Albert Einstein famously said, “Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better.” Have you ever wondered why humans intuitively love spending time in the natural world? Do you experience a connection to Nature whenever you’re around rivers, mountains, trees, or animals?
For some, spirituality and Nature are so deeply related that they often feel like one and the same. The mystery of how everything works together, and the beauty of life are easier to notice when you’re spending focused time outdoors.
Unfortunately, we’ve become an indoor species. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the majority of Americans spend 93% of their time inside their vehicles and enclosed buildings.
This is clearly a huge departure from the lifestyle led by our ancestors, who slept under the stars and walked barefoot upon the earth. Spending all this time indoors and not taking regular excursions into nature has also shown to have a negative impact on our health and well-being.
If you’re seeking to embrace nature and deepen your connection to it, the following tips will help cultivate a state of holistic growth and balance while uniting you with your identity as a spiritual being.
Make a Commitment to Spend Time in Nature
With the stressful, busy life you lead, your mind’s “chatter” can take over even if you already spend considerable time in Nature. Without setting a clear intention to connect, you’re giving away your power.
Remember the wise words of Grandmother Willow to Pocahontas, “Listen with your heart, you will understand.” As cheesy as it may sound, that is exactly what you need to do: listen and communicate. Your first step to creating a spiritual relationship with Mother Nature is making a commitment to do so.
Don’t Be Afraid of Solitude
People may think that silence is uncomfortable, but Nature doesn’t think so. If you want to truly communicate with Nature, work in solitude, unless of course you’re supported by a facilitator or a teacher.
This will help you find yourself, which is a critical part of the equation when you’re trying to embrace spirituality. Stop focusing on your negative behaviors and concentrate on your “true self.” You’re more than your unhealthy relationships, alcohol or food addictions, or drug dependency.
Veer off the popular trail every once in a while and spend an hour by yourself. You can do this in a park or a garden too.
Sit Down… or Get Active
For some people, doing some sort of physical activity out in nature not only boosts their mood but helps them center their minds. After all, “walking meditation” is a popular spiritual practice in Buddhism.
However, for a lot of folks, it’s easier to connect spiritually when their body and mind are quiet. If you find that your usual thoughts accompany you with the rhythms of running or walking, find a serene spot and just sit down.
You can bring a garbage bag or an old towel with you to sit on, especially if it’s cold or wet outside. Make sure you’re dressed in loose clothing (add some extra layers since your body temperature will drop the longer you sit).
“Talk” to Nature
Once you’ve settled in, take in your surroundings. See, smell, hear and feel all the little details around you. Then focus your attention on something that naturally draws your attention: a tree, a flower, a creek, or a mountain.
In much of Western culture, the concept of “soul” or “spirit” is a very limited one. You may have been taught that only humans have souls; animals, trees, flowers, rocks, and lakes don’t. If you’ve ever felt a spiritual connection to nature, you know that’s not true.
Try “talking” to that natural object of your attention. You can even ask it questions about a problem you’re having a hard time with. You may find that words just appear in your mind, seemingly out of nowhere – words that you couldn’t have come up with on your own.
When the inner connection with nature happens, the life outside will start changing almost like magic.