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Ordinary Sherpa: Family Adventure Coaching and Design

May 25, 2022

I crossed the 200 hours outside for 2022 last week.  I am beginning to notice how much we can do outside, sometimes just sitting outside and reading is even a great refresher from life.  We will be camping this weekend as we do every memorial day weekend to kick off summer, so I’m finding it easier to get my hours in now that we have been practicing getting hours outside, and the nicer weather certainly helps.  

Thank you!
Amazon Book Review from Jenya Lindstrom: Inspiring for adventurous parents!  Beyond Normal is a motivating read that inspires me to incorporate adventures into parenting.  It’s so easy to join the masses pressuring us to “settle down” once our kids arrive.  Thank you Heidi for providing a roadmap for how to create adventures WITH kids.  Heidi also shares many personal experiences that are so relatable as a mom.  I’ve ordered extra copies to share with mom friends and my sisters! Great family inspirational reading and/or gift for new parents. 

I encourage you to be like Jenya; read the book, share the book, leave an amazon written review

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These practices all contribute to the following benefits

  • Support better sleep.
  • Uplift your mood: Reduce anxiety/depression
  • Increase energy.
  • Improve symptoms of mental health conditions.
  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Lower risk of metabolic syndrome.
  • reduce/Heal inflammation.
  • Better Memory
  • Strengthens the immune system

Grounding practices in Adventure
Neuroscience- Mindfulness (What does that mean) value in Noticing.

Fresh Air 

No screens one hour before bed (no screens after 8 is my intention) 

Sensory experiences
Auditory Walk - listen to natural sounds around you.  

Tactical:  Barefoot in the grass, or even on the concrete.  Grounding feeling of connection

Natural light exposure before noon

Sense of Smell is connected to the most vivid memories.  Fresh blooms of lilacs or the lilies of the valley, smell after it rains.  

A slightly different perspective
There is significant research that encourages “risky movements” in particular getting outside of the upright position.  With kids this helps develop their inner ear, balance and coordination that leads to many other development.  Quote from my book (Balanced & Barefoot) While it’s easy to consider this as a critical aspect for children I also encourage adults to get out of the upright position.  I know when practicing yoga there is a preference for inverted positions.  

Another form of grounding is to get all the way to the floor.  Play superman with the kids, or just yesterday I pulled out the puzzle board and picked up a puzzle we hadn’t touched in weeks.  When we all can get to the same level there is a grounding feeling in addition to deeper connection.

I want to talk a bit more about connection.  In my w2 job, which I don’t know that I have talked much about, I oversee a foundation’s giving strategy and in the past 18 months we have been studying the research related to connection.  I will link a research study in the show notes and as a society we have been reducing the number of deep connections we share with others since the 1980s.  In 1986 we averaged 4 deep connections with other people, now the average is less than 1.  Yet we have more tools to connect than ever.  The piece of this research that was most defining for me was that we only need 1 solid connection to exponentially increase the benefits listed above.  We approach health from an exercise and nutrition perspective, but human connection offers much greater results.  It has been interesting to me is that at work with our focus on mental health we have been focus on access to treatment and quality care and we knew there was more behind the curve. 


I go into detail that I knew that adventure had healing properties back in my twenties which was why I resisted the settling down narrative.  The research continues to emerge about how beneficial time in nature, practicing discomfort, and grounding practices can offer a new path- or perhaps return us to a native pathway that has been hushed.  


To Register for the Everyday Adventure Challenge:  If you would like a little help, and outside nudge to practice simple adventures such as this the Everyday Adventure Challenge is open and will run June 5-August 5th.  You can register by heading to


Key Takeaways:

  1. How are you getting fresh air everyday?
  2. What are all the things you can do at 8 PM without a screen?  You might be surprised what you come up with. Look at the list and decide What do I WANT to do tonight?
  3. When you remove one of the senses it amplifies the others.  Which sensory adventure would you like to try?  Remember an adventure is a new, uncomfortable, potentially risky experience.  
  4. Kids innately move in risky ways that make parents gasp.  These are developmentally important.  In fact I would challenge any adult listener to explore getting out of an upright position and explore a “risky” position for you. This does not mean you have to grab the rings and do a flip.  
  5. All of the practices today are accessible to you by simply taking off your shoes, putting down your phone, laying on the floor, or stepping outside and inhaling the fresh air.  They might not seem normal- but when was normal ever the benchmark for a thriving life?


Resources mentioned in this episode
1000 Outdoor Trackers:

Research on Natural Light:

Balanced and Barefoot Book: Order a book on Amazon

Research on the Human Connection: