Blissful Hiking Nirvana

Lately I’ve been co-learning in The Five Habits of Highly Creative Teachers while dipping in and out of the Make Learning Connected MOOC.  This week in #create5 we are focusing on tribes, and it’s been fun and fascinating to identify the tribes we belong to while reflecting on who we are and experiencing how our curiosity and social nature drives us to belong to various groups that support us in our learning adventure.  Meanwhile in the CLMOOC, this make cycle is about making a “How to Be” guide, and I have been inspired by the great work that has already been posted in the google plus community.

Being a bit on the lazy side when it comes to assignments (or maybe it’s creativity), I’m always looking for ways to bring ideas together from different places (teachers may call it submitting the same assignment for both classes).  So I decided to create a “How to” about one of the tribes I belong to and how to experience “Hiking Nirvana” in La Promenade Verte surrounding the Brussels area.  I latched onto the idea for “Hiking Nirvana” from Jill Duplessis Tribe Collage Pinterest Board and decided to do my own take on it within the context of these two MOOCs.

When I surrendered my teaching tribe(the one in the building) a few years back, I felt like the rug was pulled out from under me.  With no rug to stand on, I was on shaky ground for spell until I happened upon EDCMOOC which turned out to be a magic carpet of sorts carrying me into a world that offered me a way to learn and be with others that I had never experienced before.  Since then I set out (as much as a somewhat gregarious expat introvert can) to find other ways of being and other tribes to belong to both within MOOCs as well as in physical spaces.  It seems to be a teetering balancing act for me; when I swing too far one way, I need to swing back the other way and so on and so forth.  Being a part of this hiking tribe has grounded me and given me among many things the opportunity to practice the messiness of face to face communication and being with others.

The hiking group that I am a part of just finished the last walk around La Promenade Verte.   It was certainly the mélange of the people, movement and walking through the green forests that kept me engaged.  The experience of  being, learning and moving, moving, being, and learning worked to catapult me into a state of self-forgetfulness, unity, oneness.  That cycle feels like flow, and I’m wanting to keep that momentum going.  Amazing things can happen when one gets engrossed in walking, communicating and observing nature. Part of it may even be an ancestral calling to walk the lands, and I’m heeding that call in my own way.

This video/slide compilation is specific to La Promenade Verte around Brussels, but the ideas behind it regarding informing oneself, finding a tribe, and forging out with an intention to be with others and enjoy and observe nature could be applied to hiking anywhere.  I put it together as a memento of the journey (there were no badges given but we’ve got the invisible insignia).  It serves as well as a reminder to me of how to begin again and as potential practical guide for others.  I’m hoping that it resonates and gives a glimpse of the nirvana that awaits as we go and when we go afoot in Mother Nature.


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