Monday, August 12, 2013

Nature soothes the soul.

Last night I was playing board games with my boyfriend for about 5 hours straight. It was awesome and fun until we tried to start playing one I was unfamiliar with and almost started arguing. The almost was all it took to bring awkwardness into the situation, as we are both extremely sensitive and always seem to reciprocate, mirror, and amplify each other's emotions. We are both also prone to anxiety and had been smoking so my heart started immediately pounding. This doesn't seem like a big deal but in the state of mind I was in, it was, and my body was on high alert, dumping stress hormones into my system. I went outside to smoke the rest of a cigarette I had and saw our hammock over in the yard that I barely ever lay in and decided to give it a shot. I almost didn't but for some reason it felt like the best thing I could possibly do.

When you get in it naturally starts swinging, and I closed my eyes and took some deep breaths. I started noticing how many noises were going on all around me. A symphony of insects in the night air! At least 3 different kinds that I could hear as separate noises, plus some other noises of the neighborhood. My mood slowly shifted and I felt my body and breath calming. I think that relaxation is the most natural thing in the world, and that we often forget how to do it. Becoming absorbed in nature is the best way to calm yourself. You can choose between your senses; smell the plants, feel the wind, look up through the trees, hell, even eat some dirt(it's healthier than McDonalds!) Nature is your friend, nature is YOU, and there are so many things we can learn from the intrinsic order within it.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely! Stepping outside is something that I MUST do at times to feel healthy again. I like your reminder that we ARE nature, and it brings to mind how disconnected we are from the rest of ourselves when we spend most of our lives in the built environment.

    Sometimes, physically being in the built environment just serves to remind me of all of the problems I'm currently dealing with in the culture humans have built for ourselves, and heightens my despair. In my house, stressing myself out about work, I look around at all of the things that take money to maintain- the obligations I have incurred to play along with society's rules in order for my family to be able to participate. I feel overwhelmed, all of these things screaming at me as extensions of the problems I was already dreading going to work because of.

    Suddenly my front door is an emergency exit. Before long I'm down the hill laying on my back in the meadow, and I can feel myself beginning to breathe normally again. I shift my attention from the tops of the trees down as small as I can focus on the ground, and watch bugs do their thing amid the grass roots. I can feel the panic releasing its grip. I get up and walk the trails and see how many species of mushrooms bloomed this fall. My sense of wonder and gratitude for life has returned. I realize that the hard things I must do in life have allowed moments like these. I remain outside as long as I can, then calmly go back up and start getting ready for work.

    Or the opposite- sometimes I can't go right in my house when I get home from work, I have to spend some time outside first. I always seek out these moments when I desperately need them, realize how lovely they are, and then wonder: why don't I find the time to do this more regularly, instead of waiting for things to build up so much? I've been trying, but just don't seem to respect them with the level of priority I should.

    Thanks for the great post, and the thoughtful blog in general.