“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” – John Muir
Life is hectic, we all know it. We invest time finding ideas and methods to deal with this in the best possible way. We do what works for us and our families, staying within our means. It is not so easy to maintain healthy practices and habits as regularly as we want… limitations are everywhere: lack of time, money, commutes, commitments, you name it! The bits of peace we are able to find often leave us wanting more, seeking more moments of calm.
The focus should not be on the obstacles, but rather in what we find important and worth the effort. Our focus should be on finding ways to make those possible through intention.
Life changes. It fluctuates. Everything is a flow, but you know what is a constant? What we are always part of and what is always available to and for us? NATURE! It is always present both within us as well as all around us. And because it is always there, we tend to underestimate nature’s healing power.
Many of us nature lovers prefer to be in the middle of it, as opposed to concrete and crowds because we recognize that spending time in nature is a path to feeling peaceful and connected (which makes sense, right?). How can we find a connection with nature EVEN on days when we are not on a hike, in the forest, or at the beach? How do we connect to nature, to the calm feelings we get in the great outdoors, when we have to be inside?
We may be stuck in a building, but nature is right outside our doors. I invite you to actively seek ways to connect with nature daily. Sit under a tree for lunch, or open a window, for example.
Gardening is great therapy. It helps us relieve stress, boosts the immune system, provides a source of exercise, and in more recent studies, even lowers the risk of dementia. Plus, the lovely satisfaction of harvesting what you eat is so rewarding! It is pure magic (regardless of the amount).
Walk barefoot! Feeling your feet connecting with the earth, practice a walking meditation, step by step: “Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” Thich Nhat Hanh
Invite nature inside! Point your desk facing a window and open it whenever weather permits for some fresh air. Have some indoor plants around because the benefits of interior landscaping goes far beyond the aesthetic. Interior landscaping plays a vital role in providing a pleasant and tranquil environment in which to move, work or relax. Not to mention, plants improve the air quality and even help in lowering background noise! The amazing things our green friends do for us!
Another way that I have had great success is connecting with nature first thing in the morning. Upon waking, open your window and stand in front of it. Look outside and take in all the beauty of nature for a minute or two. Breathe in the colors, shapes, textures and sounds. Notice the colors of the sky, the shapes of the clouds and the sounds of the birds. Observe the lizards, the ants… animals can be quite mesmerizing. Give yourself some time to carefully detail plants; their colors and patterns are spellbinding. The more you look, the more you will appreciate. Allow the natural world to ground you into the here and now.
Choose a way to connect with nature on a daily basis. Make both short and long term plans to interact with Mother Earth more often and in deeper ways. The ways to connect are endless. The results will be marvelous. And remember, your children may be yearning for some nature-time, too! Teach them how to connect with the outdoors, no matter where they are or what they are doing. It will create a life-long healthy habit.