Tales From The Trails: Hiking Ozone Falls 👣 Living In The Moment To Improve Your Life


 

Live Your Life In The MomentInterestingly my last hike started and ended with the same message, which was:

LIVE YOUR LIFE IN THE MOMENT

Quite literally in the end, with those exact words printed on a sign, in a place I decided not to stay.

I’ll tell you why in a minute…

The sign didn’t say which moment though.

There are past moments that can feel sad, and future moments that can feel scary, then there’s THIS moment you’re in right now. All of which I’ve been exploring.

I’ve been wanting to hike Ozone Falls for awhile now, so that’s where I headed for this adventure. It was FULL of interesting “moments” too, starting with a stop at Sunset Overlook on my way to Ozone Falls.

I stopped there on a whim when I got a hit of nostalgia nearing the turnoff.

I felt compelled to revisit this picnic table there at the lookout specifically… and the happy memory it holds from a trip that seems like forever ago now.

LowCarbTraveler ~ Mindset Shifts for Positive Attitude and Gratitude

I love to revisit places that hold my smile, that hold memories of pure happiness that you can relive for a moment, kind of like a pit stop to refuel on JOY if you will. 🙂

You replay bad moments and memories in your head all the time… try replaying some of the GOOD ones, without thinking back or forward, just BE in the beautiful moment it was. It’s amazing how it can make you feel! ❤

This particular stop made me smile, and made my heart feel SO full of love. I sat there long enough to let it FILL me with the happiness I felt there before…

Mindset Shifts for Positive Attitude and Gratitude

I’ve been practicing this a lot lately. Instead of thinking back and being sad about something that’s gone, I think back and smile at how great it was.

Or instead of thinking forward at how far I have to go toward something, I imagine myself in that future moment with the happiness and sense of accomplishment it holds, and let that feeling motivate me to take action toward getting there.

Speaking of getting somewhere, I was wasting daylight so I got back on the road for the rest of the trip to Ozone Falls – a 110 foot waterfall in Crab Orchard, TN just off Interstate 40.

Ozone Falls, TN - Tennessee Hiking

Legend has it that the area was named β€œOzone” because of the β€œstimulating quality of the air” created by the mist that is generated after the long plunge of the water.

I’ve been wanting to explore this waterfall for ages, and I finally got to see it – first from the top, then from the bottom.

🌞👣❤

Both views were breathtakingly beautiful. I carefully navigated the large rocks at the top of the falls, which dropped off sharply into the gorge below.

Hiking Ozone Falls - Lynn Terry aka LowCarbTraveler

It was a short walk to the top of the falls and I met several people coming in and out to enjoy the view.

I was alone up there for a long moment though, admiring nature’s amazing work of art, and simply feeling the warm sunshine and light breeze against my skin.

There’s nothing like finding the perfect spot to just BE, to let everything go and think about absolutely nothing except what’s right in front of you. And to simply FEEL how it feels. πŸ™‚

It’s hard to stay caught up in your stress or your tangled thoughts & feelings when you’re faced with such an amazing sight! JUST LOOK at this video:

A post shared by Lynn Terry (@lowcarbtraveler) on

 

Wow… ❤ Right? πŸ™‚

Is that not amazingly beautiful?!

In addition to enjoying a moment to myself to fully immerse myself in the beauty around me, and the inner peace that brings, I exchanged fun conversations & smiles with other people coming and going to enjoy the view.

There are times I head out on a hike because I want to be alone, but the people I run into on the trails always make for something interesting to add to my thoughts for that day.

Like the older couple that had been together 57 years and shared a love for waterfalls – and a sparkle in their eyes when they looked at each other, still. πŸ™‚

Next I hiked around and down the trail to the bottom of Ozone Falls…

Ozone Falls, TN - Tennessee Hiking

It was a breathtaking view from every angle with a large amphitheater style gorge carved out of the bluff and the pool of cold water that disappeared underground.

There are large rocks across from the waterfall – some literally as large as houses, and a mist that rises up to cool you off as you hike down to it.

