At a time in human history where our very survival as a species is in question, through our destructive ways of being, it seems a good idea to take a look at our relationship with our earth and nature.
I find it such a curious thing that in our ‘modern’ western world we humans have come to think of ourselves as separate from nature (and from the earth). I won’t go into the history of how, why and when this disconnection happened, but I will share my viewpoint that this is an illusion. I believe that if we can remember that we are an intrinsic part of creation and that our body is a part of the earth’s body, deep healing can be experienced — for us personally, for the collective and for the ecosystem we belong to.
We human beings are, just like the trees, plants and animals, a part of nature, a part of life on earth. We are not separate from it. The very same life-force runs through us that runs through all animals, plants and beings. All life’s elements can be found in our body — the air as breath, the earth as bones, the water as our body liquids, and fire in the electrical charge in every cell in our bodies. We have natural instincts, impulses and deep seated knowledge, just like the animals. Our bodies mirror the cycles and rhythms of nature. We too have cycles and rhythms, such as being asleep and being awake. We can also find ourselves in an ‘inner spring’ where everything wants to burst out of us in productivity and creation, or in an ‘inner winter’, where we go inward, shed leaves, slow down, reflect and rest.
To disconnect from nature is to disconnect from the depths of our own nature. (Passion, joy, intuition, the gifts of our wonderful wildness.)
City-living, our ‘modern’ lifestyle, our man-made infrastructures, bring their benefits, but they also disconnect us from that which we are, the body/earth and nature. With this disconnection comes chronic stress and imbalance to our system, because of continuous exposure to a vibration and a way of being that is very different to our innate biological make-up, very different from where we come from and belong to.
This busy modern lifestyle tends to disconnect us from our bodies, as we spend more and more time at the desk, in meetings, in cars, in front of screens, in our heads. We are almost constantly subject to huge amounts of external ‘head’ input. We forget about the body, everything that is below the head and are mainly present in the world of our mind. In doing so we again disconnect from nature, our very own nature, our body. Any mindful body practice will reconnect us to an embodied experience, be this slow yoga, dance, Thai Chi, or any other walking/moving meditation.
When we leave the business of city, shopping, internet, work and socializing behind and spend a few hours walking through a forest, sitting in the mountains, lying on the grass watching the clouds, listening to the ocean, … we always feel better, feel nurtured, more relaxed, more balanced and, maybe, more connected to ourselves, our bodies and senses.
When we meet with nature, instinctively, something deep inside us resonates, because it knows that it is a part of this. Our being recognizes this environment as being in harmony with who we are and where we come from. On a cellular and energetic level this is like coming home. Our minds may perceive us as separate from the natural world, but our bodies have never forgotten that we are nature, a living organism, part of a much bigger living organism, our ecosystem, the earth.
I love that science it catching up on this now too and that we can have (if we need it) proof that time in the forest makes us more relaxed and happy, that time spent in nature brings well-being. By all means do the research, but the embodied experience of being in nature will in itself prove that time in nature is time with (in the midst of) who we truly are, and that this is healing.
Nature will remind us to slow down and shows us the essential balance of being and doing, of activity and receptivity. Nature will always remind us of what we need to remember. It will always point us back to our very essence. It also offers a space where we can stop taking ourselves and our lives too seriously and remember that we are part of something much bigger. This is a relief and brings fresh perspective. There is healing, remembering and homecoming when we spend time in nature.
Another healing shift that could come from us humans remembering that we are deeply connected to the ecosystem we are living in, kindles great joy and hope in me:
If we as humanity can truly remember and embody our deeply intertwined connection with nature/ earth and all she provides and offers, we will be able to end our blind exploitation of resources and the destruction of wildlife habitat for means of power and profit. We would know how to blend back into this balanced, infinite and profoundly wise cycle of giving and receiving, of growing, living, dying and birthing, which the mystery of creation is showing us. We would be able to grow our gratitude for all life and for what it gives us and come back to taking good care of our earth, as she is taking good care of us. We would see and understand that if we exploit the planet, we are also exploiting ourselves, if we harm nature and life around us, we always also bring harm to ourselves.
The time is now to come back to honouring earth and nature and to embodying the nature that we are.
We are an intrinsic part of all life on earth and literally cannot be separated from it. It is impossible. From birth to death this is a marriage we cannot break. When we can surrender to this, when we can spend more time in the natural world, when we can truly be our bodies, the nature that we are, there can be much healing, harmony, peace, happiness and abundance — for all beings on earth, including humanity.
So, if you can, why not close your computer and take a walk in the forest or park, or just notice your own breathing, right now and how it can expand and relax you. Reconnect to your body, the part of earth that you are, however and whenever you can (i.e. feeling your feet on the ground while standing in a queue, or noticing your spine while sitting in your car). Honour your body’s natural rhythms and listen to its wisdom. Walk barefoot, jump into a lake or ocean. Lie down in a meadow.
It does not have to be a ‘big thing’ or take extra time to reconnect to nature and to our bodies. It’s just a choice and a practice and it can become a way of being.
I believe that if we can practice connecting more to our own bodies, as a piece of earth and nature, and to the natural world around us, we can better remember our own truth, our own joy, our gratitude for being alive and the magic and preciousness of all life around us. And if we can remember the preciousness of all life inside and around us, we can make better choices in everyday living to honour the web of life we are woven into.