Standing under the shaded cathedral of tall oak trees, I look out upon a body of water alive with shimmering golden light. I become echanted. In my mind’s eye, I can envision Native Americans living in this sacred landscape in New Jersey. I feel as though the earth, trees and water are pulling me into their magnificence. The spell fills my body with peace and magnetizes my feet to the ground. I walk away feeling uplifted.
This sacred place became my home several months later. I still have gratitude for the privilege of awakening to this natural beauty every day for eleven years. While living there, nature pulled the stress and striving out of my body and soul. I learned to live in the stillness and flow of the present moment in spite of the life challenges that found their way to my front door. Nothing seemed to matter when I stared out the back sliding glass doors overlooking the lake and magnificent trees—our own park.
I believe that the Earth is a natural healing resource for people who take the time to notice and connect. Best of all, it is affordable and accessible. Yet many people avoid a conscious relationship with this antidote to stress. Walking in the woods or along a beach, watching a sunset or sunrise, feeding ducks, hugging trees, and so many other simple earthly pleasures elude them. Aligning the senses to the healing resources of nature quickens a slumbering soul.
A report by John David, PhD, at Naropa University, 2008, shares that over one hundred research studies indicate the following perceived benefit of being in nature: Stress reduction, decreased mental fatigue, restored mental clarity, increased sense of well-being, recovery from surgery, health and healing, and improved performance.
How do you relate to this healing resource? Here are a few tips to help you connect with Mother Nature:
- Value its beauty and magnificence (beautiful sites affect your emotions)
- Have gratitude for its ability to sustain you (gratitude connects you to Spirit)
- Honor the Earth as a living organism filled with a sacred spirit (awareness fills you with awe)
- Respect its creatures and forces (nature gives and takes away)
- Allow its aliveness to nourish your body and nurture your soul (nature fuels you on so many levels)
Your mind, heart and body are affected by nature. When you walk through a park absorbed in your surroundings, you turn a walk into a meditation. Your soul is filled with peace and your body’s chemistry promotes health. Harmony and vitality are yours when you enjoy simple moments in nature.
What special place or scene in nature makes you feel ALIVE?