Like most children, when I was a little girl I loved being in nature. I remember that I always felt connected to this deep, inherent understanding that nature and I were one in the same. But somehow as I got older, I lost my connection to the natural world.
I traded playtime outside with shopping trips, cheerleading and My So Called Life. In college I quickly became the embodiment of busyness, constant stimulation and a fast-paced tempo that was not in tune with my natural rhythm. And by the time I reached my early twenties, my days were filled with perfecting to-do lists, and running around like I never had enough time.
I was totally disconnected from nature.
If you often find yourself busy, perhaps you can relate — rushing around from one thing to the next and spending what little spare moments you have with your smartphone in hand. If the extent of your outside time is taking out the trash and walking to the mailbox, then you too have definitely gotten far away from the rhythms of nature.
But you are not alone. This is the norm in today’s modern world and if you ask me, it’s a serious problem. I believe that re-establishing a connection with Mother Earth is so crucial.
Nature will quiet your mind, open your heart and invite ease into your body. You’ll feel the living connection with life all around you, giving you the capacity to open up to something that's much bigger than yourself. Through nature you’ll transform, awaken and heal, and even get a boost in creativity, health and quality of life.
I invite you to start reconnecting with nature today. It’s not always an easy thing to do, but that doesn’t mean you aren't capable of trying.
Below are a few simple ideas to help get you reacquainted with Mother Nature. It’s best to leave the comfort of your own home and explore the wild, natural world, but if you don’t have the time or the access, I’ve included a few suggestions for indoor activities as well.
1. Make contact with the earth.
Go outside, take off your shoes and socks and sink your bare feet into the grass. If there's snow or ice on the ground, then find a tree and place your palm on the trunk. You can even give it a big tree-hug if you’re feeling the love; just lean in and wrap your arms around it.
2. Play in the dirt.
Tend to a veggie patch or an herb garden, play in the sand or make mud pies with little ones. Just as sinking your bare feet into the earth will ground you, so will digging into it with your hands.
3. Bring nature indoors.
Buy some houseplants, keep a jar of fresh flowers, put a crystal on your desk, place a jar full of seashells and sand in your living room, or start a pinecone collection.
4. Wake up with nature.
Upon waking, open your window and stand in front of it. Look outside and take in all the beauty of nature. Breathe in the colors, shapes, textures and sounds. Notice the color of the sky, the shapes of the clouds and the sounds of the birds. Allow the natural world to ground you into the here and now.
5. Kiss the earth with your feet.
One of my favorite quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us to slow down and notice nature, “Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” The next time you walk out your front door, feel your feet connecting with the earth, step by step.
As you can see, connecting to nature doesn’t mean you have to climb Mount McKinley in Alaska, although I do recommend peaceful outdoor walks and hikes as often as possible. Let nature be where you find it and where it’s the easiest for you to access. Get outside, channel your inner child and start your reconnection with nature now!