The Gift of Nature

One of my favorite things to do and think about is nature. I love taking walks with my partner and by myself, I love when I get to dog sit and take them for walks, I enjoy looking out my window and watching the seasons change, I love taking breaks from work to check out what’s going on around the animal world through the live cameras at Explore, and I love sitting outside with a good book on a nice sunny day. All things nature inspire me, they make me feel whole, and they ground me beyond anything a good yoga session or massage could do.

But nature is about more than just me, it connects us all together no matter where we are in the world. Whether you believe the theory called the Butterfly Effect about how when a butterfly flaps their wings in Brazil a tornado is experienced in Texas or not, I do believe that our actions and treatment of nature have an impact not just on our local world/physical location but the rest of the world too. I was reading an article this week about how some of the awesome ancient structures around the world like Machu Picchu and Angkor Wat are in danger of deterioration because of the sheer numbers of tourists that visit them each year. They’re not technically natural, but it was a reminder of just how fragile things can be and just how blessed we are to have all that we do have.

So why talk about nature in this month on health? Because what affects nature affects us. If there’s no rain, crops can’t grow and we can’t eat. If all of nature is earthquakes, tidal waves, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions and melting water our very lives are threatened, and we’ll be so busy working on staying alive that progress will be put to the wayside (although New Orleans reports that 10 years later some awesome things have developed as a result of the damage of Hurricane Katrina). But more than that I believe that part of the reason we’re not as balanced, happy and relaxed as we could be is because we don’t spend enough time in nature connecting with that very prime/primal sense of self.

So I encourage you to take time each day to spend in nature, and no, walking to/from your car to stores and work doesn’t count. Exercise, take a slow walk around your neighborhood or a nearby park, just sit and meditate in a quiet outdoor spot, take time to catch up with your partner on the porch or deck with a glass of something at the end of the day, sit and watch your kids play, pick up a book, or just do nothing for a little while each day and just be in nature. I would love to hear what your favorite ways to spend time in nature are too!

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