Why is Walking in Nature Important?

May 22,2020

I was challenged with this question yesterday.  I caught my breath in response because I realized that in my heart I KNOW!  It’s one of those things that I’ve never had to explain to MYSELF because I just know that walking in Nature is important.  So, here’s the beginning of what might be a long discussion – at least I hope so!

What are your thoughts?

Here are a few of mine:

When I walk in Nature, even just stepping out my door, my senses open and I feel more involved in the World.
Why is it important to have my senses open?  Because then my physical body is more ALIVE!
And why is that important?  Because being alive is necessary for being on Earth. I have to have a living body to do that.
And why is that important?   Being on Earth?  Hmm.  To fulfill my spiritual purpose.  And that’s connecting with the Creator God Goddess, the nameless energy of all that is.

Ease is a Choice

May 21, 2020

How I manage the terrain on the Appalachian Trail is to choose each step to be easy. I can always do one step! Breathe, choose ease, step. In each easy step I can savor the beauty of the one rock on which I’m stepping, then choose the next one to be easy as well. In this way of conscious walking, the “rugged” path unfolds and lures me on. Try it! “Difficulty” is a choice.

Quick Answers

Over my 20 years of walking long distance trails, I’ve noticed that practically all of my questions can be addressed with five essential considerations. I have started calling them my Five Essentials for Creating a Radiantly Fulfilling Walk of  Any Length.

The five essentials are:

  • Know your Trail
  • Consider your Timing
  • Love your Gear
  • Magnetize your Trail Angel Network
  • Nourish your Inner Journey with Practiced Tools for Shifting Energy, Beliefs, and Challenges

Bonus Essential: Know your Why!

I’ve elaborated on them in my report, which you can read here:

Five Essentials for a Radiantly Fulfilling Walk


My view of creating a walk is that the trail is a blank canvas on which we get to paint our own version of fulfillment. I’m a fan of distinguishing between accomplishing your walk and fulfilling your walk. When I create a journey, I always focus on creating a journey that makes my heart sing, that supports an inner transformation, and that provides me opportunities to be aware of how I have met my challenges and grown as a person. For me, I can literally use each step as a moment for personal growth, which is what I’m all about! The trail, and my physical accomplishment of its miles, is the venue, the medium, the stage upon which my inner journey unfolds.

With the Five Essentials as quick answers, here are starting points for answering some questions about hiking the Appalachian Trail. See if these are helpful for fulfilling your own inner journey! I’m happy to explore them in depth with you as a client of Forgiveness Walks!


What types of gear do I really need to purchase first?

  • Know your trail
  • Know your why, so you can design your trip to fulfill it.
  • Consider timing
  • Love your gear


How can I keep myself safe on the trail? Especially being a triple minority (black, queer, woman)?

  • Have practiced tools for shifting energy, beliefs, and challenges
  • Magnetize your Trail Angel Network

I have 2 mental disorders how to prépare for life on thé trail living with severe depression and anxiety?

  • Know your trail
  • Have practiced tools for shifting energy, beliefs, and challenges
  • Magnetize your Trail Angel network

When is the actual best time to start? As I know you’re never truly alone.

  • Know your trail
  • Know your why
  • Consider your timing
  • Magnetize your Trail Angel Network

The dark scares me. What methods did you use to adjust to nights on thé AT?

Have practiced tools for shifting energy, beliefs, and challenges

Hiking though streams and rivers. Wow how do you prépare?

  • Know your trail
  • Love your Gear
  • Magnetize your Trail Angel Network
  • Have practiced tools for shifting energy, beliefs, and challenges

How safe is it to hitchhike as a woman, especially in thé South?

  • Have practiced tools for shifting energy, beliefs, and challenges
  • Magnetize your Trail Angel Network

What if you have a pet? I don’t want to bring my dog

  • Magnetize your Trail Angel Network
  • Know your Trail

It may sound like I’m avoiding giving you specific answers, which may be true from one point of view. What I’ve discovered about trails is that each of us has our own answers to discover and the most reliable answers are the ones we generate ourselves. There’s no one way to fulfill a walk, and my answers for my own walk aren’t necessarily the answers for your best walk. Discovering yours are a delightful journey!

Some resources to get started:

AWOL Guide to the Appalachian Trail

Radical Forgiveness by Colin Tipping

Preparing for an AT walk is part of the journey! Enjoy each step!


May, a Month of Maybe?

May 1, 2020

This morning I dashed out the door at 5:45 a.m. to fulfill my goal of doing a livestream video at sunrise. I’ve been creating a few of these programs each week with other park interpreters at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park where I’m in my sixth season as Park Interpretive Specialist. Today, our park phone will be turned over to the interpreters in our district mountain parks, Cuyamaca Rancho and Palomar State Parks. Our main season here in the desert is ending while theirs is just beginning! It was like that when the Kumeyaay Indians lived here too! They would live in the desert during the winter, then migrate to the cool mountains for the summer!

