There’s nothing like a long walk on a beautiful fall day to put things in perspective.

Thursday, I got some alarming news about a big project I’m launching for Summer House Soaps. I’m not a risk-taker by nature – au contraire, I have “anxiety karma” as a dharma teacher so succinctly put it. So for the last few months I’ve been working outside my comfort zone. (More about this project to come.)

Anyway, when I first heard the news, I got so freaked out that I emotionally contracted into a little ball, the universe reduced to a tight space filled with nothing but my visceral fear and anxious thoughts.

Luckily, it was the most splendid of days, so I took myself outside to work off some of that agitated energy.

A vast blue sky stretched overhead, full of wheeling gulls. Sun glinted off the harbor, and each puff of wind brought down a drift of yellow leaves. Many of the trees were completely bare, every once in a while I came to one whose color stopped me in my tracks.

Before long, I uncurled from my protective crouch. Yes, there was still some anxiety in my body, but it was moving through a vast space full of color and light.

Such is the healing power of nature!