Spending time in nature inspires deep feelings of connection both to ourselves and to the natural world. It is sometimes a spiritual journey of awakening and sometimes a release from stress. Here are 10 reasons to get out there and make that connection:
10. Return to Natural Instincts
Humans used to live much closer to nature. Deep inside we may somehow remember that we are part of the animal kingdom. If you are like most people, you enjoy the outdoors, camping, being near water, sheltering under trees, and sitting around a campfire. These things may make you feel safe or fulfilled. Getting back to nature feels almost like a “homecoming.”
9. Expanding Senses
In the outdoors, we begin to use all our senses. We use far vision to see birds off in the distant sky, instead of close vision on small devices. We hear wind whispering through branches. We smell pine trees, or sweet flowers, or musky moss, or ionized fresh water. We feel cold-water streams rushing over our fingertips. Visit nature for heightened awareness of your environment.
8. Steady and Predictable
The ways of the natural world stay the same. Our world of devices, automobiles, and social mores is constantly changing. We see trees or a forest and know they will mostly be the same. Birds always sound like birds. Animals will be animals, but their behavior is usually understandable. Visit nature to see that our way of living is just one way of being in the world.
7. Silence and Stillness
In nature there is a sense of silence and stillness that goes beyond words. You may find the quiet to be soothing or peaceful. Walking or hiking in nature slows down the busy mind, the racing thoughts, and leaves you more in the moment, free to appreciate the long now. Let the feelings of calm and quiet wash over you.
6. Awareness of the Vast
Connecting to nature lets us feel the vastness of the world. It’s a sense of mystery, a realization of our small place in the larger scope of things. Fade out of the small self to make room for the big self. It’s a huge universe out there; let it touch your sense of wonder and possibility.
Outdoor living may bring just as many difficulties as it does joy. Dealing with nature can help you build confidence, find courage, inspire a new sense of strength. Surviving and succeeding in the natural world can be empowering. Bring that sense of power back home with you.
4. Reset Your Internal Clock
Camping out and leaving the artificial lights and schedules behind can help to reset your natural rhythm. A natural cycle of light and darkness helps you feel less cranky, achy, or stressed out. It “resets” what’s known as your Circadian rhythm, your internal clock. Go camping to help you find that internal balance.
3. Transformative Experiences
Wilderness trips can be transformative in many ways. There’s time to gain insight and find your center. You begin to think about your life. It’s a time to decide on careers, or to change a career, or even to dedicate your life to a cause. Go deep into the wilderness to shift your awareness or consciousness away from your usual patterns.
2. Relax the Urge to Control
Time spent outdoors lets us know we are still dependent on nature. We have only so much control over our lives. Really, it is just the illusion of control. Most things that happen in nature, you have no power over or influence on. Relax, go with the flow of the great outdoors.
1. Know Yourself with God
Spending time outdoors lets you develop a “oneness” with your essential nature, with who you truly are through God. It opens you to layers or dimensions of yourself, things you might not be in touch with or simply take for granted before. Get to know your true self as God's creation.
You can seek and find spiritual awakening any where, but I find it’s easier in nature. Seek out natural areas. Sit under a tree in silence. Walk a path over pine needles. Stand outside during a warm summer thunderstorm. Nature may not be predictable and sometimes is dangerous but it leaves us open to wonderful opportunities for personal growth.
Looking for some upcoming nature and creativity? Join me for KAYAKING and ART in July on one of Wisconsin's most beautiful rivers... Click Picture for Details!