Nature is good for the soul. Our ancestors lived a life much closer to nature. They noticed the passing seasons and how to read coming weather changes.
Is it any wonder given our usual fast-forward lifestyle that so many people in the 21st century have lost an inherent spirituality? I am not talking solely about organized religion here. I mean looking within ourselves and thinking about who we fundamentally really are. Why we here on this planet at this moment?
Think of walking in a forest after a fresh shower of rain, those heady scents combined with the sound of birdsong high above in the trees.
Sitting by a seashore as roaring waves crash in on the beach or perhaps soothingly lap gently onto the shore.
The beauty of visually taking in all the wonder of a meadow resplendent with a kaleidoscope of wildflowers.
The drama of a wild thunderstorm.
Looking up as an eagle majestically soars against a stunning sunset.
To be out on a crisp winters evening, the sky purest black and a million stars twinkling like diamonds.
Or a scorching hot summer’s day, feeling the sun warming on our backs and experiencing true contentment.
This is real life.
This is directly appreciating freely given beauty, the beauty of nature, of our own natures; and it is all waiting right there as it has always been. Waiting for you and me to feel it through all of our senses, with every breath down through every atom of our very being!
So, what would you rather enjoy?
Any one of these amazing natural experiences or spending time looking at your phone?
Why not go take a walk instead?
Living 24/7 in completely artificial environments stifles creativity and deadens our intuition.
If like me, you live in an urban environment, allow me to make a suggestion — and I ask you to at least give it a go. If you are one of those people who doesn’t usually have the time for nature or perhaps even finds the prospect of exploring wilderness areas scary, how about you take only half an hour a couple of times a week to visit your local park? Simply sit and observe. Leave aside the headphones and no cheating yourself out of the experience by talking or texting on the phone!
Look at the trees, the grass and then listen. Hear birdsong? Do the trees make a noise? Rustling poplars or creaking old oaks. Breathe in the scents. Soak up the sights, sounds and smells. Feel on every level what it is like to be there.
Like we cannot step into the same water of a river twice, every time we visit nature it will be different.
Slowly, but absolutely surely, your awareness of nature will grow stronger and you will find yourself looking forward to these visits to the park — at some point maybe venturing a little further outside your town or city to explore some more untamed nature.
Exercise in nature is my first choice every time. Walking, running or tai chi within a natural setting is far from only taking exercise — it is wonderfully inspirational. Some of my best ideas have popped into my head way out in the wilderness or in the middle of a deserted, ancient, Neolithic site, and very rarely in the middle of a busy city!
As I lead a fairly public life, my way of finding some battery recharging time is taking myself out for an all-day solo coastal walk or deep down into the forest. This is especially effective in the heart of winter when the harsh weather discourages many others from venturing outside. It is for sure a challenge in this era in which we live to find ourselves some true seclusion. I have to say though, a gale force wind and driving rain usually means I am going to enjoy the beach pretty much to myself and with the magical bonus of making me feel wonderfully alive, leaving me with a heart full of gratitude for nature in all her extremes.
Take the time to take some time out for you — there is always a way.
Amazing experiences and awesome good health are our right.