Sunrise has been a favorite inner journey scene for me! In the fall of 2018, I watched the sunrise show for 78 consecutive mornings! I wrote reflections and did color studies, noticing that each sunrise really is unique, with so many variations of color, clouds, animal visitors. I enjoyed witnessing the movement of the point of sunrise as well. I know that has a scientific name, which I’ll have to look up!

This time, I noticed a play on the word “May”. With the worldwide COVID-19 challenge enveloping us all, I can see a metaphorical opportunity to consider saying May could be a month of “maybe”. Here are some of mine:

  • Maybe I could share courageously
  • Maybe I could watch the sunrise every morning this month
  • Maybe I could even clear my personal phone to do daily livestreams for my community
  • Maybe I could stay present and generous in my job
  • Maybe I could foster healing conversations on a personal and international scope

I naturally go ahead and use “I could” statements, knowing that I can’t speak for anyone but myself! It would be convenient to say “Maybe they could” and that would be an ineffective wish, in my view!

I know that I create my own obstacles, and thanks to the tools of Radical Forgiveness, I have help to clear them, if I will just use those tools!  One of my favorites is the Thirteen Steps to Radical Forgiveness, which is built on a verbal process of thirteen statements which invite  me to say “yes” to a higher vibration view than I am currently playing in.

That could be a great pairing with sunrise viewing!


Call for an Inner Journey

November 16, 2019

I read this in a women’s hiking blog.

“Can I just rant for a moment?I’ve posted before about having to come off SOBO due to my knee this year. Also mentioned I had surgery in Sept for it. They did a couple things and I was excited that I’d get another go at it next June.Well.. nearly 2.5 months later, the original pain I was having is gone, but now I’m having more pain, just in different spots. When I stand straight I get a sharp pain at the bottom of my knee. Feels like bone on bone. Best way to describe it. Then also when I go from having a straight leg to bend it.. it gets stuck, a lot and it hurts.Saw the ortho again this morning and they gave me a steroid shot. From the sounds of it, the effects are supposed to be pretty immediate. Not for me! Still having pain and just before I decided to make this post, my knee got stuck and hurt so bad trying to unlock it.

Gaaaahhhh!!! I’m leaving June 1st next year regardless of this problem. I will hike until I’m in tears. I don’t care. Ok. End of rant. I’m just so upset.

Hiking is a huge passion of mine. Without it, I’m empty. The longer I’m out there, the happier I am. A thru hike has been a dream of mine for a while. I thought I could give it up and just section hike (only to realize my knee gave me problems then too) but I couldn’t. I felt so depressed giving up on a dream of mine.”

This piece speaks loudly and clearly to me of a call to pursue an Inner Journey! What I see is a genuine reason to feel sad, disappointed, betrayed, and downright defeated!!! No doubt about that! I support her in ranting, feeling those feelings and getting that story witnessed and validated. Telling the story and feeling the feelings are a crucial beginning to any transformational journey.

Get out the rant!

And then…step along into an Inner Journey. How?

By being open that there may be a path to fulfillment that could be different in a physical sense to the one she originally planned. I’d love to guide her in a Walk for a Singing Heart! She’s already taken the first steps in telling her story and feeling her feelings.

The next step is to be open to the idea that there’s a healing message contained in the situation. Just the tiniest bit of willingness to be open to this idea, even if the contents of that message are not known at this time. I’d ask her, “Are you willing to be open to the idea that your soul created this situation for you to heal and grow?”  Hopefully, she says, “Yes!”

And that, my friend, is the beginning of what could be a surprising and wonderful journey. What if?

  • Her logistics on the trail could be different?
  • She loved her body just as it is and embraced rehabilitation eagerly?
  • She became an expert in knee issues and helped others?
  • She looked at the trail as a blank canvas with no particular required way to be on it?

These are just four “reframes” of what seems like an intractable situation. There are many more that could be her own best fulfillment. Her radiantly fulfilling journey calls!

Blessings on all of our Inner Journeys



Identity Explored

October 23, 2019

I wrote this in response to a post by Kelly Joy Simmons as she explored and explained her identity.

Thanks for inviting me to look at my own relationship with identity. Mine has been a sort of opposite from yours, Kelly. 40 years ago, I quit my budding career enticing people to connect with Nature at an outdoor education center to be married. My husband “had a better job” I told everyone, “so we’ll live where he works.” For 35 years I was constantly creating my identity while I lavished my three sons with my presence in their lives. I loved being their mom, and learned to take a stand for my value as a mom, a house remodeler, teacher, budget keeper, and even a Nature interpreter sometimes! I had plenty of opportunities to claim my identity, my value, when responding to the usual reactions to my “Mom at home” introduction of “Oh, so you’re not working!”