The way the water resurfaces from underground past the pile of large boulders creates a wandering stream that makes you curious what’s around that next bend.

I had every intention of spending the day exploring for awhile, climbing the bluff to check out caves and hiking downriver to see where the water leads…

I even brought plenty of “fuel” – a pocket full of nut butters, which was quite literally 1,000 calories of healthy fats & real food in my pocket. πŸ˜‰

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Just because you’re alone doesn’t mean you can’t have fun!

Whether you’re single, or you simply want to go do something that your friends & family or spouse doesn’t want to do, you should have as much FUN as you possibly can in life.

That’s my motto anyway. πŸ˜‰

I actually prefer to hike alone because it’s an opportunity for me to unplug from daily life and let my thoughts untangle and unwind.

It’s a time to just breathe and just be, and allow nature to prove that my problems are really trivial in the grand scheme of things.

But I also like to have fun and PLAY and I refuse to let being in my forties (45 to be exact) or being single stop me from doing just that. πŸ™‚

Outdoor Fitness: Nature's Gym

This was my semi-successful but not at all graceful attempt at a backbend in more years that I can count, lol. I’m just glad I didn’t land on my head! πŸ˜›

I decided to climb up the rock bluff below the main trail to see how far I could see downriver, so I could decide which direction to go from there.

Hiking for Exercise

Unfortunately that bluff was FULL of stinging nettle – a plant that stings you like a bee and causes an immediate and very painful reaction. 😯

Stinging Nettle at Ozone Falls

lol, ack! πŸ˜›

As I was hiking out to get back to my car to wipe the plant poison off with alcohol wipes (which worked, btw), I crossed the point in the path where a man had been rescued just a few days before…

Ozone Falls Hiking Injury

I remembered reading the story about an accident there at Ozone Falls just days before my hike, but that fall took place down in the gorge. So I’m not sure if the blood on the trail occurred during the rescue climb, or if this was a fresh incident.

Either way it made me pause for a moment and consider that hiking downriver over large slick boulders and climbing bluffs may be better planned for a day when I have a hiking buddy with me, or at least on a weekend when there are more people around.

My arm was swelling up by the minute anyway, so I continued hiking out to take care of that. The stinging nettle plant was a new one for me. I’m always watching for snakes and wildlife, but now I’m paranoid about the plants too! lol πŸ˜›

Live Your Life In The Moment

The alcohol wipe did the trick. By the time I drove the hour+ back to my town my arm looked fine, so I didn’t need to rush home for a dose of benedryl after all.

I decided to stop for dinner at a little local place that has a deck overlooking the Barren Fork River since I survived the plant attack. πŸ™‚

The sign above caught my eye while I was in the ladies room, where I went first to wash my dirty hiking hands.

I stood and looked at it for a long moment, remembering the picnic table I sat on for a good 20 minutes earlier in the day, and how it felt to live in THAT moment.

It made me realize that all of the moments of my life are there for the living, like time traveling through memories and feelings…

I like that.

I’m sure the sign meant THIS moment, which is a concept I agree with and try to live by. But THIS moment is not always a great one.

Sometimes it is, sometimes you’re just doing the dishes or paying the electric bill or dealing with grief & loss or feeling lonesome or heartbroken or whatever.

And then there are those moments where you feel so full of joy it bursts out as light in your eyes and a smile across your face. Or moments when you laugh so hard you cry, or love so hard you cry…

Those moments are YOURS to keep, and yours to live in – anytime you please.

Ozone Falls Tennessee - Tales from the Trails with LowCarbTraveler

 

I didn’t end up staying for dinner at the place where I stopped. After I washed my hands I sat out on the deck overlooking the river, but instead of looking over the menu I found myself thinking back to that sign.

I decided I didn’t really love the moment I was in right then. It was loud and hot and nothing appealed to me on the menu. So I left to go visit my father for a few minutes, then got take-out on the way home.

You know what?

That’s okay too. πŸ™‚

I love that I have the option to exit a moment.

