Our environment can greatly affect our wellbeing – in more ways than one!
Take a look at where you work, where you spend time each day interacting with the world. How does your home environment fill you up after a day filled with wearing your best “I can do it” mask? Where do you go to bring balance to the continual changing flow of life? When was the last time you let your bare skin touch the earth?
Despite the environments of my home, work or community, my favorite and most profoundly healing environment is in nature. Simple nature! I’ve spent many hours driving to the ocean just to hear the waves crashing to the shore and be wrapped in the silky blanket of saltwater. The wildness reminds me of my place in the circle of life and sparks the thread of aliveness that can’t be tamed by the lie filled stories within my brain.
In a desperate search to find something to calm the chaos (not meditation or a yoga class), I run to the pine tree forests scattered with raw boulders thriving with wildlife. There is comfort in the simplicity of the order of life and death repeated over and over.
Nature is REAL
So simply, a quiet moment spent in nature gives a deep comfort to the heart, nourishes the soul and calms the mind. It could be digging in the dirt of a backyard garden, floating the river or walking to a high alpine lake. It doesn’t necessarily matter the location, what matters is the subtle connection to the density of our earth, her creatures and its amazing wonders.
“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 alike.” John Muir
The naturally occurring cycle of life holds us within the big bowl of creation. If we listen closely, there can be sweet nuggets of wisdom shared. Brilliantly and so effortlessly, the wisdom is transferred through experience, not necessarily by exchange of words. We can interact and understand the fullness of life through our own lens, not through the interpretation of another. There is so much power in this exchange.
The whisper of the wind, the songs of the birds, the carving of the stones from the free-flowing river, the community of aspen grove trees or the wild animals stalking their prey all bring stories holding the lessons of life.
“If you watch how nature deals with adversity,
continually renewing itself,
you can’t help but learn.” Bernie Seigel, MD
Nature is a Natural Healer-
During the dark and sorrow filled moments of our lives, the wild outdoors somehow let’s us be right where we are without trying to fix the pain. There is an honoring of the reality of grief and loss with its natural presence in the journey of life. The heartache is real. Uncomfortably real.
And yet, there is also a flicker of hope. After the cold winter, we witness the sprouting of a wildflower found between two barren rocks. It reminds us of the impermanence of so much of our life experiences. Life will be filled with adversity, change, death, triumphs, plateaus and new birth.
“Expect to have hope rekindled…
The dry seasons in life do not last.
The spring rains will come again.” Sarah Ban Breathnach
Need Scientific Research?
Even if just for a walk through the neighborhood park or playing barefoot in the garden, allow yourself to receive the healing nature of our wild outdoors. Current research in the Journal Of Inflammation Research, indicates that spending time with our bare skin touching the earth has positive effects to our immune system, inflammation response, wound healing and overall health not to mention the highly beneficial effects of sunshine and Vitamin D. Even taking a nap on the ground can positively support our immune system! It is as simple as that!
Through the changing seasons of life, let your sorrow be witnessed, the flicker of hope ignited and your immune system recharged. Take a look at the different environments of your daily life. How much time in spent surrounding yourself with places that replenish or even witness your true self? Allow nature to support your health and wellness.
Make time to let nature comfort your heart, nourish the soul and calm the mind. Your wellbeing depends on it!