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3 Free ways to Benefit from Connecting to Nature

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:

Connect to nature through Forest 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 

Connect to nature through the sea“The Sea cures all the aliments of man

Plato

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

Connect to nature with a flower“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.’

Buddha

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

http://www.schumannresonator.com/

The Gray Escape interview with John Stuart Reid: Cymatics the healing benefits of Sound 

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Wayfarers Magic: All Purpose Comfrey Ointment

Comfrey Plant

Comfrey Plant

So once upon a time, I was busy travelling around Australia, when I had the opportunity to spend some time on a Comfrey Farm on French Island.  And it was here that I learnt, saw and experienced first hand many of the benefits of comfrey. From being used in permaculture as a companion plant or fertiliser to brewing ointments that relieved me of my long-standing RSI (repetitive strain injury), insect bites, calluses and muscle strain (yes, farm work is hard).

I literally saw bruises, strains and muscles heal overnight and the more I read the research I realised how miraculous this plant was, and I was surprised at how little was known or published about it.

As I left the farm, I was enthralled and went on to study more herblore to better understand what else would relieve Arthritis, which my mother has, as well as keep my own RSI and varicose veins at bay.  In an all natural – ‘no need to see a doctor kind of way’.  I also researched the essential oils, as well as the properties of Cocoa and Shea Butter, all which make up the

As well as this I researched the essential oils, as well as the properties of Cocoa and Shea Butter, all which make up the Wayfarer’s Magic: Comfrey Ointment product that I have today.

Comfrey is much more than just a traveller’s talisman. Hence I’ve given the Wayfarer’s Magic: Comfrey Ointment the term ‘All-purpose’, this is largely thanks to my own testing of it on everything and anything that might come up.

I’ve relieved and helped heal my aching and tired Muscles, Insect bites, Burns, RSI, Varicose Vein and Trauma injuries. When I fell off my bike I raced (well ok, cried all the way home) covered the injuries with Comfrey and the next day I had no pain or swelling at all.   When I’d splashed boiling oil onto my wrist – I was dreading the blisters and scars it might leave as my skin turned a shocking red, I quickly

One day, I accidentally splashed boiling oil onto my wrist, I was dreading the blisters as I saw the skin starting to swell, and scars it might leave, I quickly slathered on the comfrey ointment, intermittently exchanging it with a cooling leaf of Aloe vera for half an hour – covered again it in comfrey, before applying a bandage and cooling pack. The next morning there was no sign I’d been burnt – not the slightest of marks.  This to me gives new meaning to the term ‘All Purpose’.

Wayfarers Magic: Comfrey Ointment

Wayfarers Magic: Comfrey Ointment

The biggest thrill for me  is seeing and hearing the stories from people who have bought and are using the ointment, telling me of their relief from Arthritis, Back pain, Fractures, Broken bones, Tennis elbow, RSI, Plantar Fasciitis. One lady uses it as a hand cream saying she loved it as it felt great and significantly reduced her age spots. Another told me that it’s provided relief from Psoriasis, (to heal psoriasis the diet and stress management also needs to be addressed), it can calm the pain, irritation and inflammation of the skin.

I also have to give each herb in the Wayfarer’s Magic: Comfrey Ointment some deep love and appreciation, while Comfrey is just magic; there are some other key players I’d also like to introduce you to, as my Comfrey Base blend also consists of:

  • Yarrow: The lovely herbs claim to fame was that Achilles reputedly used it to heal his wounds after battle, with the nickname of ‘nosebleed’, for you guessed it stopping nosebleeds.  No doubt thanks to it’s anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and astringent properties.
  • Burdock: Is one of the most detoxifying herbs, and has both Antiseptic and antibiotic qualities. Particularly renowned for skin problems such as acne, eczema and psoriasis for it’s calming and detoxing effects. Also has been proven to reduce the signs of ageing as it also supports the cell rejuvenation.
  • Devils Claw: has been used to provide relief internally and externally for Gout, Arthritis both rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis as well as Swollen inflamed joints. And externally for Boils, Skin sores and Skin cancer.
  • Horsetail: Has incredibly high silica content it is also reputed to speed up the repair of damaged tissue and skin elasticity, providing relief and healing of arthritic problems, eczema, psoriasis, sprains and fractures.
  • Calendula:  Another amazing little herb that is a must in any herbal medicine cabinet. It is an ideal remedy for inflamed skin, and has soothing, healing and antiseptic properties. Traditionally used to speed up the healing of or sooth; cuts, scrapes inflamed skin, sunburn and minor burns.
  • Essential Oils that I’ve chosen (Frankincense, Juniper, Cedar wood, Rosemary, Bergamot, Clary Sageand Lavender) are all beneficial for the skin in that they protect, embalm, disinfect sooth, calm, moisturise and are both anti-spasmodic and anti inflammatory.
Comfrey Leaf

Comfrey leaf

Together this blend of organic herbs and healing local beeswax and organic Cocoa and Shea butter,  works to provide relief on all levels be it as a simple nourishing hand cream to speeding up the recover of a traumatic injury or irritated inflated skin or joints – it supports the bodies natural healing process.

I always suggest it best to apply a few times during the day, and especially at night before going to sleep. This is the 8 hours our body uses to heal itself and I believe these herbs work with our body while it’s sleeping to hasten the healing process.

Click here to learn more or try the Wayfarers Magic’: Comfrey Ointment, and use the discount code allpurpose when checking out for a 20% discount valid until the end of January 2017.

“I have been using the Comfrey Ointment for my Plantar Fasciitis for over 7 weeks now, together with the ice packs, stretches and massaging the ointment in both morning and night. My doctor told me it would be a long healing process that could take up to 2 years. I’ve had it since the beginning of October and now in mid-January all the pain, symptoms and discomforts have disappeared. I am normally very suspicious about this claims or testimonials, however this comfrey ointment has certainly worked miracles for me.”

ineke
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Best Herbal Cold Remedy

It’s that time of the year (here down under of course, where it’s winter), it’s cold, everyone has the flu and it’s a world of sharing.  Even I have been laid out with a cough, and am drinking my go to Cold Recipe that I picked up on on of my Latin Travels:

Fresh Ginger
Fresh Garlic
Half litre Filtered Water
Half Fresh Lemon
Raw Honey

Cut up the Ginger and Garlic and boil, keep on the tip of boiling for 10 minutes, add a slice or two of lemon for another 2 minutes. Then strain into cup, squeeze and add fresh Lemon & raw Honey – and while the house may smell a little, it’s actually super delicious.

Why, does any of this or all of it together fend of a Cold:

Ginger: antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, high in vitamin C, magnesium. It also boosts perspiration, which helps the cleanse and detox the body and bring it’s temperature down naturally. On top of this it acts as an antihistamine, contains sesquiterpenes which are specifically used to target rhinoviruses (the most common family of cold viruses), and is a mild sedative, relieving pain and fever.
Garlic: antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiviral and antibiotic properties. Great decongestant and expectorant effects. It also contains vitamin C, sulphur, selenium, and other enzymes & minerals that help the body fight a cold.
Lemon: antioxidant, antiviral and antibacterial as well as being high in vitamin C. They also help to alkalize the blood and urine by creating an alkaline-forming environment in the body, which strengthens in and supports faster healing.
Honey: antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-fungal and antimicrobial. Is filled with Phytonutrients.  Sooths and itchy irritated throat and boosts the immune system.