One of the most powerful ways to feel nourished on every level is also one the most accessible to us here in Hawai‘i… Nature!
We are so blessed with the living beauty all around us. And while many of us love to spend time outdoors, we may still be missing a vital component. To receive Nature’s full benefits really requires full presence. Taking time to slow down, find stillness, listen and be in communion with the elements. This sounds simple but can be surprisingly challenging with the pace of our lives.
One of the surest ways to recharge our battery is to lay in the sand, be warmed by the sun, rest under a tree, float in the sea. We can certainly feel reset after a surf or a beautiful hike, but how often do we make space for stillness to simply BE in Nature?
We tend to believe that we need to “do” something to be nourished, but often it is simply allowing that is needed. The energies of all our natural world are inherent in our own bodies. The rhythms of our body, brain, and energies naturally align to the rhythms of Nature. When we bring a new level of awareness to this, we can refuel and relax effortlessly.
We are Nature. We are not separate from it, no matter what illusions that may be created around this. Much of the anxiety, depression & illness of modern society stems from feeling isolated or disconnected. Exploration of our own true nature is greatly assisted when we spend time outside. When overwhelmed or upset, Nature is the perfect place to release & express these energies. Feelings of safety, calm, cleansing, nurture and wonder that are accessible anytime.
It only takes a few minutes to feel that intimate connection with the ʻāina and elements to feel grounded, balanced, supported. We can see ourselves reflected in all divine aspects of creation. We are reminded that we are never alone, we are all unique & essential expressions of the whole.
This is a favorite exercise I use in Nature Immersion Therapy. It is a simple powerful way to nourish & rejuvenate all of the senses, and to feel a peace and oneness with everything.
Step by Step Guide to Nature Immersion Therapy:
- Find a nice private space outside to sit comfortably facing trees/foliage.
- Spine straight but relaxed “plug” the sit bones into the earth but relax the pelvic floor & begin to deepen and slow your breath.
- Breathe in slowly through the nose filling the belly and gently rising to expand the ribcage. Easy extend exhales.
- Find a focal spot straight ahead such as a leaf or branch… a little distance a way, not too close or far.
- As you stare at this spot allow your eyes to soften, eyelids heavy, relaxing the focus.
- You are now looking into, through, and beyond the original point of your focus.
- With each deep inhale allow the soften the face, forehead to melt, tongue heavy.
- Keep staring through the spot and begin to notice all in your view wavering gently in and out of focus.
- With each round of breath relaxing more, notice that your peripheral vision has expanded.
- You can see everything now without looking directly at anything. Birds, bees, every leaf.
- As the vision expands and sharpens so too does every sound, smell, and other sensation.
- Focus first on one sound and then soften focus, soften the inner and outer ear until there is a symphony of all sound.
- Play with this! From this place of expanded awareness you can become gently aware of anything and everything in both the external and internal worlds.
- Become a witness to emotions, subtle pulses, sensations that are moving through you without engaging.
- You can sit as long as you like dropping deeper into the experience.
- The practice is complete when you become both aware of and a part of everything.
- Rest in this bliss and One-ness as long as you like.