In a busy and distracting world full of technology, mass media and responsibilities, it’s understandable that we easily forget the natural world. Perhaps this is why nature is under threat and being eroded by developers looking to gobble up our beautiful countryside for housing and global industry harvesting the planet for natural resources. The pursuit of profit sometimes seems to be out of control and unsustainable. If we are going to safeguard the natural world and our place in it for future generations we need to make sure we all value it.
When we connect with something we tend to care more about it. So here are some simple steps we all can take to reconnect with nature and ourselves:
1. Create a nature journal.
Nature journals are a fantastic way to get back in touch with nature and the countryside. Take a journal or note pad the next time you go for a walk and note down the thoughts, feelings and intuitions that come to you as you notice what’s all around you. If you want, use your camera/phone to take pictures to record short video blogs about your experience, the things you like, allowing yourself be swept up in nature’s fine details.
2. Use nature as your gym.
Combine exercising in your gym with exercising in nature provides a much richer experience. On the occasions I train in the gym I will sometimes close my eyes and visualise running through the countryside or along a beach. By actually exercising in nature too gives you real memories to use in your visualisations. Using nature as a gym may deprive you of the vending machines and other people to ogle, but it’ll make you feel closer to nature. As you’re working off those pounds, you’ll also be seeing trees, birds, and the open sky… which is definitely better than staring at a painted wall.
3. Use nature as your office.
The advances of technology means we can manage our lives and businesses from almost anywhere. Why not take your life into nature every now again. When I lived in Cumbria I often ran my business from the top of a fell, in a woodland glade or by the side of a beautiful lake/tarn. Knowing that I was keeping my affairs in order with a natural backdrop filled with the natural sights, sounds and smells from the countryside is not only peaceful and balancing, but also healthy for your mind, body and soul.
4. Be Mindful in nature.
Humans are a part of nature, and nature is a part of humans. When it only happens around us instead of through us like intended, a void can be left inside and our soul feels empty. When you’re wanting to get back in touch with nature but don’t have much time, walk mindfully. Ten minutes is all you need. Clear your mind of anything unnecessary, and feel nature flow through you. Breathe deeply and slowly. Feel the soft pressure of the air pressing on your skin. Listen to the hums and buzzes of the insects. Smell the grass, the tree bark and the soil. Open your senses and just notice what you can see, hear, feel smell and taste that everyone else has become unaware of.
5. Be a kid again.
It seems that growing up is all about taking away the fun things and replacing them with rules and responsibilities. The “should dos”, “must dos”, “have to dos” and “can’t dos”. We often remember what made us happy as a kid, the bittersweet nostalgia associated with childhood memories about being out in nature. Decide to go out today into nature and be child-like again. Make new memories with your childhood experiences as your guide. Jump in muddy puddles, climb trees, dam streams, track deer and shout in the woods. You’re not replacing your memories–you’re expanding upon them.
6. Join a Nature Community. Whether learning a rural craft like ‘dry stone walling’, volunteering with The Woodland Trust or joining walking groups. There are many ways you can get to spend quality time in the natural world and reconnect. It’s all about creating space for you. Walking with a group in lovely places allows you to connect with your natural environment. It help you relax, think more clearly, and reflect on different aspects of your life. Joining communities of like-minded people who understand that looking after yourself in this way is not only good for you, but also for the people you care about is good for your mind, body and soul.
Whatever you choose, make a commitment to reconnect with nature and allow nature to get in touch with you very soon…
…enjoy the journey!
Ian Banyard is a Nature Connection Guide and author of Natural Mindfulness – your personal guide to the healing power of nature connection. He is passionate about exploring nature and empowering people. Ian combines a wealth of knowledge and experience from his personal and corporate life with intuitive and instinctive insights from his own inner journey, to guide others.
Ian lives in Gloucestershire, UK where he guides Natural Mindfulness Walks and provides coaching, courses, gatherings and retreats, for others who want to deepen their connection with nature and their true nature.
To attend a Natural Mindfulness Walk or event, visit Natural Mindfulness Walks
Want to experience Natural Mindfulness for yourself?
Natural Mindfulness – your personal guide to the healing power of nature connection, is AVAILABLE NOW.
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