“If you feel drawn to a particular place outdoors in nature, try to go there (even if just in your mind).”
Research confirms what many have observed: that nature has healing energies.
For those who know me, know that I am an avid Hiker. I live for the outdoors. I used to look forward to my bi-monthly outdoor adventures to beautiful corners of Kenya. Alas! COVID-19 happened, and everything came to a standstill.
There is something about the outdoors that brings a natural sense of calm and healing. On my hikes, I used to encourage other hikers to engage in something known as Shirin Yoku, a Japanese tradition of Forest Bathing.
Spending as little as twenty or thirty minutes in nature can boost your health and psychological well being, as well as reduce stress.
If you happen to have access to places like Karura, or your own back yard, you may want to step outdoors and experience this phenomenon for yourself.
Take a walk and gaze at the plants and trees, noticing the branches that are thriving as well as ones that have broken. Notice the intricate patterns formed by the tree barks and branches. Hug a tree! Run your fingers along the tree or plant. Feel it’s bark or it’s leaves if you can, the pattern of the tree’s bark or its branches, or simply get your hands a little dirty and touch the dirt where it is growing. Notice what you feel in your body. Does it seem that your energy has changed? Call on nature and ask her to help you take her healing energy.
If you can’t be outdoors or don’t have a backyard or garden, simply look outside the window at a tree or even at your own indoor plant. Even a photo or video of nature will suffice. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds of nature. Absorb that energy and let it flow through you and energize you.
Sometimes we discover certain sports in nature that have a healing and calming effect on us. I have a special (secret) spot at Karura where I take a book and some coffee and just sit and meditate. I never leave that space the same as I entered it. It has such healing energy around it.
I’d like to share with you a short visualization, “A Healing Place” that can bring to you the healing energies of Nature.
If there is a particular image of a particular place outdoors in nature, try to go there with your mind. Simply being to observe how you feel. What is different about this place? What has drawn you to it? What if any messages, does it have for you?
As you immerse yourself in nature, open to any insights regarding her wisdom, your relationship with nature—or anything else. Nature is observing you just as you’re observing her. What does nature see in you?
As you gaze at that scene out in front of your mind’s eye, does a particular thought or emotion arise?
What does the buzz of insects or the sound of birds singing reveal?
What message does a gently flowing creek or a slow-moving cloud offer?
Ponder it all.
You might want to write about the experience you had. Maybe it will inspire a poem, song, or even a sketch. As you think back on your break spent in nature, ask yourself whether you need to engage nature’s healing energies more often and how you can make that happen for yourself even if you have to spend much or all of your day indoors.
Sometimes it’s necessary to Tune Inward, for a better outward.