For me, getting to have the job title Park Interpretive Specialist at the age of 60 and starting my first full-time position at a visitor center,  has been a delightful claim to an identity I honor!  I’m doing the “real job”  I set out to do at 25.  Getting here has been a journey of discovering and claiming my value as a woman without a job title. Instead, I defined something more useful – my life’s purpose. That, I realize, has been a consistent thread in everything I have done! It turns out that my first job title as Teacher-Naturalist in my latent career represents my life purpose quite well. My purpose has always been the same:

 to entice others to come outside
where they can connect with Nature,
rediscovering their joyful humanity
and experiencing their vibrant fullness
between Earth and Heaven. 

As I reflect on this now, I see that my journey of identity has been a blessing rather than a failure to have a real job or a late blooming or any of the other perceptions of unworthiness I have entertained in the past. My life’s journey has been exactly what my soul needed for me to claim my identity and love myself and my life just as I am and it is.

I’m grateful to the many teachers along the way who have given me tools to grapple with my identity and purpose. I now see that I have always had my purpose and when I am expressing that I am joyful and prosperous, no matter what my title is.

And that’s how I can now expand on that purpose by teaching others what I learned about how to create your own fulfilling life. I invite you to walk with me a bit, either in person or virtually, and assemble your personalized toolbox of ways to do any or all of the following:

Love yourself and your life just as it is
Use your Feelings as gateways to self-acceptance
Discover your purpose
Transform Fears into Action
Turn your Troubles into Blessings
Walk in Nature to evoke and support your Joyful Prosperity

When you work with me I listen to your story, then guide you in a step-by-step personalized journey to fulfill your purpose. I’ll entice you to

 come outside
where you can connect with Nature,
rediscovering your joyful humanity
and experiencing your vibrant fullness
between Earth and Heaven.

Get started right now by sending me an email at regina@forgivenesswalks.com with a simple message saying that you resonate with my message and you want to explore your radiant fulfillment. Together, we’ll create the best way to do that!  I have courses, playlists, books, group and private mentoring. I can even be your personal guide on the Appalachian Trail!

You deserve a radiantly fulfilling life!

Begin a journey today!  Send your email right now!



Oregon Coast Trail: Journal Anthology

September 29, 2019

“Done is better than perfect”

Read my Oregon Coast Trail anthology:
Oregon Coast Trail Beach Walking Discovery

Since John and I completed the Oregon Coast Trail and drove south through  California to Borrego Springs and our winter home at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, I’ve been compiling the blogposts that I wrote during our journey. I’ve edited the glaring errors caused by “autocorrect” and attempted to arrange the content and pictures in a book draft form.

It’s not perfect and I wanted to send it to you in case you’d like to read it as an anthology of my journal of the walk.   I’m willing to let this go for now because today I start my sixth season as Park Interpretive Specialist at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park!  There will be plenty of projects to work on there!

Here’s the link for Oregon Coast Trail Beach Walking Discovery! As always, I would love to hear your responses! So, hit reply when you’re finished reading and comment or send me a quick email at regina@forgivenesswalks.com or even better a long email that shares what’s going on with you on your journey!  I walk in service!


In joy,


P.S. I you’re the proof reading and editing type, let me know! I can share an editable copy with you!


Oregon Coast Trail: Finale

September 13, 20196:45 p.m. Finished! We crossed the Oregon-California state line on the beach at Crissey Field State Park. There was no marker. John looked at Google Maps. We situated ourselves so the little blue dot hovered over the line. Done!

This log straddles the state line!

To get here we returned to the bus stop across the street from the Fred Meyer store in Brookings. That’s the furthest south we had been until today. That’s where we had caught the bus a few days ago on our van retrieval mission.From that point, John maneuvered around to the beach spots he had found either in Bonnie’s book or by studying Google Maps. The “official” trail had us walking the road pretty much all the way to Crissey Field State Park, a few miles south. We turned down side streets a few times and walked in little parks and beaches:* Chetco Point Park* McVay Point*Crissey Field State Park

At Crissey Field, we walked north from the Visitor Center, which was closed, across a wide strip of driftwood, then out to the beach. We walked north for a hundred yards or so, then turned south for the final quarter mile of the Oregon Coast Trail.

As close as it gets to a finish marker!

We were both captivated by the colorful, smooth pebbles, pocketing a few of our favorites as souvenirs.

So many colors!

We snapped some photos, then turned east into the dune, taking the trail back to the park road and to our car. Done!

Celebrating our journey’s completion

That’s the Outer Journey complete. I’ll be discovering and delving into my Inner Journey for some time and let you know what I find out! To me, as you know, that’s the important stuff!Thanks again for reading along! Stay tuned!