I casually reach down and feel the leaves on the shrub as I pass.
What are you doing?
I look guilty….Nothing.
Did you just touch that plant?
Of course I did.
I have always experienced an overwhelming need to be one with nature on every level.
I have been likened to a woodland faerie on more than one occasion and I suppose that is a polite way to describe my idiosyncrasies. There is something to be said for connecting to nature on such an intimate level.
There are numerous health benefits from Earthing and grounding. I honestly don’t put much stock in the newfangled ideologies as much as just going back to nature and removing as many barriers as I can that separate me from the Earth.
My mind and spirit calms when I recharge in nature. Venturing into natural spaces like the woods is a great start but I desire so much more. Here are some ideas that will bring the outdoors inside your soul.
Be barefoot. Feel the planet against the soles of your feet.
Lay on the ground and stare at the sky.
Touch nature. Feel the dirt and plants with your fingertips and palms. Close your eyes and explore with your skin.
Don’t just stop to smell the roses, smell everything. Breathe deeply and deliberately. Exhale and fill up every corner of your lungs.
Taste nature. Foraging has brought me so much closer to the natural world around me. Something as simple as eating a blackberry can instantly centre me. Taste the the ocean’s saltiness on your fingertips. Catch snow on your tongue. Lick the rain off your lips. Have you ever tasted a cloud? Make that a priority at least once in your lifetime. I have been blessed to be able to taste a cloud twice. I hope to have the opportunity to do this again.
By the way, stand in the rain. Forget the umbrella, put on your best dress and celebrate the gift that is the rain. Honestly this is as close to heaven and we can get for a while. Experience each drop as it drenches your skin.
Plant something. Even if it is just the ends of chives in a flower box on your windowsill. Grow plants, grow as a person.
Sit in nature and focus on all the sounds around you. Listen to the birds and the rustling of the leaves. Hear the waves lap and insects buzzing. There is nothing quite like hearing the haunting call of a loon on the lake or the sounds of wind in feathers as wings beat the sky.
Walk everywhere. It does not matter if you are in the city or the country or the wilderness. Walk outside. Unplug. Turn off music and phones or better yet leave them at home and just be outside.
Be alone outdoors. Family outings are great, spending time with friends is a wonderful distraction but sometimes you need to be alone in the stillness. Enjoy your wilderness experience by yourself and feel the difference.
Bask in the moonlight. This is hard to do where there is a lot of light pollution but if you can make your way to a darker place outside and feel the moonlight on your skin, let it soak inside your flesh and just be present.
Look for a fourleaf clover. Spend some down time on the ground exploring simple things.
Introduce yourself to a bee or ant. There are so many hard working insects out there that have truly earned their place in nature. See what they are up to, maybe they will inspire you.
Go swimming in water. Whether it is a pond, stream or the ocean, get in and be a part of it. There is nothing as freeing.
Play hard. I feel closer to nature when I push my body further than it is used to. Hike, bike, walk, swim. It does not matter. Get out there and do it and then go a little further.
Walk barefoot. This is something I have recently started to do. I feel balanced and grounded and far more connected when I am getting around barefoot. When you are at the beach or even on a trail in the forest, kick off your shoes and feel the difference.
Open a window. Sometimes you cannot get away to connect the way you want to. Roll down the window in the car next time or open the back door to your house.
The truth is we all need perspective. As I journey towards a more simplistic life; decluttering and working towards a zero waste lifestyle it is important to understand why I am doing it. I experience life more purposely in nature. I find myself again. I am hoping to get to a point where my life allows me to be present and grounded all the time, not just when I escape into the wilderness. I want everyday to feel like a walk in the forest, or the peace of being in the desert. I think this is an attainable goal. The closer I get to living an environmentally friendly lifestyle, the less that will stand between me and mother nature in all her glory.