Nature is a powerful force that we are a part of. Find out how Nature can heal us and practices that help us connect!
by Tessa Bender
For many years humans around the world have lived at odds with nature. We haven’t fully listened to the wisdom that nature holds but if we start to pay attention, we can see how nature heals. Once we investigate our relationship to nature we may notice that just as nature has rhythms and cycles, we do as well. Part of the reason we are facing a climate crisis is because we have become so disconnected from nature. This is important not only for the health of our planet, but for the health of our bodies as well. We must return to a greater sense of harmony between humans and our beautiful planet.
How to Connect to Nature
You might now be thinking, “Well how can I change this? How can I live more in tune with the rhythms of nature and see how nature can heal me?” Well luckily there are many ways that we can participate in our own reconnection with nature. Some take a little bit of effort, others are easy as pie. Find what works for you or try them all!
By now most people acknowledge that what you eat is what you become. Nowadays in the US, you can get any fruit or vegetable at any time of year because of the mass transport of produce around the country. Looking at what is actually in season and focusing your diet around those foods is one way to connect with the seasonal change. Seasonal food is not only fresher, tastes better, but is even more nutritious! Furthermore, you can stimulate your local economy by buying fresh produce at your nearest farmers market. It’s also important to mirror the way you eat with the current environment. So, in the cold of winter is not the best time for a cold salad or smoothie but rather a warm soup or curry will nourish you more.
One of the best ways to get connected to nature is to go outside in every season. So yes, even when it’s hot as heck and you sweat the moment you walk out the door, spending time outside will let your body acclimate to the current environment so that it can dictate what to eat, what activities to do based on that information. A practice you can try while you’re out there is grounding. This will help you feel more connected and show you directly how nature heals. Try asking a friend to join you and go on a nice long hike or walk. Leave your phone at home and slow down. Take a moment to sit down some place along the trail and observe some aspect of nature. Perhaps it is a tree, or a flower, or a snow pile, or a flowing stream. Notice the way it moves, see what it’s connected to, find out all the different areas of nature that are connected to each other and supporting one another. Seeing nature clearly in this way can remind us of our place in it. Who knows, maybe you’ll even find a good luck charm.
Meditation on the nature of the body
In Buddhist meditation, there is a practice where you meditate on the nature of the body. You observe all of the elements: bones, muscles, fluids, etc., that make up the body. When we practice this meditation, we see our true nature, that is not separate from but is a part of nature. This practice also shows us that one day, our body will return into the Earth and physically become one with nature. The more often you practice this, the more you will be able to connect with a deeper sense of self awareness and intuition. Our intuition is connected to our animal instincts. Animals live in harmony with nature because they are forced to. Look at bears who hibernate in the winter, they know when it is time to rest for a few months based on listening to their instincts.
Ayurveda: the path of practice.
Ayurveda is the Indian sister science to the more well known practice of Yoga. Ayurveda’s main teaching is that our constitution or prakriti is unique to ourselves depending on our place and time of birth. It also says that our prakriti is connected to nature and our internal experience is directly affected by the seasons, the time of day, the cycles of the moon, etc. There are many practices that one should uphold during different times of year depending on your prakriti. You can take a quiz to learn more about what your constitution may be or there many great books on Ayurveda including The Path of Practice by Maya Tiwari. If we can understand ourselves through this science, we can better take care of ourselves in relation to nature throughout the year.
How Nature Heals
One of the greatest human desires is to feel connected and loved. When we start to live in a way that is more connected to the cycles of nature, we feel a sense of inner harmony. This peace we feel inside heals our desire to feel connected as it acknowledges that we already are. When we see that we are not separate from nature, our hearts stop longing, and we remember who we really are. We can rest back into a more natural pace of life, responding to our physical instincts and intuitions. The best part is, we can do all of this without having to move to the forest and live off the grid. With these simple practices, we can develop this connection slowly over time, feel more at peace, and experience how nature heals us.
Photo: Ivana Cajina
What is your favorite Nature spot? Comment below!