Meet Anastasia Allison – an adventure life coach on a mission to inspire others to live a life fueled by passion. She has paved her own path with her innovative creation of the first ever pee cloth for women, and building a community who promote stewardship in the outdoors. She believes our experiences in the outdoors can transform positive changes to our daily lives and encourages others to bring their aspirations to fruition.
Spending time outside is a literal and figurative breath of fresh air - some spaciousness that we can use to refocus our energy on what we want.
1. What motivates you to get outside and enjoy the outdoors?
The outdoors is a place where I can reconnect with myself, free of the distractions and noise of 'normal' life. I truly believe that the wild spaces we seek are simply a reflection of the good and beauty that lives in all of us. When we spend time outside connected to who we are, we have access to ideas and inspiration that we otherwise 'block' out by focusing on worries or future planning. Spending time outside is a literal and figurative breath of fresh air - some spaciousness that we can use to refocus our energy on what we want. It doesn't have to be an epic trip - it can be as simple as standing outside and looking up at the sky. Nature has a way of simply being how it is, and humans have a way of being 'busy' all the time. When we spend time in nature, it reminds us that we can be still too.
2. In what ways do you limit your impact when enjoying the outdoors?
I am the founder of a gear company called Kula Cloth which is an antimicrobial pee cloth, specifically designed to help reduce the amount of toilet paper discarded in fragile wilderness environments. On personal trips, I use a Kula for peeing and then pack out any other toilet paper that I use. I also follow the Leave No Trace Principles, which are a set of 7 principles created to reduce impact in wilderness areas. I'm also the violinist for a duo called The Musical Mountaineers. With The Musical Mountaineers, we specifically do not announce our concerts, because we don't want them to become a 'show', which would attract an audience into an otherwise sensitive area. I think the most important thing that people can do is to simply be mindful. Educate yourself about the LNT principles, do your best to implement them into your own outdoor activities, and lead by example. Focus on what you want to create and what you want the experience to be like, rather than what you don't want to see.
I also make a practice not to shame people who aren't necessarily following all of the LNT principles perfectly. Everybody is at a different place in life and in their outdoor educational experience, and we do not make progress by using bullying tactics to attempt to change the behavior of others. We live in a very material world, and the point is not to be perfect... the point is to make small changes. The world is greatly impacted by a lot of people doing small things, rather than one person being 'perfect'. Even if you drive an SUV (I do!), or even if you used 10 pieces of single-use plastic last week... it doesn't mean that you are bad. Making an impact is simply the process of becoming aware of ways in which you can take small steps to reduce your impact on the environment. Each of us can start today.
3. What environmental threats do you care about most, and what are you doing to help?
I might be somewhat of an anomaly in the way that I approach 'threats', but I intentionally do not focus on the things that I don't want. When you focus on what you don't want in any area of your life, you actually amplify the energy of that which is not wanted. Have you ever noticed how when you focus on something that you don't like or a lack of something... that it stays the same or gets worse? It's the same for our environment, and the collective power of a lot of people focusing on what they don't want is actually cultivating an environment where change will not happen, and in fact, the 'problem' might get worse. The problem and the solution are not on the same frequency - which means, if you are focused on the problem, you will not be in the vicinity of receiving a solution. I'm not indifferent to 'problems' in the world, but the way in which I approach them is very different, because I don't focus on what I don't want, instead, I think about what I do want.
What do I want? I want a healthy, abundant planet where the flora and fauna flourish. I want a planet that retains its natural state of well being. I want a planet that easily thrives and easily provides for the human beings on the planet. I want human beings on the planet that love and respect the planet and intentionally are mindful about making decisions that are in alignment with what is best for the health of our natural world. I want leaders who have a deeply rooted vision of a healthy, abundant world. I choose to focus on what I want, because I know that I will be inspired to actions and behaviors and ideas that will cultivate an environment that will allow that reality to flow naturally. I hope that others can begin to shift their focus away from problems and anger to one of solutions. It will be pretty fantastic to watch that happen.
4. What inspires you to bring positive change to the environment?
I'm inspired by a deep love of our planet and a deep knowing that we are all so connected - we are all a part of life, and when we protect our environment, we are also protecting ourselves. I think that loving the natural world is the most natural love of all, because it is this planet, afterall that made our lives possible. If you stop for a moment and think about all of the things that our planet does for us - provide water, food, the perfect location from the sun, rotating in orbit, etc... it's hard to fathom. We go about our lives on a daily basis and never have to think about something like the angle of the earth's rotation, and yet, without us needing to do a thing, it rolls on and on, providing this incredible space for us to live. People who have experienced the connectedness with life itself through experiences in nature have a different understanding of why it is so important to be mindful about caring for the environment. It isn't just the earth we are caring for - it is each other.
5. What message would you like to share with future generations to inspire them to protect the environment?
I said this a bit earlier, but I would absolutely love for people to spend more time focused on what they want and truly visualizing what they want for our planet, and allow that vision to inspire them to actions that will cultivate an environment for positive change. It's easy to get angry when you think about a problem and as a result, we end up amplifying the energy of the problem, rather than the solution. Believe that change is possible and then make the conscious choice to approach that change from a place of inspired love for our planet - from a place of deep appreciation for what we have and for life itself... and see what happens. I have so much hope for future generations as we begin to awaken to what is possible when we subtly shift our focus from 'where we are right now' to the world we want to create. Everything is possible, and our planet is an abundant, resilient place that is waiting and ready for each of us to focus our hearts and minds in a forward thinking direction.