Updated: Aug 26
I've often turned to nature as a way to heal. Healing isn't just about a physical illness, although being in nature can definitely help with that. Healing can also be of the mind and the emotions. I believe that mental illness is by far the greatest illness of our world today.
We live in a world, where many of us are distracted by media, and addicted to our mobile devices. We allow the external world to validate our self worth. We believe that our human experience is limited to what we think and how we feel. We believe our thoughts to be true and our emotions to guide us. We are so concerned with our own personal agenda that we don't see how narrow minded we've become. We are stuck in old patterns that are hard to get out of and we cling to beliefs that limit us and keep us small.
Over the last few years, I have turned to nature to help me heal more than ever! When I am feeling overwhelmed with work, or with life in general, nature is there to help. When I am feeling stuck and need clarity and inspiration, nature will help me find my way. When I am feeling down and need to feel comforted, nature always delivers.
"Turn to Mother Nature. Be with her. Feel her love. She will help you to heal."
I'd like to share a recent story with you about how nature helped me to heal.
This past July, I was getting ready to teach a yoga retreat. My life was a little chaotic leading up to the retreat. I had just finished teaching a Yoga Teacher Training. My husband had been in a bad mountaineering accident. Although he had a broken femur and a new hip, we were determined to travel for the summer. Not to mention all of the busy work that goes into a retreat, marketing, planning, coordinating, and managing reservations. The retreat was 5 days out. My mind was overloaded and I felt overwhelmed. I knew I had to get out of my mind and go within to find peace, so that I could show up at my retreat, fully present, grounded, and ready to hold space for the 22 lovely souls who were joining me for their own healing.
So I did what I knew I had to do. I turned to nature. I decided to go on one of my favorite hikes. It was deep in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest with a lovely waterfall as the destination. I remember clearly bearing witness to how narrow my focus was. I was staring at the ground with my mind full of thoughts. Finally I looked up and saw a tree that called my attention. I stood in front of the tree and placed my hands on it. I took a few deep breaths and allowed the energy of the tree to pour into me. After a few moments, I continued on my hike. I became very aware that my energy had shifted. For the first time on my hike, I was able to be present with the beautiful lush forest and the flowing river that at times ran alongside the trail. I noticed the smell of pine needles and could hear the birds sing.
Then another tree came into my awareness. I stopped and placed my heart on the tree and everything in me softened. I let the tree hold me, comfort me. After a short time, I continued on my hike again. My energy became lighter. There was a great sense of ease that I now carried. Gratitude poured into my heart and a few tears formed, as I connected more deeply with Mother Earth. Thank you. Thank you, I said to her. She had given me exactly what I needed.
I continued to the waterfall, where I sat in stillness, feeling the energy of the cascading water. I imagined being in the water as it flowed through and around me, cleansing me, moving out all that I was still holding onto that didn't serve me. I allowed it to fill me up energetically and give me the strength that I needed.
After sometime I headed back to my car and journeyed home. I felt refreshed, rejuvenated, inspired, and at peace. Mother Nature helped me to heal what needed to be healed that day. She helped me to let go and find comfort in her and in the present moment.
It is my hope that in moments like this, you: "Turn to Mother Nature. Be with her. Feel her love. She will help you to heal."