In the concrete jungle we have established, we rushed forward rather than thinking ahead. Controlled and created to funnel people into this way of life we don’t even question, turning sand into stone, we’ve created a barrier between the very surface which feeds us–dirt. These high maintenance boxes to shelter ourselves, paying for things that grow and flow off the land around us; all driven by profit to create a sense a comfort. The things we have sacrificed in name of that comfort has led to the destruction of some of the most valuable assets on our planet. These include forests, wildlife, and even humans themselves. While we live in these concrete jungles, most of us aren’t aware of how they affect us. One of the ways we can help ourselves is by taking a walk away from it all into the wilderness. This can be a park, forest, or any natural area away from man made and populated areas. Sometimes, depending on your current situation, that may be very difficult.
Taking a hike back into the forest will remind you of the simplicity of nature. The fresh air with lack of people you get to hear the birds and feel the peace around you. If you sit still enough, the animals come back out as they relax from the constant threat of humans. Staying long enough, you get to see the light change as the sun moves across the sky.
Walking back into the foundation that holds our planet together, that which we call nature, is one of the easiest ways we can replenish our spirit. To smell the dirt, the moss, and bark; the air is different–cleaner. Feeling all the life moving around you, working together. We only perceive it as being apart. We are reminded that we may look and think differently, but each and every person is working together as a human species. The thing that often stops us from creating that peace and harmony is ourselves.
Nature reminds us that after the hardship of each day, we can stand tall like these trees enjoying our own internal peace. We do this by letting go of that chatter in our minds. “I can’t…”, “I’m not good enough”, “How will I”. Let all of that go for it does not serve you. You are not that voice, it is just a programmed thinking pattern that is now holding you back. The fear may be strong, but fill this moment with presence and even fear will wash away.
What is beneficial is to walk and see the trees. Look at how the sunlight hits each leaf. Creating shadows giving birth to magnificent art. Only those who are there, rather than in their minds, can enjoy it. When we leave our thoughts and come to this very moment, we exist. We know how to live and survive, so trust yourself and experience this moment. Let go of all that weight of thought and expectation and give birth to the freedom that lives within. Feeling the freshness flow through your lungs. The breeze of the sun or the coolness of the wind–it heals. Wanting your focus and attention, this moment will keep requesting.
You can start by focusing on your breath. This will take your mind away from the thoughts, for you are now breathing. Three, slow, deep breaths. Once you have calmed your breathing, you can start experience these moments. Away from your thoughts but in your sense and body, feeling and taking in every second.
Staying longer in nature can allow you to experience more beauty but also the potential of it’s unrelenting chaos. Through that harshness, we are forced to experience focus. Even through hard moments, like when Caroline and I got our tent blown away on the sands of Assateague, there can be laughter and wisdom gained from it. We are reminded that we live more than just to pay bills and go grocery shopping. We are reminded that we can experience beauty in simple moments and share those experiences with those we love. Going into nature and experiencing that hardship reminds you that the simple things in life are the most important; how we speak to each other, sharing love with those closest to you, and being there for those moments, rather than in your head.
We meditate as we live by focusing on each breath and step. Life gets hard and those moments are the most important to be present. To not let oneself be overcome by emotion or thought but instead be here. Take time for yourself and get some fresh air. The more self care you give, the easier it becomes. Always remember your internal tree of peace for may it stand tall filled with love.