by Barb Casper
Everything is currently moving at an unprecedented pace. Work responsibilities, the demands of our personal lives, and the unrealistic expectations we place upon ourselves have resulted in our lives reaching the point of OVERWHELM.
We live in a world of dizzying distractions. We are spending much of our time on our devices where we find ourselves constantly bombarded by advertisements for the latest and the greatest product. We text versus talk at the dinner table. We send virtual hugs and kisses versus hugging the ones we love in person. This has led to many of us experiencing a sense of LACK, LONGING FOR MORE, AND REGRET versus feelings of ABUNDANCE AND SATISFACTION.
Many of us are mixing up society’s focus of “keeping up with the Joneses”, and its irrational definition of success with the natural order of our universe. The universe doesn’t care about our material possessions or our level of success. We need to take a step back. BREATHE. And recognize what is truly important – to live naturally, healthily and in harmony with nature.
Our deep connection with nature has become lost. We rarely stop and pay attention to the remarkable; to the intricate beauty that surrounds us everyday.
Paying attention to the beauty and wonder around us immensely changes our perspective and allows us to recognize why we here and what our true purpose is on Earth. The health of our planet, and the mental and physical health of all beings depend on our connection and symbiotic relationship with Nature.
The only prerequisite to achieving harmony, peace and a sense of well-being is taking the time to take in nature and the bountiful wonder it offers to us.
Noticing Nature Exercise
Pay attention to nature to boost feelings of connection and a sense of well-being.
5-15 minutes per day for two-three weeks. Eventually, incorporate this practice into your daily routine.
How to Do It
- Be mindful of the natural elements and objects around you on a daily basis (e.g., trees, clouds, leaves, the moon, moving water, animals, etc.), and notice how these make you feel and what emotions they evoke. Take a moment to allow yourself to truly experience the nature around you.
- When you encounter a natural object, element, or scene that evokes a strong emotion in you, that moves you in some way, take a photo of it.
- Upload these photos to your computer, and then send your 5 favorite photos along with a brief description of each as to what prompted you to take them, and how these nature scenes made you feel to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your name and email address. By submitting you agree to allow these photos to be included in a “RELAX IN ABUDANCE” slideshow made available to all Health, Naturally newsletter subscribers and/or a canvas painting created by Barb (Wings of Air Studios) for sale at Health, Naturally for your purchase! All photos will be credited to you, the photographer. By submitting your photos and descriptions, you agree to use as described. All net proceeds will be used for the future development of programs at Health, Naturally!
- You can take as many photos as you like, but try to take at least 30-40 photos over the course of the two to three week period. Be mindful of how the nature you encounter makes you feel on a daily basis, but space your photos out on different days.
- Remember: What is key is your experience with what you are photographing—how nature makes you feel. Don’t worry too much about the quality of the photos or how creative they may be.