Everyday, millions of people perform a ritualistic routine of waking up, going to work and going to sleep – only to repeat the same the next day. Unless these people have a job that requires them to work outside – most of us are only exposed to the elements during the brief walks to and from our home, car and office.
This routine needs to change. We are most definitely creatures born into a metropolitan society, however we do not thrive when shielded from nature. Most of our waking hours are spent in a box, sheltered from the elements. It has only been in the last 150 years, out of human kind’s 200,000-year existence, that industry created a container for our time and for our spirits to be spent.
Nature is what brought us into this world and in a sense; nature is what we are made of. It is necessary to make time to be outside. It is necessary in terms of your nutrient intake – humans major source of vitamin D is from sunlight. But more importantly, it is necessary in terms of your ability to connect with the world around you, and for you to understand your place within a natural environment that is billions of years old.
Experiences with nature are humbling. You transition your mindset from that of a member of fast paced metropolitan society, where other human’s actions and thoughts are significant to you, to being presently focused and introspective. This newly formed perspective of your reality is due to the understanding of nature’s continuity and endlessness. When engaging in experiences involving the natural environment, you are able to embrace your role as a single being who plays a somewhat insignificant part in the greatness that is the Earth and the wonder that is eternity. Adoption of this perspective, while daunting, inevitably brings peace into your busy reality.
I challenge you to make the time to step into the elements. Whether it is in a park or in the mountains, on a beach or in a field, connection with the environment is a necessary one that you must put forth effort to make. Like anything, the more you engage in the practice, the more meaningful and significant it will become to you.
I cannot tell you what to look for in your interaction with Mother Nature, however I can tell you that she is always there waiting for you to reach out, and say hello. Not only will she respond, but she will also give you the gift of presence and perspective to carry with you through all of your experiences that make up our metropolitan reality.