How Connected have you been feeling?
Did you know there are real benefits to your health and well being when we connect to the natural world? I didn’t realise to what extent until I started researching this article. I simply didn’t have the time. And you?
When was the last time you connected to Nature? Have you had the time? Or have you too been feeling ‘disconnected’? busier than ever? A slave, to your every growing, never ending ‘To do list’.
Do you also often feel stuck on the hamster wheel of life: Sleep, work, eat, sleep, work, wash, cook, clean, eat, sleep, and work – over and over…. Without the time to stop in and breathe –
All the while, there is a feeling of disconnect, dissatisfaction, and emptiness that time spent on social media will never fill.
Disconnection in the modern world, and what we can do,
to reconnect to ourselves and the natural world
If you are feeling a sense of disconnect, you are not alone.
Next time you’re on the bus, street or café, have a look around and see how most everyone is focussed on their phones and ask yourself; is real world conversation and eye contact a novelty from a bygone era?
Does this lead to a larger disconnect with the natural world and the very soul of our being? And if we can’t connect with ourselves, how can be present to fully connect with our friends and loved ones?
And is there anything we can do about it outside of taking a year off travelling or going into therapy?
Thankfully there is! and the best news is it’s fun, good for our well-being, easy and free:
~~ Simply get out and spend some time in nature ~~
3 Free Ways to Connect to Nature:
#1. Forrest Bathing:
“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
― John Muir
One of the simplest ways to enjoy nature is to get out into a local forest or national park. In Japan it’s called ‘shinrin-yoku’, Forest Bathing.
Recent studies show that a simple walk in nature lowered cortisol levels, the pulse rate and blood pressure – which in turn benefits our health, immune system as well as alleviating depression.
Forests are Magic and Beneficial Thanks to:
~ Trees that give off essential oils and medicinal aerosols. Redwood has shown to fight cancer cells, and pine is great for stimulating your intelligence – most trees provide immune boosting and respiratory benefits for the body. There is a fascinating interview here of Diana Beresford-Kroeger on For the Wild podcast, which covers the medicinal aerosols and many other benefits in further detail.
~ The deep forests also give us the chance to experience a profound natural silence that as discussed here with Gordon Hempton on OnBeing, this level of silence is rare in our city/ suburban lives and is almost endangered. I always find that this intense silence creates a space for us where we can experience a deeper sense of our true nature and that of the world around us.
~ The Schumann resonance is stronger in the forest, I recently watched the free documentary Beings of Frequency: In summary, the frequency of the earth is called the Schumann resonance that they discovered was the same as human brain waves. Research demonstrated that our health deteriorates when we are disconnected from this resonance for any length of time. Yet, in cities, it is near impossible to get a reading on the Schumann resonance due to the interference of EM Radiation (cell-towers, wifi etc). This is affecting our health and is expected to get worse in time.
I’ve always believed the forest and trees to be magical; if you look at our lungs and flip them upside down they even look like the roots of a tree. Simply said We live in a symbiotic relationship with the trees, we breathe in Oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide and they do exactly the opposite. Without them, we simply would not be here.
#2. Visit the seashore
“The Sea cures all the aliments of man”
If you’ve ever spent any time near the sea, you know how relaxed and refreshed you feel from a swim or walk along the shore. Thalassotherapy (from the Greek word ‘thalassa’ meaning sea) Spas are a place where you can pay to go and heal from the sea’s magic, or you can just take a stroll or swim at any old beach for free.
The Ocean heals through:
~ Sea Minerals that we benefit from whether we are swimming or walking in the wet sand.
~ Negative ions are created in the clash of the molecules through the waves. These are shown to assist our body in absorbing more oxygen which in turn strengthens our immune system and protects us from free radicals.
~ The sound of the waves are also healing, so much so that it is a sound that you’ll often find in sleep or meditation CD’s to lull us into a mild meditative state? There is a great interview here with John Stuart Reid who discusses the healing benefits of sea sounds in more depth.
There is nothing quite as healing and sensational as swimming in the sea or taking a stroll along its shore.
Leave your phone and ipod in the car, and just really walk mindfully. Allow yourself to sense the peace, magic – perhaps there are even dolphins or whales to greet you ;) Just relax and be…..
#3. Flower Meditation
“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.’
I learnt about this mindful meditation while in Argentina, and the general advice was to go out into a garden, be it your own or a local park, and sitting to meditate with a flower.
At the time I lived near a Rose garden, so I started stopping after my morning stroll to sit and meditate.
It took a few days for me to realize that it is not about counting to the end of the mediation or just staring at the rose.
It’s really about disconnecting with the world, all while connecting at the same time. As I sat and softly meditated with the flower it dawned on me how imperfectly perfect it was. The petals were worn and had been chewed on by bugs and yet still perfect as nature intended.
As the warm love of really seeing this rose in front of me grew, I noticed the flower was very slowly turning away from the sun to face me, as it was the only flower on the bush or rose patch to turn around – I’ll take it that it wasn’t a coincidence.
We both sat and bathed in each other’s shine for awhile. Time and the world seem to stop and I unashamedly and humbly admit that I’ve never felt more loved, connected and alive than in that moment.
If you have a garden near you, even if it is a park nearby, go and take the opportunity to meditate with a flower. Stop, and really look with your heart wide open. And see what happens…..
So get out, and disconnect to reconnect
Not only does spending time in nature provide us with some incredible health benefits, it also creates a stillness, peace and space that we can step into. And through stepping into that space we can reconnect with ourselves in the simple recognition that We are Nature.
And the natural world is also us. We are as indigenous to this world as a bird, a flower or crystal…. So let’s disconnect to reconnect :-)
Resources or further information should there be a particular subject you want to delve into:
Mystery of Trees
For the Wild Podcast
Call of the forest
Mother Earth News Forest bathing
Benefits of Forest Bathing
Japanese Research on Forest Bathing
Being of Resonance, Free Documentary
Influence of Schumann Resonance, article on Heart maths
Collective Evolution, Schumann Resonance
The Gray Escape interview with John Stuart Reid: Cymatics the healing benefits of Sound