any people today perceive themselves as separate from nature. Not surprising considering how far removed our lives are from her rhythm. Cities, technology, and big industry have separated us from nature. And from the cycles of the seasons.
And the stupid thing is that we are not meant to be apart from nature.
All the conveniences of modern life give us a better quality of life, no doubt. But simultaneously it separates us from something essential to our mind, body and soul.
I honestly believe that this separation from nature is one of the root causes of so many mental health issues, anxiety and stress. We live in a rhythm that is not natural to our bodies. Unlike our ancestors whose lives flowed with the seasons, our lives today push against this natural rhythm. Which deteriorates our mental health and ability to not feel overwhelmed.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that our separation from nature is the soul cause of mental health issues, far from it. I do believe however that our separation from nature, particularly the cycle of the seasons, is having more of a negative effect on our mental health than we realize.
The bottom line is simply this.
As human beings we are part of nature, not apart from it.
We have the plant kingdom, the animal kingdom and the kingdom or queendom or peopledom of humankind. The richness and variety of our flora and fauna are vital to our survival. (Not to mention, you know, the entire planet.)
We didn’t just get plonked down on this amazing planet, we evolved with it. Part of it. And now we are evolving away from it.
Now of course science is catching on.
Research shows that environments can increase or reduce our stress. Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally but also contributes to your physical well-being. What you are seeing, hearing, and experiencing at any moment changes not only your mood, but how your nervous, endocrine, and immune systems are working. And within nature, all of this is affected positively.
This is why doctors are now prescribing time in nature for people with mental health issues.
The trouble is time spent in nature, although undoubtedly beneficial, is simply not enough. It’s like putting a plaster over a gaping wound and saying it’ll be alright love.
What we need is a deeper connection. So that we can live out in our lives, what we know in our blood, skin and bone. In our DNA.
What we need is a life that aligns with nature’s rhythms. Constantly. As our ancestors did.
I am not suggesting that we go back to the days of living in mud huts. No, I am far too attached to warm running water and the comforts of modern life to want to see us back there.
What humanity needs, in my not so humble opinion, is a mind and soul connection with nature. As well as the physical.
And that is where spirituality steps in.
Ancient wisdom describes human beings as having five layers of experience: the environment, the physical body, the mind, the intuition and our self or spirit.
When we practice a spiritual connection to nature we connect with all these layers of experience. I have worked with, observed and celebrated the turning of the seasons following the Wheel of the Year for over half of my lifetime. And I have been teaching others to develop their spiritual paths connected to nature’s seasons for the past 6.
And what I have seen is that when people begin to live lives aligned with the rhythm of the seasons and take the time to go out in nature, even in a local park, connecting practically and spiritually that they have more tools to navigate life’s journey.
It doesn’t remove the stress. But it gives us a tool kit to learn from it, grow, accept, release and balance in a way nothing else I have experienced does.
If you would like to find out more about aligning your life with the season’s rhythms and deepening your spiritual connection with nature then click on the button below.
Next time you are out in nature. Don’t just blast on through.
Take a beat.
Then take some deep breaths.
Meditate if you will.
Feel the connection.
Allow your heartbeat to slow down to her rhythm and you will be surprised by what unfolds before your eyes.