when i first sat down with jordan to talk about cairn guiding, i wasn’t sure what to expect. we met at this eclectic little coffee shop in arvada, and sat in a quiet corner to chat about how we could collaborate services. but as soon as i asked what cairn was about, this fire just lit up behind his eyes.
after watching family suffer from depression and anxiety, and a bout of the mindful woes himself, jordan began his work in mental health at a psychiatric hospital. however, as fulfilling as it was to know he was assisting people, he couldn’t help but notice all the pills and prescriptions for more drugs, and began the idea that there could be something more permanent, less dependent, than a little orange bottle with a fancy name on it. a prescription to get outside, and find ways to cope with stress instead of medicines to suppress it. something that you don’t have to panic about when you need a refill, something more like a replenishment.
so, what the cairn guides do is provide a safe space to speak out, without all the pressure, and absolutely no obligation. if just getting out on an intense hike is what you need to clear your head, that’s totally fine, a guide would be happy to drag you up a mountain. if you get to the summit and are overwhelmed and feel some kind of way, the guide is there with you. rather do yoga? climbing? rafting? the guides at cairn are literally a crew of people just looking to help others. like dear abby, but with activities instead of in print. you don’t have to pay for a therapist, or go to a certified counselor, if you just want a non-biased party to take you somewhere outside, even if it’s just the local park for a recreational time, cairn will send an inspired guide to be there for you.
i personally got to experience the service behind cairn first hand, as a guide.
with my background in yoga (RYT 200) and mental health outreach, i was afforded the opportunity to be a guide, gracing a group of lucky individuals with my own hippy-dippy philosophies and advice on how to maintain happiness, clarity, and a general healthy disposition. they were so welcome, lulz.
but in all seriousness, this was a very blessed opportunity. i had not genuinely taught a, “real class,” in over two years. there was no pausing to rerecord awkward movements, no voice recording, or editing. not only was there no do-overs, but it was a real face to face interaction, adjustments weren’t just about not having personal space with friends, i was guiding a group into a practice. my weird inner flower child radiated, i was euphoric after choosing a topic i myself was sensitive to, and it was so uplifting to be not only teaching, but learning alongside these lovely women and men. they may not be aware of it, but even though it was my lesson, they taught me something about myself and facing insecurities.
so, to keep this from turning into me gushing over the experience, how about try one yourself? You’re even welcome to take a yoga class with me as a your guide! or go hiking, running, or if you need time to chill, try out some new photography! but whatever you do to get outside;