We are elemental by nature. So it's no surprise that the calming effects of being in Nature are scientifically proven to enhance well being. Many cultures celebrate this.
In Japan, they have a word for the magic and benefits of being in Nature - shirin-yoku . In fact their lifestyle is delightfully punctuated by acts of Nature reverence – the changing colour of the leaves in autumn and cherry blossoms in spring are widely celebrated, there are temples at waterfalls in honour of the deities, and you can't beat their tradition bathing in onsens (hot springs) in the mountains – a general Sunday pastime (which is Joy with a capital J).
In Balinese Hinduism, they believe that Nature is "power" and each element is subject to influence from spirits. In Norway and Iceland they marvel at the otherworldly northern lights. In Australia we go to the beach and worship the sun (under our slip slop slap) and toast the sunset.
Wherever you are, it's a given that being in Nature makes you feel good. And the good news is it's free and you can do it in your own backyard. It's why gardening is so popular!
I believe being in nature invites us to expand our experience beyond the blinkers of our monkey minds (that tend to run the show). When we allow ourselves to really experience nature through our senses (to feel the wind on our skin, to see the beauty of the sun's light, to smell the rain) we are reminded that we are so much more than our planning, our pressures, our worries and those silly things that can keep us up at night. When we stop and notice, nature is truly awe inspiring – she is the supreme artist and creator after all. She reminds us of our multidimensionality – that we are in this body, on this one precious earth, for this one precious life – and that it is sacred.
However, it's hard to get this vibe while you're slashing through the jungle of pressure in your inbox or tackling the scanner at the supermarket (I've gone online - it's life changing!). It can be challenging to be our natural selves in our artificial world but luckily remembering how to, can be as simple as stepping outside at night to look at the stars or taking a moment to enjoy the changing colours of twilight skies (no two sunsets are the same - it's amazing!).
That's why when nature calls, I answer. And I'm not only talking about going to the loo. I'm talking about when I feel flat and zapped and starved for life, Nature is the tonic that undoubtedly replenishes me.
I've always loved nature but have now integrated it more and more into my day to day with a few simple habits. I now walk the dog every morning in the park barefoot (earthing is a thing - check it out) and listen to the birds every morning first thing. I get away from my desk and look at the sky (even if it's just for 5 minutes) and admire the clouds when I'm stuck in traffic. Best of all I love to spend as much time outdoors as possible on the weekends. It's my happy place.
In fact it's inspired my new inessence nature yoga program. So if you're interested in a nature fix with me, I'd love to hold space for you.