These are just a few of my favorite things I crave and they all share very similar, powerful effects: they're relaxing, stimulating and addictive. They awaken your senses and keep them alert. Being in the outdoors, the quiet away from people, the water lapping on the shore, the spiritual peace I find only out in nature where there is water and solitude is like the relaxation and contentment I feel when I'm enjoying a freshly brewed cup of coffee or enjoying the scent from a batch of chocolate chip cookies I just baked. For me, a good cup of coffee or piece of rich, dark chocolate involves being mindful, wherein you sip or eat slowly, focusing on all the flavors and scents within and the powerful, therapeutic effects they have on relaxing and also stimulating the senses. I take this same mindful approach of being aware with me on the water, focusing on all the sights and sounds that can calm and excite the senses simultaneously. No thoughts, fresh air, water, sunshine, nature just makes the mind and body mellow. Whether it be witnessing a vibrant multi-colored sunrise, hearing the harsh, croaking sounds from a Great Blue Heron when I've paddled a little too close for comfort, or the excitement when you catch a fish and think, "maybe I can find a bigger one!", it's just you and the water and the admiration for nature and the way things naturally work. It's a good thing that when it comes to fishing, I don't have to exercise control like I do with coffee or chocolate or I'd be in real trouble!