There are far less obligations and restrictions than we lead ourselves to believe.

Every moment of your life is full of options and choices.

While you can’t always just politely say, “actually, I’ve changed my mind – but thank you” and hand the menu back… you can easily shift into another moment in your memory that makes you smile.

I do that often when I’m stuck in traffic, waiting at the doctor’s office, or even sitting on my swing on the back deck.

Ah and speaking of the doctor’s office, I got a call from my doctor this week following a recent appointment. I have to go back in for some biopsies week after next.

In the meantime I am living in the moment I’m in, or in any moment I choose, but I am NOT living in a future moment that does not yet exist.

That causes unnecessary stress.

The moment I am living in right now does not include the biopsy results, so there’s no point what-iffing myself into a tizzy.

In this moment, everything is just fine. I feel happy and healthy and the sunshine is calling my name… so I’m going to go play in it for awhile and enjoy the day. πŸ™‚

It takes practice and discipline to learn how to live in the moment you’re in, or redirect your mind to a moment you can enjoy – or even to enjoy it for the beautiful memory it is, instead of reliving everything that happened since that moment.

I call it “reeling yourself back in.”

Practice it: Anytime you find yourself spinning or stressing or thinking too hard – reel yourself back into the moment you’re in. THIS moment.

More often than not, you’ll discover… everything is fine. πŸ™‚

Actually you’ll learn that in MOST moments everything is just fine. It tends to be human nature to live in ANY moment other than the one you’re actually in right now – worrying about the future, what if this, what if that, regretting the past, reliving a loss, feeling old grief, wondering what will come next, stressing over things that haven’t even happened – and may never happen.

Stop doing that! πŸ˜‰

First, because you’re missing out on life and on the moments as they pass. And second because most of that does not serve you in any way whatsoever.

I admit that when I first pulled off the road on my trip to Ozone Falls it was because the hit of nostalgia was more like a stab in the heart.

I made my way straight to that picnic table – where I could have just as easily crawled into that moment to have a good cry over what once was.

Instead, I chose to close my eyes and feel the sun on my face and breathe in the late summer breeze… and take myself back to that moment in time where things were easy and wonderful and blissfully happy.

That felt SO good!!

At a time when I was feeling lonesome and empty and unsure on so many levels, reliving a moment of JOY was just the cure I needed.

Our minds are a tricky thing, taking us down paths of pain and worry and stress most of the time. Once you learn that you are in control though, you can flip that switch anytime you please -and just turn it off.

Or time travel through your happy moments, even…

Which is just as much fun as it sounds. πŸ˜‰

Ozone Falls was a beautiful sight, and I fully intend to return and explore upriver and downriver and as much of the designated natural area as my feet can cover.

I take away so many wonderful things from my solo hikes.

The beautiful views are so amazing in person, only a fraction of which I can truly capture with a camera to hold those memories – and share them with you.

But it’s the life lessons that Mother Nature teaches me, and the way she calms my otherwise busy and hectic and stressful life, that have the biggest impact on me – and on how I live my life.

I hope sharing those bits with you gives you food for thought, and helps you navigate the craziness of life and love and loss and everyday living, as much as it does me.

*cheers*

Best,
Lynn Terry,
aka @LowCarbTraveler

 

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About Lynn Terry

I love making the low carb diet EASY for people with a busy lifestyle (like me!) with my KISS / Keep It Simple method. :) About Lynn Terry: Host of the Low Carb Challenge
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13 Responses to Tales From The Trails: Hiking Ozone Falls 👣 Living In The Moment To Improve Your Life

  1. Cindi Brewster says:

    How do you take the pictures when you hike alone?

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Cindi,

      I have a Samsung Galaxy phone and it has a camera timer feature built in where it will take interval shots on a timer. So I set my phone up various places and let it take candid shots. πŸ™‚

      I’ve tried remotes and other gadgets, but I prefer to go minimalist & pack light, so that works well enough for me!

