ecotherapy

Breathing In Clarity-The Effects of Nature on the Mind

“I go to Nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put together.”
— John Burroughs

The opposite of being "plugged in" is to be "unplugged".  An electric guitar is amplified and plugged into a soundboard.  An acoustic guitar is one in which the sound is not amplified in any way, it is unplugged.  

I've found that an interesting thing happens when I go out into nature to "unplug".  Leaving my electronics behind, with a plan to soak in the natural sounds of nature, I can feel my soul awaken.  I discover that as I unplug, the energy surrounding me actually increases.    I begin to feel a shift inside and a calm, peaceful sense of clarity comes over me.  

Our minds are amazing things.  They separate us from all other species.  Our ability to observe ourselves and pay attention to our thoughts is what makes us unique as a species.  I wonder if by surrounding ourselves day in and day out with phones, computers, iPads, electrical lights, electrical fans, buzzing air conditioning units, cars, video games, cameras...the list goes on and on, I wonder if all of that "electronic noise" is separating us from ourselves.  If it's so noisy that that our minds are not "hearing" the sound of our souls screaming out what we need, in order to be our best selves.  

Our brains are incredible machines.  Given the challenge of ever increasing electronic input, they increase performance, process more, calculate more, think and do more, more, more. What we may really need is to listen deeply and quietly to the sounds of our own souls.  Each person is unique and the message our soul wants to deliver is especially crafted just for us.  No one else can have OUR answers.  They are tucked away inside of us.  Just for us.  We simply have to be able to hear what we are trying to tell ourselves.  

People turn to all kinds of vices to "quiet their minds" alcohol, caffeine, drugs, shopping, tv, eating, exercising...when what is really needed is a deep bathing in nature.  Some type of "paying attention" to our innermost thoughts.  A soaking of the soul, in a place without electricity.  When we are able to unplug, our souls voice is amplified.  We can actually hear our unique soul message and our minds become clear.  Our mission becomes clear.  Our dreams become clear.  

There is so much out there these days about mindfulness.  There are apps and books and experts. I believe mindfulness was birthed as a response to all of the excess noise.  It is a "practice" of being present and clearing your mind.  Because it takes practice and effort, it is still very active. Especially in the beginning, when you're first learning it.  It is an active choosing to focus on the present.  While it is an excellent tool, it's hard for me not to notice that we are still trying to "do something" to clear our minds when practicing mindfulness.  

When walking in the woods, it feels to me like mindfulness without the effort.  A naturally occurring mindfulness if you will.  No effort necessary...just walk and breathe.