Heal your soul: Commune with Nature

Can you think of the last time that you went outside with the intention of enjoying nature? In the current Georgia heat it’s hard for me to do, but even in winter, there are days when I work in my building all day without going outside once. And if I do go outside, I have a purpose or reason and it doesn’t usually involve nature. Not to mention that nature can be hard to come by in a city.

But good things happen when I take time from my goal-oriented life to sit back and enjoy the natural world; things that don’t have anything to do with achieving and have everything to do with living and being. Once, on a work break I sat and watched hummingbirds drink from a feeder. Their vibrant green colors didn't seem quite real. This experience slowed time down for me and made me feel more alive.

Some of my best memories from childhood were spent outdoors. I remember camping with my family and smelling the pine trees, picking wildflowers, and losing myself the beauty of the natural world. As a child, I took these experiences for granted. As an adult with limited time to spend outside, I look for ways to enjoy nature.

Spending time enjoying nature may be hard to do in our fast-paced lifestyles, but the rewards make it worth it. Here are just a few of the benefits of spending time in the natural world.

Heightened spirituality. The natural world turns your attention away from your regular thoughts and helps you become aware of your spiritual side. It helps you feel as if you are connected to something larger than yourself. It helps you contemplate matters of the soul.

Connect with the natural world. The more time I spend outdoors, the more I realize how much it is a part of me. We are a part of nature and it is a part of us. We can touch, smell, and enjoy that connection. Being in the natural world reminds us of our connection to the earth.

Facilitates meditation. Our regular lives contain many distractions that divert our attention and make meditation difficult. In nature, there is more silence and fewer distractions, which allows us to be present in the moment. We can let go of our sense of time and focus inward.

See with new eyes. Everything in nature is a miracle, whether it is a butterfly with fluttering wings or a blade of grass. Each plant and animal is unique. If we look, we will see new things, and learn to see differently.

Allows you to slow down. You can't fully enjoy nature unless you slow down your pace. When you're in a hurry you miss the beautiful details of your world. The phrase "stop and smell the flowers" was coined for a reason. You have to stop what you're doing, slow down your pace, and be present in the moment to really enjoy the world around you. The natural world encourages you to slow down.

Reclaim your inner peace. The beauty and peace of the natural world has an effect on our minds and bodies. It is a wonderful feeling to let go of time, let go of the 'to-do' list, and just enjoy the beauty around you.


Megan said...

This is fantastic and I was instantly captivated by the flower image you used. (Thank you!) In particular, I love this line, "If we look, we will see new things, and learn to see differently."

That's such a profound sentiment. "Learn to see differently."

I think you've inspired me to spend some time outside this weekend!

GO! Smell the flowers said...

A wonderful post that cpatures what is in our heart!

Our book and blog GO! Smell the flowers and now our life has become exactly waht you mention.

Good on you flower smeller,

Jim & Emma Wheat
AKA GO! Smell the flowers

Holli Jo said...

Megan, thanks for the compliment on the photo. :) I hope you got to spend some time outside this weekend. I plan to go walking outside at least once this week!

go! smell the flowers - thanks for visiting my blog and your kind words. I'm going to have to check out your blog - smelling the flowers is a good thing to do!