When I visit large city parks, I am amused and heartened by the seeming unconscious human need to connect with Mother Nature. In the very heart of urban civilization, city parks draw in thousands of people every day. I personally live in a magnificent rural setting, constantly surrounded by nature’s glory and challenges. I smile inwardly, listening to the array of foreign languages spoken around me in the park. I watch worldwide visitors to a great metropolis seeking sanctuary in a patch of domesticated wilderness. Humans need to connect with nature, even if just a bit of it.
Research now supports what our instincts ‘know’: contact with the natural world is important to our health. Though most of us value nature, few of us actually enjoy a deep connection with it. This is unfortunate, as it is through this connection that we both receive and release. We receive a limitless source of energy and inspiration, and we release worry stress, and strain. In fact, playing outside, in any form, is a well-known kind of ‘therapy’ to find balance and to rejuvenate. The “Great Mother” soothes the spirit, sharpens the senses, and focuses on thinking. The natural environment helps us recognize our oneness with the life process.
Taking us beyond our limited and linear view of life, nature celebrates growth and perpetual renewal. This celebratory quality is at once inspiring and energizing. Spending time in nature, especially when exercising in some way, makes the body feel awake and alive. Physical centering leads directly to mental centering and increased clarity. Part of mental centering is coming deeply into the present moment. After spending time in nature, the actual moment, the present, re-establishes itself, like a clear, melodic chime being struck. The future and the past stop crowding in. This easy, meditative state is deeply relaxing and allows stress to effortlessly dissipate. There are endless ways to connect and recharge with Mother Nature. Hiking and canoeing are two classic choices.
Their quiet rhythmic qualities are especially soothing. They require sharpening of the senses and the sensibilities. You learn to better use your ears, eyes, sense of smell, and balance. Even the simplest ties to the natural world can boost your health. Observe an aquarium, look at landscape photography, or visit a garden. Connect with nature, connect more deeply with yourself, and create energy and harmony. When we become more mindful and present, we essentially become more alive. “When you know nature as part of yourself, You will act in harmony. When you feel yourself a part of nature, You will live in harmony.” Tao Te Ching (Tao 13)
Copyright 2020. Karen B. Cohen All Rights Reserved Source by Karen Cohen