‘Being in powerful landscapes slows one down to take in the breathtaking scenery and the details of a wild flower. This renews our energy for life, with its unpredictable turns.’
Every second Sunday Iain Macdonald sets off with a group of about 20 people on a 5-hour walk through the mountains around Cape Town.
‘These are walks, not hikes,’he clarified, ‘the intent is to let nature regenerate you. For that you have to slow down and be present.’
Why are they called Awakening Intuition Walks?
‘For me the word intuition is made up of ‘in’ and ‘tuition,’ literally meaning ‘inner teacher.’ My aim is to promote a connection with that inner source through being in nature. Nature offers the perfect ground for attunement within.’
Iain started this service 5 years ago, combining a lifelong interest in intuition with love of the outdoors and an interest in meeting people.
A hiking club doing the same route as us through Tokai Forest finished in 3 hours, compared with our 5. We paused several times along the way for reflection, but for the most part it was the companionable art of walking and talking. For myself I would have liked some environmental input from time to time on features we were passing and felt it would have drawn us deeper into nature. The outing cost R30 and the people ranged in age from 20 to 60, mostly women.
‘Men are becoming more interested in intuition, and we are seeing more of them,’ Iain smiled.
Amanda, a regular, commented:
‘I think this group fills a unique need in Cape Town. Most people are intimidated by the mountain and would not venture up alone. They want to connect with a group who know the way and who walk at a slower pace that accommodates photographers and tree huggers.’
A sea of spring flowers
We stopped for lunch at the top of Silvermine. Iain described how the energy and intention that each person brings creates the experience, and how a sense of community comes through being experience-oriented and not destination-driven. He would be glad to see the model taken up in other areas and towns for the benefits it brings.
‘It is a simple way of connecting with life and being revitalised,’ he explained. ‘I’ve found that Nature is the best therapist, and it costs nothing.’
It is a network more than a group, and there is no requirement to attend regularly. Iain chooses walks that feed the soul without unduly straining anyone’s fitness level. Periodically he organises days and weekends away to beautiful places with nature trails and self-catering facilities – all in the same spirit. He is supported by his partner, Kirsten, with an elfin smile under her sunhat. On the day I went there was no meditation, silence or feedback on personal experience, which I would have appreciated.
According to Iain each hike is different and he doesn’t like to be prescriptive. Sometimes, time allowing, they chat about their experiences in the mountain, but mostly everyone is free to take from the hike what they need. All in all if you are looking to walk in safety and community with time to take in nature’s medicine and hear your own inner voice, this is a very good group to be in.
To find out more about Awakening Intuition Walks and the related activities Iain offers contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org