Saturday, November 19, 2016

Out in Nature & Being Sure To #OptOutside This Black Friday: Gratitude Part 2

A weekend or 2 ago, one of the things I most wanted to do was go hiking with my family. So we did. And there is photographic proof of it. One of my favorite things about this picture is that the background of the collage is an another photo from the day--the amazingly brilliant oranges and golden hues of the season.

Walking meditations while outside, soaking in the beauty of autumn, is something to totally be thankful for.

Another thing to be thankful for: REI and their second annual invitation to #OptOutside. The gist of the campaign: REI is purposely, pointedly closing (both in stores and online) on the day after Thanksgiving (traditionally known as Black Friday--shopping, sales galore and more). Their philosophy (not to mention the whole brand of their store) is to get people outside, embracing nature, and bringing out everyone's best. So, all 149 stores are closed Black Friday, and their 12,287 employees get a paid day off.

Last year, 170 companies did the same.  This year... 475 companies are on board to do the same thing, so REI isn't going it alone.  Add in, National Parks from 22 states are offering free admission to further encourage people to get out there and enjoy nature.

Added bonus in opting outdoors... time unplugged. If you are outside, you can't get sucked into the vortex of social media and the likes of Facebook. It's a total escape from the media blitz and bad news of present day politics. If you are out and about, moving and grooving and in the moment, you can't be reading from the phone in the palm of your hand or from the screen upon your lap. Plus, sitting and being sedentary is the new smoking & peril of our time. Being out, and really one with nature and viewing is a beautiful, wonderful thing.
"As a nation we're still spending over 90 percent of our lives indoors and it's a trend we need to tackle," said REI CEO Jerry Stritzke in a statement. "The moment we announced our decision last year, people who build their lives around the outdoors really embraced the idea of reclaiming Black Friday. It took on a life of its own and became about much more than REI."
At this writing, more than 2 million people have opted in to #OptOutside.  Will you? For an activity finder, check out their website. For some inspiration, check out their gallery.

Video from
"Will You Go Out With Me" pic; other photos from our outdoor adventures.

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