Saturday, December 16, 2017

Have you been feeling frazzled lately – tired – stretched – depleted? Would you rather be on holiday, somewhere, far away from it all, so you didn’t need to answer another call or another text, or feel like you’re needed to resolve yet another issue? Well, my friend, I have the answer. Take a week off from the grind, turn your phone off (even for part of the day) and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, every day. Really. It will revitalise you. And you can do it, pretty much for free – depending on where you choose to go.



Whether you hang out in your garden, at the park, by the river, by the sea, up a mountain, or wherever the beauty of nature abounds, just get yourself there. And even if you have to take noisy kids with you – you can still enjoy the healing power of nature. Open your eyes and see, I mean really see. Open your heart and feel life. There is no greater remedy for a congested or stagnant mind than by simply experiencing the beauty of nature.



Nature is nourishing & healing

Nature is a source of pleasure, beauty, life, truth, awe, inspiration, and belonging. It ignites our imagination. It makes our hearts feel grateful. It brings our mind into the moment, quite naturally. And when we’re in the moment, we aren’t worrying about what has been, or what might be, we just are. We aren’t internalising our personal suffering, or the world’s suffering, we’re simply sensing our environment and appreciating what we’re directly experiencing of it.



When we become engaged with nature, we are not fretting over what someone may be thinking of us, and what is yet to be attained, rather we are in the simple act of observing what has immediately captured our curiosity. Therefore, a surrendering occurs of one aspect of ourselves, in favour of another. We go from the over-thinking individual to the experiencer who recognises they are part of something greater – which enlivens us.



Nature is beautiful

Aside from providing us and other creatures with seemingly endless resources and possibilities, from which we are nourished and supported, nature is intrinsically beautiful. We are instinctively attracted to its mathematical structures. It is a provider of visual pleasure and equilibrium – it’s colours, lines, shapes, patterns, and forms are a constant source of delight and inspiration. Also, there exists in nature a vast spectrum of sounds, scents, textures, and tastes which are similarly captivating.



Nature is life

Nowadays, so much of what surrounds us is man-made, like furniture, walls, ceilings, doors, vehicles, machinery and devices – which are often stagnant or deteriorating. Nature is never stagnant – it is alive. It may deteriorate but it renews itself. A scene is never still, nor is the light on a scene, or the wind, even if you return to it at the same time every day. It is forever changing, and so we can enjoy observing the beauty of life in countless cycles.



Nature is spiritual

There is a divinely ordered intelligence to nature that can have us in awe. And though in our minds we may separate ourselves from nature, believing we are in ownership of it, we aren’t. We are elaborately intertwined in it’s vast and meticulous network. Recognising that we belong to nature, to its seasons and rhythms, we may then observe ourselves in every aspect of its story – life, death, and resurrection.



Nature is inspirational

Nature arouses our sense of wonder because it exhibits endless possibilities. If you’re stuck on ideas, go for a walk in nature. If you’re feeling stuck in your life, go for lots of walks in nature. You will become unstuck. It’s impossible not to have new ideas when immersed in nature. Many of the greatest writers and thinkers gained their inspiration and insight from regular walks through woods or by the sea. When we take the time to appreciate reflections of the divine in nature, we are rewarded by the stimulation of our own creativity.



Above all else, nature makes us realise that this moment is unique and a gift. There’s no better gift to give to yourself than time spent in nature. By growing a garden at home, you can feel inspired every time you look out your window. If there’s no space for a garden, get a pot – plant it with your very favourite flowers. Take a dog for a walk in a park with beautiful, big trees. Go bushwalking or hiking or meander along a shore. Watch a sunset by the surf. Look up at the sky, frequently. Feel your intimate interconnectedness with the whole of creation, and be restored!

I would love to hear about your experiences in nature, and what gifts nature brings to you. If you’re in need of a break from the daily routine, perhaps stepping out into nature is what you’re really seeking. Give it a try!

Linda Cull is an artist and author, and blogger at Spirit my way® covering spirituality, inspired creativity, and transformative experiences. Read more…