So, you can hear trees talking? People must think you’re nuts.

She was 40 years old, going through her daily routine just like the rest of us. Her day was spent at an office job she liked, and her nights were spent at home with family. She had a “normal” life. One brisk autumn day changed everything. She was walking her dog down the sidewalk when she heard a soft mumble as if someone were whispering to her. She looked around and saw no one there. She shrugged her shoulders and continued down the road. “I must be hearing things,” she thought to herself.

A week later it happened again. The sound of whispers surrounded her as she walked down the street. She stopped in her tracks, completely stunned by what was happening. The voices of the trees were gentle and low. She leaned in quietly and with deep focus tried to make out their words. It was unlike anything she’d ever experienced before. She did not have any mental illness. She wasn’t under the influence of any drug. There was nothing wrong with her hearing. She intuitively knew that what she was experiencing was real. It was as if she had inadvertently tuned into a radio station playing the songs of nature. What started as something strange and mysterious slowly grew into one of her most cherished gifts.

I personally have never heard the loving voice of a tree or plant, but this woman’s story always stuck with me. We are all so energetically interconnected, it makes sense that some would have the gift of tuning in to the frequency of nature. Maybe part of the secret to nourishing our souls and reconnecting with the Earth is learning to quiet the mental chatter. We get so caught up thinking about what we need to do and where we’re going next that we forget to appreciate the moment for what it is.

Nature slows us down. It’s always there. It reminds us of the beauty and wonder of the world we live in. As we look up to the sky and feel the warmth of the sun hit our face, our bodies immediately respond with a sense of relaxation and peace. When we are caught up in the busyness of life with racing thoughts and a restless mind, the feeling of the Earth beneath our feet grounds us. Water has tranquil, calming qualities that heal us inside and out. It is no wonder that the Earth surrounds us with what we need the most.

Here are five simple ways to nourish your soul:
• Spend time alone outside. Whether you take a walk, go fishing on the lake or get elbow deep in the dirt while you garden, it’s all time well spent.

• Invite nature into your home. Bring in some greenery and plants, open your windows and enjoy the warm breeze.

• For the animal lovers out there, put up some bird houses and bird baths around your home. You’ll likely see a variety of forest friends and if you’re lucky you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful sounds of the songbirds too.

• For those of us that are sunshine deprived in the winter, Happy Lamps are a lifesaver. A friend of mine introduced me to these and I couldn’t believe how well they work. Happy Lamps provide natural spectrum light therapy that helps combat stress, improve sleep and make us happier in general.

• Admire the night sky. The magnificence of the moon and stars sets the stage for quiet introspection and mindfulness. It reminds us to live a life of gratitude for all we have and appreciate the beauty of nature.

Whatever you do, find something that speaks to your soul. Embrace Mother Earth. She is waiting for you.

Sara Astraya
Sara Astraya is a spiritual teacher and healer with experience in Reiki, astrology, intuitive counseling and mindfulness meditation. Whether you want to discover your life purpose, learn how to take the next steps in your spiritual development or simply enjoy some relaxation and "me time," Sara can help. Her passion is helping people restore harmony in their lives so they may experience more love, happiness and success. Contact her at saraastraya@gmail.com.

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