All beings long to be more whole, whether physically, psychologically or spiritually.
We long for balance. Without a sense of wholeness, we surely can never truly be happy.
From my earliest memories, the sights and sounds of nature always soothed me. The ebb and flow of the swooshing wind through trees, water splashing and flowing across boulders in a stream, the rhythm of the waves breaking on the sand, birds happily singing at morning first light lifted my mood inspiring my heart and spirit! There is something magical and timeless looking over a natural vista while the clouds move across the sky.
What we focus on we become.
Ultimately, our picture of the world is constructed in consciousness – we perceive and create the world through our five senses.
[dt_quote type=”blockquote” font_size=”normal” animation=”none” background=”plain”]The sounds, sights, taste and smells that enter our brain and register within our mind create the experiences by which we define ourselves, and the universe we inhabit. Just as our bodies are created from the food we eat, the substance of our mind is created from the sensory impressions we consume. The quality of these impressions determines the quality of our thoughts and feelings.[/dt_quote]
In healing our minds and bodies, we feel happier when we substitute nourishing impressions for the toxic ones we have been ingesting. Nature’s energy has the capacity to inspire us toward joyful connection where we remember the truth of our place in the universe.
Ancient Vedic texts describe that the sights and sounds of nature are primordial; they help us restore our memory of wholeness. They are healing instruments and are nature’s authentic language. The energy fields and bio frequencies of natural elements are woven into our DNA and are powerful compared to our individual human energy fields and thoughts.
Likewise, the colors of nature have noticeable effects on our wellbeing. Warm, subtle tones are soothing, while harsh, glaring hues can be irritating. The vast array of the colors of nature are balancing, quieting and centering influences. We are a visual, hearing and sensing species and our sensory experiences are literally metabolized into our physical bodies moment-to-moment.
Attention is the connector or interface between awareness and the energies of nature, and our capacity to pay attention is restored with even a little exposure to natural scenes.
When we pay selective attention to a specific element in nature, we begin to sympathetically vibrate. Everything is energy! By being fully present with the healing energy of nature we become restored like a hard computer reset that clears out the junk.
Where there is awareness, nature can heal us.
By using awareness and paying attention to the power of nature, we can direct our experience and cultivate a healthy work-in practice that may quickly restore the body, mind and spirit, especially during times of stress, travel or busy-ness.
Just watching the rain fall against your window or watching the clouds drift through the sky can change not only your state of mind but can change your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing from a state of over-activation to calm centeredness. That’s why standing at the foot of a mountain, in the middle of the woods or sitting by a stream has the power to change the way we feel.
Connecting through focused attention to the feminine or yin energy of the Earth has the potential to reverse psychological and physical dysfunctions. After all, human beings exist in the context of nature. Energy of the land, trees, air, water and plants are a source of healing.
Here are some other mind-body benefits of being present with nature:
- Helps physical, emotional and spiritual detoxification. In traditional Chinese medicine, having bare feet on the earth at sunrise helps the liver to detox. It’s even better if there is dew on the grass, or if it’s slightly wet! We fill the body with energy and discharge negative energy into the earth.
- Increases the feel-good factor.
- Keeps the mind sharp. Studies have shown that children who are surrounded by nature have longer attention spans than those without while increasing concentration and the ability to think creatively and critically.
- Negative ion high! These negatively charged particles in the air are found in great numbers in forests, by the sea or rivers. Negative ions help us feel alert and reduce anxiety and depression. According to researchers, this is because they increase our capacity to absorb and utilize oxygen so that it reaches our cells and tissues more quickly.
- As above so below. When looking up at a full moon or the sprinkling of the stars overhead we feel humbled by the heavens above. This action attunes one to the cosmic and celestial universe.
- Research has shown that people are less aggressive if their houses and offices look out over trees and nature expanses.
- Children naturally entrain through nature. Unstructured free play in the out-of-doors brings a host of benefits to children – from being smarter to more cooperative to healthier overall,
Healing nature can be found even in seemingly unnatural surroundings. For example, noticing the way light streams in through the office window can change a stressful moment into a timeless moment inspiring a sense of wholeness. We need only to notice.
Nature consistently calls to us. She shares her healing energy and teaches us how to be grounded and present.
Even if your surroundings aren’t perfect, keep attuning to the power of nature all around you and under your feet!
I’d love to hear about your experience when you stop, take a full breath and allow the mind’s attention to slow down by selectively connecting with what you see, smell, hear, touch and feel. And if you can’t, you can imagine it. This is a simple act of presence. Being present with what is, you are participating in your own transformation and healing. It’s a sacred journey into wholeness. In wholeness we feel happiest!
ChildrenandNature.org (Leading the movement to connect all children, their families and communities to nature through innovative ideas, evidence-based resources and tools, broad-based collaboration and support of grassroots leadership.)
Louve, R. (2008). Last Child of the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder. Algonquin Books.
Simon, D. (1997). The Wisdom of Healing. Random House.