Most of us love being out in nature. Whether this means a day at the beach, a hike, sitting in a park, or just opening the window, there’s something about nature that speaks to many of us very deeply.
When I’m in nature, I usually feel more positive and more connected to myself. My dreams and hopes flare, and a soothing peace mingled with excitement sweeps through me. Sometimes I just stop and stare, listening to the stillness of a late night after everyone has gone to bed. Or I take my shoes off so my feet can touch the grass and twigs beneath.
I’m not sure why we connect so well to nature, but if mindfulness (focusing on the present moment) is difficult for you, maybe spending some time in nature will help you reconnect.
How does nature make you feel? Connected? Alive? Excited? Peaceful? Bored? Sad? Empty? Maybe you are most at peace and centered in your car, in your room, at a theme park or museum. Wherever it is, make it a practice to spend time in that place (or the nearest you have to it that’s accessible for you). Once there, do a grounding exercise: list what you can see, smell, touch, taste, and feel. Perhaps shift into a meditation. What can you feel? What are you thinking? Breathe and listen, both to the world around you and to yourself.
Challenge!: Spend time in nature (or any other peaceful place, be it your tub or a crowded mall) alone, and practice the mindfulness techniques of grounding and of observing your thoughts and feelings, acknowledging them, and letting them pass on. How do you feel afterward? What, if anything, did you learn?