Imagine how it would be for us if the most important part of our day would be the time we are in nature. To take off our shoes and feel the earth beneath our feet. To feel the sunlight and wind on our skin. To breath deeply taking in the scent of trees, plants, flowers. To hear birds singing and the swoosh of flight. To taste the salt of the sea, the dryness of the desert, the dense moistness of the forest.
We human beings are intimately connected to the earth. Our Mother Earth comprises not just the soil, rock, and water beneath our feet but also the deep mantle and deeper core. So, too, it is the air we breathe and the atmosphere that keeps us upright and moving. We intuitively understand this intimate and essential connection–this oneness. And yet, so often we ignore it.
Our lives are busy, our schedules are over-the-top full, and the demands we and others place on ourselves have us living in a state of forgetfulness. The thought of our connection, our natural affinity, and our essential need to be in nature slips from our consciousness.
Let us remember why we need this essential connection with the earth. Humans evolved not in cities, not in urban sprawl, or on highways, but in forests, on the grasslands of the plains, in the mountains, and on the waters. Let us consider that our bodies are interaction with the environment and that this interaction allows us to know before knowing.
Let us consider this.
- Our connection is vital. The earth’s magnetic resonances vibrate at the same frequency as human heart rhythms and brainwaves. Our energies are one with the earth.
- We feel better in a green environment. Being in nature for as little as five minutes a day reduces stress. Even looking at photos and pictures of nature can reduce stress.
- The absorption of sunlight stimulates the production of Vitamin D which protects us from cancer, depression, and osteoporosis. Sunlight balances our mood, helping to keep us on an even keel.
- Using our bodies in space by walking or running on an uneven terrain, uses a broader range of movement as well as fine-motor movement and more fully engages our balance. The more surely we move in our environment, the more secure we feel.
- When we are in a natural environment, we can exercise the eyes by frequently roaming between far and near and thus creating more variation. Training the eye muscles in this way helps to keep our physical vision strong. And, by being in and attuning to nature, we also exercise and strengthen our subtle sense of sight–that ability to see beyond what’s there on the surface.
- Living with close proximity to and interacting with green and water helps to protect us from lung and thyroid diseases, depression, anxiety, and diabetes among other ailments. Being in balance with our outer natural environment also balances our inner environment all the way down to out cells.
Let us re-define health, to mean not only the absence of disease, but also the balance of the bodymind with our natural environment. In this way, we see that removing ourselves from nature is detrimental to our health and well-being.
Let us choose. Select one activity routinely done inside on a regular basis and move it outside to nature. Instead of the treadmill walk, jog, or run outside. Instead of the stairmaster, climb a hill or even find some outdoor stairs. Instead of indoor rowing, go kayaking or canoeing, or find a row boat in a pond. Instead of driving, walk or ride a bike. Instead of texting, watching TV, or surfing the Internet walk around the block or walk to a local coffee shop and meet a new friend. Instead of eating in the car or on the run, stop at a park and eat on a bench. Instead of meditating or doing yoga on the cushion or mat, move outside to the natural world.
Choose to live as we are meant to live in our most essential natural world.
Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image by Reto Stöckli (land surface, shallow water, clouds). Enhancements by Robert Simmon (ocean color, compositing, 3D globes, animation).