Three ways to realign with Nature
When we speak about connecting with nature or realigning with nature, the image of hugging a tree can spring to mind! However, when I speak about realigning with nature, I mean living in a way that is more in sync with how humans evolved to live.
When you realign with nature, you help your body function as expected, releasing the pressure you put on yourself each day. If you make living in alignment with nature a priority, many modern problems, such as obesity, sleep issues, stress and anxiety, will resolve themselves.
I always find it tricky to phrase realigning with nature. This difficulty comes because of the barrier humans have put between us and the rest of the natural world. Like we’re a separate part of existence. Almost like robots, and to go into the natural world is to take ourselves away from the world we belong in, to a completely different place.
Someone pointed out to me that we cannot undo the world as it is. We need to learn to live with the technology that is wonderful in so many ways, but also disruptive in others. However, there is nothing to stop humans realigning with nature and living in a modern world.
Walk amongst Nature
Ideally, you’ll take a few walks a day. Allow your walk to be gentle and away from human created structures. Take a meander through the forest or a walk along the river. If you live in a built-up area, try to get to a green space. When step counting watches hit the scene a while ago, everyone went mad for 10,000 steps. Your body benefits from this daily step count. The research shows incremental increases in step count increase life expectancy, up to 7,500 steps per day. Beyond this, the life expectancy is the same. When you walk outside, you move as you are designed to do.
Connect with the four elements Earth, Water, Air, and Fire
In our natural world, we have four main elements, fire, air, water, and earth. They are things that we can explore with our senses. Some people also believe they live within us and depict our individual moods and energy. Whether your interest is spiritual or scientific, you can engage with these elements. Fire, like the sun, provides light and warmth. We use fire throughout the seasons to keep us warm in the cold and provide warmth during social summer evenings outside. Fire gives us the means to prepare certain foods that sustain us, and is considered transformative but destructive when there is too much of it.
All living creatures need air to survive. Although we cannot see it, we can hear and feel it. Air can be warm or cold, moist, or dry. We rely on the air around us, so take time to sit in it and let it envelop you as you tune into its current state. Feel it on your skin, breathe it in and out. Smell the air that holds you.
Life is not sustainable without water, the human body is approximately 60% water. We drink water, bathe in water, prepare food in water. We live surrounded by water and can play in the waves of the ocean, dance in the rain, splash in puddles, let the flow of a river carry us downstream. There are so many ways to connect with the water that surrounds you.
Finally, earth is the element that grounds you. Many of us walk over it each day without acknowledgement or thanks for the life it sustains – the food it grows for us, the rich fertile environment that provides a home, energy, and sustenance to all living creatures. To realign with the nature of earth, take yourself for a barefoot walk and feel the earth beneath your toes. Research shows this has great benefits for our health, as it electrically connects us to the earth.
Live with The Seasons
There are many ways to live with the seasons, all of which will help you realign with nature. In time gone, we had to live with the seasons, there was little choice. Living with the seasons gives you a natural balance and flow to life. By living within seasons, we connect to the earth and ourselves. Each season has a different energy, beginning with the spring. A time of birth and rebirth. The leaves begin to grow on the trees again, the plants start to flower. Animals give birth. Birds that have migrated come home. Many people have a spring clean. A time to refresh and declutter.
During summer, living things have energy. Humans create vitamin D from the sunshine. It’s bright early in the morning and late into the evening. Nature blooms all around us, and we too can bloom. With more natural energy, comfortable temperatures, and plenty of light, there is scope for activity, projects, goals, and enjoyment.
As you transition into autumn, it’s time for gentle closure. A finishing of projects as things slow down. We harvest the growths of summer. It’s time to complete and enjoy the rewards of the things that you began in spring and put energy into during summer. During autumn, focus on nourishing yourself, resting from a busy summer and settling down for the darker colder months.
During winter, much of the natural world withdraws into the earth. As you try to keep warm and cosy, you can use the long periods of darkness as time for reflection. Think about the past year, and ponder over intentions for the next cycle of seasons. Take time to be still, using meditation and sleep to relax, recharge and recuperate.
When you live with the seasons, try to eat foods that are in season too.
Read my blog post on meditation with noise to learn how to meditate outside with the sounds of nature around you.