  2. Rhonda Page says:

    Dear Lynn, You always have this wonderful way of expressing yourself. I am traveling, and I wrote a little Facebook post about feeling in the β€œzone” when I wander the streets in heat and humidity. Just as you have to take each step carefully, I too have to watch each step on cobblestone streets, or 2 foot high curbs- and get lost a little and triumphantly find my way back. I walk dark streets at night, as you might slip at any time. I have not met one American. The moments I cherish myself are the ones exploring in solitude. Watching people play music on the street fills my heart, as the mist did for you. But…..I need the heat and humidity to wrap around me.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      That sounds so wonderful, Rhonda. πŸ™‚ I do deeply appreciate my time alone enjoying and exploring, as much as I appreciate time spent and shared with other people, but they are each beautiful in their own (very different) way. πŸ™‚

  3. Julie Hood says:

    Hi Lynn,

    I love this blog post – you have such a breezy, fun writing style. Thanks for sharing and brightening the world with it. (And sending positive energy your way that all the test results come out well.)

    Take care (and please hike for me – it’s so beautiful, but I don’t do bugs and stinging plants!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      lol Julie – I’m not a fan of those “jellyfish plants” as I called them either! πŸ˜› but thank you. πŸ™‚ It took me over a week to process my thoughts from this hike and share them here… but the unfolding of the meaning of it all was deep for me, and so positive & uplifting.

      I wish I could box that up and gift it to everyone I know – but sharing it in words is the closest thing I can do. πŸ˜‰

      I’ve never had a reaction to poison ivy or poison oak or any plant life actually, in all my years of playing in the woods – so now I have a new paranoia to deal with out there. πŸ˜› Ugh *shudder*

      At least I know alcohol wipes, or cleaning the poison off somehow, is a quick fix! Thank you for that positive energy. I’m feeling fine about it for now, and will deal with that as it unfolds. πŸ˜‰

  4. Patricia says:

    I swear in another life you were a shrink because you always have the most insightful posts and they really help me and give me so much to think about. I am so grateful you choose to live like an open book sharing your struggles to help others. I am so happy you are in my life, even if it is thru a screen. I feel like you’re a really good friend. Thanks for all of that and also many positive vibes headed your way for your upcoming tests. You’ll always have a place in my heart dear ❀️❀️❀️

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Thank you so much, Patricia – you always make me smile. πŸ™‚ I’m glad it gives you things to consider (too).

      Working through all these little experiences and learning how to live a healthier life has been such a tough but GREAT experience. Mindset always being my biggest hurdle and ultimately I feel… my greatest achievements along the way.

      When I first started eating low carb it was just ” a diet to lose weight” – or so I thought πŸ™‚ lol. I discovered in the end that weight loss was the EASY part! πŸ˜›

  5. Kathy says:

    I try to read all of your emails and posts, but was surprised at your mention of a biopsy? Have you already discussed this in an earlier post? I pray all will turn out good for you.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      I haven’t mentioned it before, Kathy – I just got the call this week. Thank you. I’m feeling positive and just plan to trust the process, one step at a time. πŸ˜‰

  6. Patsy Smith says:

    Lynn, please keep us posted, most of your member even though we may not know you personally we truelly love you. I have a very hard time living in the moment I am a chronic worrier it drives me crazy. I need to learn to live in the moment and enjoy life more.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Thank you Patsy – I will. πŸ˜‰

      Try practicing the simple exercise I shared – reeling yourself back in from worry, thoughts, what if’s, etc and just BEING in the moment (in the NOW) and see how that feels.

      Sometimes I say things out loud even like, “Right now everything is fine.” and “Right now that isn’t a concern.” and “Right now I don’t know which way that will go, so I’ll make that decision when the time comes.” etc

      See if that helps! I find it very calming. πŸ™‚

  7. Sue says:

    Hi Lynn. This is an awesome post. It’s not always easy to be in the moment, but it is something that I’m getting better at. I just try to remind myself that there is only now as I tend to be a worrier. Also, I too was wondering how you took your photos. Simple!

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