Finding Peace in Nature
Thank you for following along with my personal journey to greater peace.
For today's challenge, we will take full advantage of the summer weather - even if it is mixed where you are. Today we step out in search of peaceful moments to fill our hearts with glad feelings.
Today we will discover peace in nature.
Most people instinctively head outside when their minds and souls need quieting.
It could be a response to the stress of the day.
It could be an impulse to get away from a difficult encounter.
Perhaps our urge to merge with nature when we are feeling out of sorts has something to do with our internal "fight or flight" programming. "Flight" sends us out for an escape.
In nature, we are free. The return to freedom as we spend time in the natural world makes a soothing balm for us when we are stressed and troubled.
Think about what utter delight nature brings to the senses. Think about…
- the solidness of planting your bare feet firmly on grass-covered ground
- the awe-inspiring view from a mountain top that can shift your entire perspective on life if you let it
- the soothing music of a babbling brook or rushing stream
- the freshness in the air after a summer shower as it tingles your nose and invigorates your mind
- a kiss of sunshine to warm your bare shoulders
- dried leaves and pine needles crunching and crackling beneath your boots
- the beauty and thundering sound of a cascading waterfall
There is a sense of homecoming, of finding our rightful place in the world again, when we connect with nature and engage all of our senses.
In nature, we are healed.
No matter what spot on the map you call home, you can always escape to the great outdoors when you're in need of peaceful moments.
Even in the most bustling city, there are beautiful parks where flowers grow and trees reach their branches heavenward.
Surely a bit of heaven lives in nature, and this calls to our souls.
EXERCISE: Make your way into nature today, and be inspired by the peace that it brings.
Carve out some time in your busy day to slow down and connect with planet earth.
Is there a special spot that soothes and comforts you? Go to that place.
Decide what would bring you greater peace; being with a friend in a natural setting, or taking off solo for a bit.
Your dog would gladly accompany you on your foray into nature today, or any day.
In fact, if peace is what you seek, your faithful and wordless companion, the family dog, could be the best choice of all.
Here is an optional exercise for you to try.
If this feels enjoyable and helps you engage more fully, go for it.
If it feels like work and brings you stress, skip it.
Indulge your senses in nature today. Seek out:
- At least one visual impression that leaves its mark on your memory
- A favourite sound that soothes your spirit
- Something to touch that brings you comfort
- An aroma that evokes a special feeling for you
Before you go to bed for the evening, take some time to think about the beauty that surrounded you today as you explored the living world outside.
How did you feel before you embarked on your foray into nature?
Did you feel like it was just another "should" that you had to check off your to-do list? Or did you look forward an escape from your busy day?
How did you feel after you returned from your brief trip?
What did you see, feel, taste, smell, touch as you explored the great outdoors?
Would you say that this experience brought you a sense of peace?
How long did the peaceful feeling last? Did it carry you through the rest of your day?
For the Future:
Commit to finding daily peace outside. Make this a comforting ritual.
Each day, spend time in nature. Walk outside. It can be that simple.
Take in the sunrise or the sunset. Let peace find its way to your heart through the twittering of birds in morning song.
Don't let the weather deter you. There is great beauty and grace in all seasons and climates.
A walk through the snow-covered woods is truly one of the most peaceful times one can have.
A jog in the rain can wash your troubles away.
Where in nature will you find peace today?
The only way to know is to go.