This past month I've spent at least an hour outside every day; breathing in clean air, clambering on rocks, hiking in the cathedral like forest or sitting by the shore watching the array of creatures go about their daily activities.
I've noticed some big shifts taking place within me and wanted to share them with you in hopes that you might get inspired and get outside a little bit too.
1. The Slowness:
When you are out in nature you may start to notice how in harmony each part has to be to run smoothly. Organizational systems are present everywhere you look in the natural world and yet there is nothing frenetic about it. Instead things move slowly, at their own pace. You have to be patient to see change occur and perhaps this is the greatest lesson we can gain from witnessing nature. Movement and growth takes time.
2. The masterful system that is in place:
Without interference (from us) the natural systems continue day in and day out, there is an intelligence present in every part and each piece of the puzzle has to work together in collaboration like a symphony. There is comfort in watching as each plant and organism goes through it's necessary cycle and it reminds me that we are a part of this too. When we pay attention to our bodies and our human processes we can see that there is intelligence there. We only have to learn how to understand and interpret it.
2. The lack of stress
There is no doubt that being in nature calms us down. I've noticed how I feel calmer, more centered and my breath is much deeper. As an incredibly sensitive human when there is a lot of energy going on around me (like in the city) my body tries to process and grapple with it. I get worn down by excess noise, people, electromagnetic energy from power lines, devices and the higher currents of energy that pulse through the city. I think we all do and some people are just better at tuning out. At a certain point it becomes overwhelming and the energy that it takes to counteract and find balance again can be equally exhausting. When I spend time in nature I don't feel those things, I'm quickly able to notice how my body needs care, and listen to it. My moods and my energy are more stable, I feel more grounded and at peace.
3. The loss of addictions and unhealthy habits
I've lost interest in engaging in the perpetually alluring draw of my phone. I notice how the screen saps my energy and rather than getting lost in hours of useless scrolling and clicking I only use it when I really need to and the rest of the time I forget it exists. It's incredibly liberating.
The other thing I've noticed with this is that because I am able to listen to my body I'm more able to feed it what it wants and needs. I haven't craved the junky things that I would sometimes eat in the city and instead I'm filling up my body with healthy and nutrient dense options.
I attribute both of these things to the ability to listen and decipher my body's messages much more easily in nature.
4. The intellectual engagement
It has re-sparked my interest and investment in learning more about the natural world and our relationship with it. I've gotten back into learning about plants and animals, about the earth's processes and how our impact effects them. It has made me think more deeply about how we can go about protecting and nurturing what we have left on this planet. I've also been reminded of how special this magical planet that we live on is and how important it is that we keep doing our part to protect it.
5. The beauty
This one might be a little bit obvious, but the simplicity of the beauty that is nature never fails to remind me how fortunate we are to be able to call this place home.
The sparkle of sunlight on the water, the complex shapes that occur in leaves and plants, the beauty that is the intelligence of a tree growing its roots wherever it needs to best survive. There is no end to the beauty that is in nature and when you take in its calming stillness and everything it has to offer you can't help but be changed inside.
We all know that nature is good for us, that it might change us a little bit if we spend more valuable time with it. Maybe you're able to take some time out of your day to take a walk in your local park or forest or you can plan a camping trip with your friends or family.
Whatever way you are able I urge you to spend more time in nature, learn more about, do your part to understand and protect it and teach your children's its values.
Because if we don't start investing in our relationship with nature it's easier for us to be apathetic about its demise .