... loose... term. For one person, an adventure could be walking down the street, following an ant trail. For another person, it's climbing Kilimanjaro. For you it could be showing up to a Happier Outside Tribe Event.
Whatever it is, for you, you need it. You need a little uncertainty...challenge...a focus on something that is bigger, and outside, of yourself because it keeps you inspired, curious, and helps you keep a balanced perspective. It keeps you fresh and ultimately, happy.
We encourage each other to step outside of our normal ways of being - sometimes this is a new trail, or an ocean swim, or a new physical skill we haven't tried before. For some folks, it's drawing or painting or creating something out of things found. For other people still, the act of coming together with strangers in the outdoors is an adventure in itself.
Being open to fun and adventure in your life makes all the difference in the world.
So many of our outdoor experiences are isolated. A wonderful memory, that is surrounded by a life disconnected from the wisdom and perspective we gained at the time. These experiences get "parked" in our memory banks as something we did once, and it can come to feel as though a completely different person did it.
It's so hard to remember the lessons of the outdoors, and of nature, when we are so removed from it.
A Happier Outside practice is about integrating our experiences in the outdoors into our every-day.
This can be as simple as a weekly intentional gathering in the outdoors, or popping into someone's Facebook news feed, to as complex as an art project that gains prominence in a living space, or taking a break and attending one of our retreats.
When we integrate our love for nature and time spent in the outdoors with our usual habits and our everyday lives... that is when we feel the strongest effect, and our lives begin to change for the better.
We love people. We love to come together with others in the outdoors - to meet new people, to re-kindle old friendships, to find common ground and experiences, and to learn from others.
We SHOW UP more often when there are other people we have to show up for...
We get a re-charge from the energy that happens when a bunch of interesting and open-hearted people gather together. It's simply awesome.
Our belief is that an experience shared is an experience heightened.