Have you drawn closer to nature over summer?
I certainly have, and I’m aware of what a beneficial effect this has had on my health and wellbeing in these troubled times.
During January I’ve been posting a series called ‘Wonder in Nature’ on my Facebook page. Finding the wonder in nature each day has enlivened my relationship with the natural world.
A week before Christmas I left the city feeling depleted and somewhat frazzled. But my energy revived the moment I returned to the land. I felt like a thirsty person who could drink once more, and soak up life-giving moisture in every cell of my body.
It was a great joy to make contact with the trees, the waters, and the vastness of the sky: by day the great blue lift, filled with drifting clouds; by night the breath-taking dark dome studded with stars.
So I want to begin 2017 by reminding you of some of the ways in which the natural world can revive and inspire you.
Because it may be that you are feeling shaken by recent world events.
If you are, you are not alone. You will be one of many who are seeking to find sources of solace and sustenance right now.
I want you to know this:
In times of trouble and uncertainty a huge and benevolent resource is waiting in the wings.
The power of nature is immense. It provides health-giving, spiritual connection that is there for you in all seasons.
Here are four ways you can access that power:
If you feel shaken or disconnected, go to the trees.
* Hold a tree, and notice how it grounds you.
* Take time for forest bathing. Sit and sense how trees sustain one another by sending out networks of support through their root systems.
* Lean with your back against a tree trunk, and absorb the connection between earth and sky.
If you are feeling distressed, go to the waters
* Give your feelings to the waters. Let them flow into new shapes. Be cleansed and soothed.
* Revive your energy by sitting close and breathing in the positive atmosphere of ‘negative ions’.
* Close your eyes and listen to the music of the waters. Let this music replace any other sounds that may have caused agitation. Invite the music of the waters to fill your soul.
If you are contracting into fear, seek out airy places
* Stride out freely into open spaces and feel your whole body expanding.
* Open up your peripheral vision to big perspectives.
* Inhale deeply into your lungs, breathing in a larger sense of self.
If your heart feels numb
* Light a fire to rekindle your passion and hope
* Feel the flames warming and reviving your heart
* Remember the comfort of community, and the power of gathering together with kindred spirits.
May your spirit be revived and sustained as you turn towards the green places, the blue places, the airy places and the flaring fire that mirrors your own inner light.
The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. . . . I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.
—Anne Franke, ‘Diary of a Young Girl’.
This post is an excerpt from my Seasons Newsletter. To receive the Seasons Newsletter, you may sign up on the home page of this website and receive a free audio meditation.