I recently went on a five-day silent retreat where I was surrounded by nature. I shut off my phone and disconnected from the world, and, it was life-changing. In that time, I realized how little time I spend listening to my body in my day-to-day life, and I discovered how integral nature is to connecting with the stars above me. Above all, I realized that my fear of death needed to be annihilated.
As a "free spirit" type, I often get lost in the belief that because I know my purpose on this planet and because I know where the real me exists, I don't have to get grounded on the soil or actually be connected with nature because I have a deep connection with an invisible nature within me. I don't think that this feeling is less than, but it surely isn't the whole picture.
This trip changed me. Right before we had to shut off our phones, it occurred to me that my fiancé, who was traveling at the time, might die while I had my phone off. I know, I know—it's a dark thought. But to give you some background, my grandparents went through two world wars as Jews, and when I was a kid I heard about death and murder on a daily basis.
The trauma of hearing this at such an early age has left me in a constant state of fear. Even though I have been completely healthy most days of my life other than dealing with drug addiction and a near-death experience at 24, I am a super-healthy, safe person. However, I have lived in perpetual fear that I (or someone I love) could die at any moment.