Our environment can heal us
Mountains, beach, forest, desert, lakes, plains. Wherever it is, we always find our way back to nature at some point. It’s where we come from. Which is why it can bring a feeling of immense wholeness when we find those moments to connect with it (or her). However, today we are so often caught up in our every day commitments, that we forget to spend time with her. We stay in our concrete jungle (or simply stay inside!) where the polluted air fills our lungs and we accept it as a standard. We watch the sun shine from our windows, or commute past forests and fields without stopping. Many of us only see the beach or the sea if we make a decision to go there for a vacation.
Do you remember the feeling of grass under your feet, sand between your toes, the bark of a tree on your hand? The smell of the forest, the sea, the fresh air?
My personal favourite is spending time in the mountains. I think it’s because they aren’t the norm for me. Spending most of my life living on the North Island in New Zealand meant that I always had access to a beach and forests, so they feel more like a place of comfort for me rather than soulfilling (read my previous blog post if you want to know more about soulFULL). My boyfriend and I started a little tradition of taking a trip to the mountains every year in Autumn. We both find an indescribable sense of calm while we are there.
You know, the type of calm where you can completely disconnect from everything. Nothing exists except you, the mountains and source. Maybe that sounds a little bit mad to you? But as I said, the feeling is indescribable, and spending time in this state of being is incredibly influential on how our bodies heal; both mentally and physically. After each visit to the mountains, I feel aligned, in place, connected to myself and a sense of groundedness. During my burnout time off, we went to the mountains, and I truly believe that this played a huge role in giving me the energy to get myself back on track and finish the year.
You cannot heal in the same environment where you got sick.
Let’s do a little exercise. If you’re sitting comfortably, and in a quiet(ish) place, then let’s begin.
REMEMBER: I want you to think about the last time you were connected to nature. Where were you? What season was it? What was the weather like that day? Was there a particular reason that you were there?
CONNECT: Close your eyes and put yourself back into that place. Smile if you want to; I always do. While you’re connecting back to that moment, find the place within you that the emotions are coming from and place your hand on that place. For me, it’s always from my heart space. Stay here as long as you need to, basking in re-living that moment.
REFLECT: Lastly, take a moment to reflect on that feeling, or feelings that arose while you connected. How do you feel now? Is this something that you’re currently missing in your life? How can you create this feeling more sustainably throughout the year?
It’s easy to forget to spend time in nature, but when we do we will find rewards. Take advantage of spending time outside, open your windows when the sun shines, go for a walk, take off your shoes and feel the earth, plan short trips somewhere close by that will allow you to disconnect from everything going on in your world today so that you can reconnect with yourself.