By: Natasha Archary
Coffee! We need it t o survive! Or do we? What if there was another way to recharge body, mind and soul? Would you try it?
The answer is as simple as reconnecting with nature. Human beings come from nature. The animalistic DNA that has evolved over time is still innately present in our chemical makeup. We are an integral part of it all. Your body is made up of the same elements, minerals and energy that makes up the planet. In fact, many quantum physicists and scholars believe that everything in the outer universe is a reflection of our consciousness and our body. An example of this would be to point out a fun fact – the percentage of water that forms part of the planet reflects the same percentage of water found in our bodies – 70%.
And whilst its true that we are from nature, we can still fall out of alignment with nature and our natural state. Being in tune with the inherit wisdom that comes from nature is essential to wellness but sadly it is something that we simply do not find the time for. What’s even sadder is that we are passing on this indifferent attitude to our children.
How do you define nature? Environmental writer, Emma Marris has been quoted as saying, “If we define it as that which is untouched by humans, then we won’t have any left.” She urges us to consider a new definition of nature – one that includes not only pristine, sexy wilderness (as seen in David Attenborough documentaries) but also the untended patches of greenery growing in urban spaces. She also encourages parents to take children out to interact with nature, to tinker and touch it, so that one day they might love and protect it.
With controversy around the U.S president sanctioning elephant trophy hunts – a decision that at the time of writing this he has since changed stance on – one has to question whether our children will have much left of nature and its’ inhabitants in a few years. With climate change being a huge influence on the natural order of things, the circle of life does look bleak in the near future.
Studies show that spending time in nature reduces stress and improves concentration levels. Researchers also found that positive emotions are more pronounced when one has spent time in nature. This isn’t too hard to believe, just think about the last time you were at the coast, watching the sun hug the waves lapping the shores. The sound of the tide as it ebbed and flowed, the backdrop to the serenity that followed you for a week thereafter. There’s something poetically calming about nature.
As we wind down another hectic year, reconnecting with nature may be just what the doctor didn’t order to combat the end of year angst that many face. When the pressure gets too much and you find yourself reaching for the java, wine or whatever else you need to calm your senses try one of these ways to deeply connect your body with nature and realign your energy:
The path less ventured is the perfect way to immerse yourself in Mother Nature o nce again. Beautiful sun-rises and sun-sets are just some of the perks. If you are privileged enough to hike up a mountain trail, the fresh air could do wonders for your tired brain. Hiking is also a great cardio-vascular workout and tones muscles you would not have known you had. You get to explore areas in your city and see it in a whole new light. There are so many incredible hiking trails in Johannesburg that you can take with the entire family, so you don’t have to go too far.
Remember the days when you ran around carefree and barefoot as a child? How you giggled when the prickly, cool grass touched your soles? And how blissfully stress-free you were as you frolicked on the lawn looking for bugs? Feel like that kid again and go barefoot in your garden or local park. Your skin absorbs energy and minerals from the earth and going barefoot, especially on the beach, is said to have magnificent healing properties on your body. We won’t bore you with the science of it all, so just kick off your sneakers and go skin to earth the next time you are outdoors.
CLOUD & STAR-GAZE
Transcend space-time reality and look toward the heavens, like many ancient civilizations who looked to the stars for guidance and power. For decades, science has played with the notion that humans are made of stardust.
A few years ago astrophysists and medical pathologists found that our bodies are made of remnants of stars and massive explosions that took place in the galaxies. The theory of the big bang holds true after all. The theory is that stellar winds from a giant star caused interstellar dust to form ripples. This dust contains oxygen, carbon, iron and other elements which eventually found its way into our bodies. Whether you believe that your source of energy is inter-galactic or not, it’s breathtaking to star-gaze on summer nights, so look to the sky for that which is already within you, pure energy.
PLANT A TREE
One of the ways to give you a sense of responsibility to protect and conserve nature is to have you plant something from the ground up. Nurturing something to life is the most rewarding feeling. Think about how proud you are when you look at your children. Feeling the soil with your hands, watching it grow from seedling to sapling will ignite the symbiotic relationship between trees and humans. We need trees to survive and thrive and they need us to conserve their existence. At the end of this incarnation, we give our physical bodies back to the earth. And so the cycle continues.
RELAX & OBSERVE
Find a place to sit down and take in your natural surroundings. Drown out the noise of everyday life and just sit and watch the natural habitat around you. There is life everywhere you look, even in bustling city skylines, there are creatures creating homes and ecosystems that are vital to our survival. Every creepy-crawly, every slithery creature was created for a reason and it is awe-inspiring to watch them interact in their natural spaces. Imagine a world without any wild-life, with the absence of the beautiful marine life that swim freely. Not a pretty picture is it? The very bonds you have with your children, can be found with the creatures created to live in these environments with you. It is time we were more altruistic in our approach to nature.
If human beings were made to live in concrete jungles, we would ultimately be the happiest species on the planet. We would be perfectly content not seeing the sun or feeling its warmth on our skin. But we’re not are we? In a world of technological marvel and cyber splendour, we are losing the human element – the very essence of our natural state – and have distanced ourselves from nature.
Who are we really if not just another being within the grander scheme of things?
Tap into the beauty of nature and reconnect to the heartbeat of life, it may just be what your body, mind and soul needs.