We need to immerse ourselves in Nature. It’s not intuitive or simple for some of us who live in big cities, but it is so vital that it’s worth the effort. Your mind, body and spirit depend on that Earth connection.
Growing up in New Jersey, I first learned about the importance of Nature when I read The Celestine Prophecy. Have you read this book? (you can get a free PDF HERE!) The talk about Nature glowing, the radiant life force of Nature… it had me mesmirized.
I think I need to give it a re-read, as I’ve lost the plot itself, though the overall message stuck with me.
We are energy. We need to recharge our energy.
I had a big backyard with trees as a kid, but very little really extensive Nature except for a block-long area that was called the Woods that bordered the electric plant and the swamp in town… so it wasn’t exactly “woods” , you know? It was more like a few square feet of trees.
When I first saw a real forest in upstate New York I was blown away.
Today, I’m excited to share more of the science of Nature immersion. It will have you taking many steps away from your computer and into the sand, mud, grass, brush and forest right away!!!
Suffice it to say, I love visiting trees. Above, in Santa Barbara, I was hugging trees for hours to feel their raw power circulate throug me like vibrant electricity.
I live near tons of grass, exotic trees and hiking trails even though I live in the “city” of Los Angeles. While it’s not quite like living on a farm (!), I have Nature at the ready for when I need a break. Unless I hike in a more lush part of the city, though, I miss the real impact of “Nature Immersion” on my daily life. It’s great to be around so many trees, but it’s different to be in a space where all you see for miles around you is wild Nature.
Having spent a few days in Manhattan and now in New Jersey, the need for Nature is so visceral it is pulling on me. Next week, I’ll be hitting the hiking trails… and then I visit a farm for three days so I’m extremely excited!!!
Do you contact enough Nature in your daily life?
WE NEED TO FEEL MORE
Without Nature, our actual ability to feel for others and be openly generous and emotionally connected can be strained. Plus, computers can numb you out if you overindulge.
The University of Minnesota reported on the ways that Nature-deprivation impacts our wellbeing:
““Nature deprivation,” a lack of time in the natural world, largely due to hours spent in front of TV or computer screens, has been associated, unsurprisingly, with depression. More unexpected are studies by Weinstein and others that associate screen time with loss of empathy and lack of altruism.
And the risks are even higher than depression and isolation. In a 2011 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, time in front of a screen was associated with a higher risk of death, and that was independent of physical activity!” (full article HERE)
This statistic from the National Wildlife Federation shocked me, especially given the fact that I was allowed to watch maybe three hours of TV on a day I was sick and stayed home from school, never on a daily basis: “The reality is American children are spending an average of 7 hour and 38 minutes per day staring at electronic media entertainment.” (!!!!!) That’s the exposure to a computer that the average adult has during a work day… a work day that leaves them feeling like an exhausted zombie.
Balance and awareness needs to shift in order to have a flourishing (rather than floundering, depressed and disconnected) society.
My passion for this stuff in unending!
SLEEPING BETTER IS A GIFT OF NATURE
Natural light will help you to sleep much better. Daily Health Post explored the way that natural light affects our ability to sleep:
“The study, conducted at the University of Illinois, involved 49 people. 27 of the participants worked in offices without windows, while the other 22 worked in spaces that included a view to the outside world.
Those working in the windowless environment had very little exposure to natural daylight, while those working in the windowed offices had a lot more natural light.
Of those tested, the workers who spent long hours in windowless environments slept more poorly than those who worked near windows and natural light.
According to Mohamed Boubekri, professor of architecture at the University of Illinois,
“Workers in workplaces with windows not only had significantly more light exposure during work hours but also slept an average of 46 minutes more per night during the workweek than workers in workplaces without windows.”
That’s over 5 hours more sleep a week! If you’ve been without five hours of sleep just one night (as I was earlier this week in a travel haze) you know that 5 extra hours is a significant amount of rest to have!
THIS study furthers the pile of evidence in favor of Nature as a calming agent, as it suggests the sounds of Nature can bring peace to your body after a stressful event. Less stress can translate into less sickness-inducing body inflammation and far better sleep.
CREATIVITY COMES TO LIFE
Julia Cameron talks about “filling the well” of inspiration in your life on a regular basic in her book, The Artist’s Way. You fill the well by filling yourself with energy. Heading back to my intital discovery of the energy of Nature to fill life with inspiration that I gleaned from The Celestine Prophecy, now that I’ve practiced this for a long, long time I can tell you it works.
If you can’t directly immerse yourself in Nature right now you can grow plants. Tons of them. I’ve often said that my patio garden 8 years ago was the impetus for major change in my life because it was so magical to watch tomatoes thrive, peppers pop and zucchini florish like delicious weeds. Whether it’s herbs, veggies, fruit trees, flowers, or purely decorative plants… they will revv up the energy engines in your space and affect your life for the better!
I don’t miss the hours of computer time I’ve cut out of my life.
I take more photos, rest more, take longer walks, eat more peacefully and live far more. And yes: I feel fantastic for it!
Given all of that, I can say it’s worth the experiment to trade in an hour of TV or Internet time (or phone!) for some time with the Earth, however you can connect.
P.S.: This season, there’s an eight-week online Feng Shui Camp coming soon to organize and energize your home and life to create breakthroughs: The Breakthrough Camp!
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