- Stop and smell the Roses
Slow down, take your time when you pass flowers whether they are in the shop or in a garden. Breath in, Breath out. Absorb their colors, their scent – but don’t stop there! This saying should be applied to more than just the pretty flowers. Take a longer, closer look at the natural world around you every chance you can. Notice the trees, their shape, the way their leafy arms reach to the heavens in prayer, the way their roots sink deep with strength and stability. Imagine too, that you have that same strength and grace. Imagine growing roots, stabilizing your core and supercharging your spirit with the nourishment that the earth and the sky provide. Lean into the breezes, let them massage you and bring you joy. With the harder wind, imagine it is nature’s way of blowing away your worries.
- Eyes to the Sky
Sunsets, Sunrises, Clouds, Stars & Moon. Look UP. Be in awe, as you should be of the incredible colors and shapes of the sky and clouds. Slow down and watch the wind at work as it pushes the clouds across the sky, changing their forms. Reunite with your inner child and find figures and shapes, decide for yourself what you see. At night, take a moment when you can, to lift your gaze to the constellations. Find the ones you know, learn new ones. Talk to the moon and tell him what you are working towards, notice that he’s almost always smiling down at you.
- Find a small (or big) park to take a walk.
Hike, Skip or Run. But go out when and where you can to exercise in nature. Take our your earbuds and listen. Bugs, frogs, birds, the wind – appreciate that nature has a song of its own that it is constantly singing. Even when you are in a large city, there is almost always a park, a place to go and enjoy greenery. If not, guess what? That is okay. While living in Manhattan I forced myself to find nature within human nature. See what man has built, let yourself appreciate it. No matter what, there is always a way to focus and see nature around you if you are willing.
- Touch Earth
Go barefoot! Hug a Tree, Touch the branches, the leaves. Connect! When you can, slip off your shoes and let your feet touch the raw earth whether it be grass, dirt, sand, or yes, even concrete. Barefeet are not just for beaches. Think of it like skin-to-skin contact between a baby and their mother.
When you are out for a walk, when you see a tree, reach out, feel the rough wood, gently rub a leaf between your fingers, skim your palm atop the grasses; nature has power and it loves to share.
- Outdoor Yoga
This is one of my absolute favorites. Yoga is the unity of mind, body, and spirit. For me, there is no better place for yoga than outdoors. Take your shoes off, let the earth support your body and allow yourself to connect fully with yourself as nature. You are nature. Feel the mother earth below you, reach out to father sky and move your body with the ancient arts that have been passed down to us from our ancestors, twisting, stretching, connecting one muscle to the next with intention and harmony. Allow yourself to let your body move however you feel it needs. Take the time to recognize those needs.
- Dance in the Rain
Dance in nature at any time! Don’t let life become too serious; make sure you are still having fun whenever you can. Dancing in the sunshine, in the rain, around a firepit, under the moon and stars, or in union with the wind – embrace the elements! The spirit inside your body will thrive when you give it the chance to connect fully with the world around you, and there are few better ways than with the natural sway and rhythm of dance.
- Remember that YOU ARE NATURE
I have been quilty quite often in my life of getting seasonally depressed. When the sky is gloomy and it’s cold outside. When I’ve been stuck in doors for too long, or not been able to retreat to the country, I get caught up in the frustration of all the human noise. I grew up outside, it’s where I feel safe and happy, so when I get separated from it for a long time, no matter how many parks or gardens I visit, I can easily become saddened by my separation from the woods. I have to remind myself that nature is me. I allow myself to look within my body, notice my breathing, my heart beat, imagine my nervous system. Also, I recommend lighting candles, watching the flames flicker for a moment, focusing on your breathing and then meditating with your focus tuned into your chakras. Spend time with each one, noticing its location on your spinal column and give them the time and attention they need.
- Bring More Plants into Your Home
Bring home the greenery. I recommend ivy around the windows, when the light shines in, the leaves will catch it and glow. Take time to learn about which plants need what light and put them around your space accordingly.
- Plant a Garden – Grow Your Own Herbs
This many seem like it goes with the last, but it can be so much more. Growing your own food and/or spices is truly a benefit to your body and your soul. What herbs do you use most when you cook? Cilantro for Mexican meals? Basil and oregano for Italian? Most of these herbs are very easy to care for right in your kitchen.
I grew up with a garden, and they take a lot of time and work, so this isn’t an easy one, but if you can, do it!
- Swim in Natural Waters
I know so many people who only like to swim in pools, and don’t get me wrong, swimming anywhere is WONDERFUL, but allow yourself, when you can, to spend time with water in nature. Even if it’s not to swim, sit by the lake, river, stream, or the ocean. Listen to it. The sounds of water are some of the most soothing in the world. And if you can, submerge. Let the waters engulf your body. Feel it wrap around each toe, each finger, lean your head back and spend time with how it feels to have the water cup and massage and play with your neck, head and hair.