Julie Bridwell

1. Where can people follow you online, and who are your followers?

People can follow me on instagram @desertmoon.wanderer and @summit.soul.sisters. My followers are anyone who may be drawn to the magic of the desert, connected to nature or driven by exploration; open minded learners, lovers and stewards of nature.

2. How long have you been actively using social media to share content?

I’ve been using social media to share content since 2015.

3. What led you to begin using social media as a platform, and how do your outdoor adventures fit that platform?

I was led to the use of social media initially by the content that others were sharing. I thought there was so much potential and beauty in the communal sharing of content that was unique to each individual. It felt like a natural transition to share my experiences. I loved the opportunity to log and share my adventures, and share the expressions of my heart from a moment in time.

4. What does nature and the outdoors mean to you?

Nature and the outdoors (to me) means being a member of a universal community. I feel charged and hold incredible responsibility for our preservation and evolution. In all of Mother Nature’s beauty… the concatenation of biological incident and accident, her busy work of managing coexistence, she sees me, teaches me and holds a place for me. I want to give the Earth the reverence and protection she deserves. We are all connected. What happens to the landscape, water, & animals also happens to us. This piece of my writing from a summit in Sedona captures how I feel.

“Moments like these humble me to complete stillness. My breath becomes deep and slow. My feet are pulled hard and heavy into the Earth. Stable. My shoulders engage and my chest opens, exposing all of my heart. I’m so still. I lose a sense of my conscious mind. I’m aware of and feeling one thing only…the cord. The cord that pumps lifeblood that connects all living beings. I feel the cord between the cage of ribbed bone in my chest as it’s plucked by a train of tiny ants passing. I feel it sway from a breeze a million miles away. I feel the cord bare the weight of pain, almost cinching the energetic flow.  I try to stand taller to keep the cord strong and taut under the heaviness. Keep the stream steady. The slow shifting of our mountains cause a subtle contracting of the cord. I feel the cord yank harshly from a woman dancing wildly under the moon. In my stillness, I know we are all connected. I know that someone has stood taller for me when I’m in the midst of pain to keep the life passage open. I know those tiny ants feel the cord pull quickly when I giggle at ducks in a pond. I know I’ve swirled the cord in perfect rhythm with the woman dancing for the same moon. The moving mountains give the cord slack when I’ve needed grace. We are all connected. We all affect the cord, the blood, the flow. MitakuyeOyasin.

5. How do you think social media and other communications can influence good stewardship of the outdoors?

Social media is a great space to be inspired and learn from others. It’s a wonderful communal platform to appreciate others’ exploration, but also learn and share about responsible exploration. I think it’s important to acknowledge that not one of us is the absolute “vault of truth.” When we know better, we can do better. Ideas and practices can change and evolve and social media and other communications help share research and knowledge about best stewardship for public lands. 

6. What else do you want people to know about you?

I have a rock and bone collection! I will always be a teacher at heart. I cannot do a handstand, and I love bluegrass music!