“Build therefore your own world.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Are You Ready For A Change?
Life was a sprint. A race against imaginary opponents and fabricated finish lines. And escapism was my coping mechanism. Escaping through substance abuse, depression, anxiety, self-loathing, fear, apathy, shattered self worth, and destroyed self confidence. I had been wearing a mask my entire life. A mask that I believed I was expected to wear. It was so heavy that it almost became weightless in its magnitude. It was no longer simply heavy. It was everything - until it was nothing. Nothing more than a character-building, perspective-filled, valuable experience. The Wilderness gave me that triumph. It forced me to confront the mask that I was wearing, and unveil my true, organic self.
Some things are subjectively beneficial, others are universally cathartic. The Wilderness is the latter. Join me on the Mountain.
Nature is pretty. Nature is a fun place to be. Nature promotes physical health. And Nature is so much more.
It was for me. For me, it helped facilitate the answer to a question that I had been struggling with, both knowingly and unknowingly, for my entire life – “What the hell am I doing?” For a long time it seemed society was providing an answer – Get the grades, play the sports, get the degree, get the job, get the girl, get the car and the house, then die with as much money as possible. That answer, over time, became more and more unacceptable to me.
But society is hard. External pressures, whether real or perceived, are hard. Expectations are hard. And those hard, heavy weights led me to try to escape. Escape through learned depression and anxiety, through a prolonged eating disorder, through substance abuse, by shutting people out, by living a life of quiet desperation. A constant state of chasing hollow trophies and fabricated external expectations led me to look to the outside world for validation. That chase had no finish line. It had no light at the end of the tunnel. It lacked those respites of relief because they were never real to begin with. They did not actually exist. They were in my mind. And as the problem was in me, so was the answer.
And although we hear all the time about how we need to look inwards to “find ourselves” and to “work on ourselves,” those were only amorphous words of advice until I got in the woods. In Nature I was able, if not forced, to look at myself in ways that seemed impossible before. The introspection that is inherent in being in the Wilderness is palpable and profound. It is more than an emotional reprieve; it is a physical sensation that can not be described and can only be experienced.
My approach is to use Nature as it is intended – As a medium to facilitate individual growth of Mind, Body, and Spirit. Nature, coupled with readings (ranging from psychological to researched-based to personally spiritual to motivationally charged perspective challenging), and one on one conversations that challenge preconceived notions on both society and self, creates an unparalleled breeding ground of self-growth and rejuvenation. It creates Revival.
I’ve met Connor twice in my life. The first I can’t remember, only that I was striving to achieve goals set by others, trying to be what others viewed as successful. Most recently, not knowing we had crossed paths before, Connor led me on a snow filled hike up Mt. Willard. A few hours outside changed my life. We talked about similarities, past struggles, and individual goals. The guidance from Connor that day was simple; rest when needed and push forward when I can. We were outside, taking in all the elements nature had to offer, that was the focus. Frozen streams, Icy trails, and the sun setting through the trees are the elements I will always ingrained in my memory.
Fast forward 4 weeks, I was furloughed due to covid and I was faced with the decision; Isolate in my apartment or take to the mountains and rivers. I bought a tent, a kayak, and some hiking shoes. I can’t describe what I experienced. I will never be able to, however, it was exactly what I needed. Nature is everywhere, and no single experience can ever be repeated. I learn new things every day, I meet unbelievable people each journey I take. It can be as simple as a thirty second glance outside, or a week camping along a river.
Months after our first hike I sat in a stream watching the sunrise. Connor was hiking a mountain in my horizon working on his 4,000 ft. goals. Two people, different goals, different views, and separate journeys, yet we connected and wished each other well. An amazing moment.
I am forever grateful to find my escape. Nature will always be a present part of my life. All I have to do is take the first step to have the courage to let it in.
I have been working with Connor for five months now on restructuring my thinking patterns to live a more meaningful and fulfilling life. I had been trying to build a life full of meaning and purpose by myself for about a year and a half prior to meeting Connor. I had made very little progress and would often take one step forward and two back. Connor helped me see a clear path to getting rid of the addiction and depression that was destroying me. Through conversations, questions, and thought exercises we uncovered the negative thought patterns I would follow that led me to the undesirable outcomes I experienced in my life. He also helped guide me through processing emotions in a healthy and genuine way. I feel this raised my self awareness and allowed me to be more forgiving both toward others and myself.
Connor is very intelligent and understands ideas on a deep level. He always makes sure to share his understanding and does a great job at helping me understand the nuances. He helps you understand precisely what you are doing, why you are doing it, and the value in doing it. This gives you a greater and clearer understanding of reality which makes it much easier to restructure your life. He is honest and holds you accountable because he truly cares, he’s really an all around great guy. I highly recommend working with him, the value I have received from him will benefit me perpetually.
Connor is just one of those people you automatically respect. I had met him at a particularly low point in my life, and he was a sight for sore eyes. Such an intellectual. When our friendship grew the more I was able to see his genuine character and intentions, and finally, he became a person in the recovery community who I looked up too and admired. He loves the outdoors; which isn't my particular cup of tea, but I still loved and respected his ability to gather a group of people together and go out and enjoy an activity. He truly is just one of the most caring, talented, charismatic, and accomplished men I have ever met. He is a dear friend. Anything Connor is a part of, or puts his stamp of approval on, automatically has my approval and respect. He will change you or your loved ones life.
I was very fortunate to connect with Connor this past year in early 2020 when I was severely struggling. Connor is very inspirational, encouraging and an amazing person with great leadership skills. He introduced me to hiking on a beautiful day in February. It was freezing in New Hampshire and I didn’t want to go, but with his encouragement I got out there and did it. I didn’t make it to the top, but I made it more than half way! I was huffing and puffing and felt like I was dying, but I still did it and I felt amazing! With the encouragement and guidance of Connor, I have now continued hiking and started to work out again. I am able to find peace being outside in nature and love how I feel physically and mentally. I am so thankful I had the opportunity to meet Connor and learn from him. He is one of the best and along with being very intelligent he is extremely sincere. He loves what he does and you can really see that helping others is his passion. I would highly recommend working with him. Thank you Connor for everything you have done - I am so grateful for you!
I can honestly and enthusiastically insist that I would jump at any opportunity to help Connor Boyle. Connor has assisted me in my recovery process in extraordinary ways. Ways in which I feel I could never truly relay to you with words alone. Connor is a well-rounded, well-adjusted, well-educated and upstanding person. He has the ability to put on many hats; friend, mentor, caregiver, recovery specialist, just to name a few. I have every confidence in the world that if you are struggling, or are in need of assistance, especially with substance abuse and/or mental health issues, Connor Boyle is the man for the job
Connor was a light in the darkness and greatly impacted the beginning of my recovery experience. I felt truly heard, understood, appreciated, and a part of while in his presence. If it wasn’t for his heart warming candor and nature along with his passion to get outside I would have felt very lonely and isolated during a rough time. I have faith in his journey, mission, and process. I would trust him with my loved ones.
White Mountains, NH