Nature Is a Medicine!
We, as human animals, emerged from the natural world. Linked to this, nature therapy has evolved as a method of soothing our jangled nervous systems. Have you ever wondered why relaxation recordings often include nature sounds or scenes from nature? On a subconscious level, we recognize the natural wild environment as a comforting, homey feeling in the same way that a drumbeat connects us to the memory of our mother's heartbeat in the womb. When we connect to the nurturing, feminine energy of nature and the natural world, we return to a more grounded state, one more stable than our typical daily stress.
The feminine energy that I’m referring to is not to be mistaken as part of the political women-against-patriarchy dispute. Nor is it a gender bias. It’s deeper than that. I’m referring to the energies of feminine and masculine that operate within each of us, regardless of our sex or gender. For too long, especially since the Industrial Revolution, we’ve been pushing competitively with masculine energy. The masculine penetrating actions that we’ve all been programmed to push ahead with on a daily basis is stressful, and it should be balanced with feminine care-taking energy for homeostasis. This applies across the board in my wide-angle, circular perception.
Loving and connecting with nature is a feminine process, as we attempt to maintain a healthy feminine-masculine balance. Think along with me for a moment. The natural environment (Earth) can be thought of as a womb from which all aspects of nature are born. We Homo sapiens make our homes in nature just as other animals do. Many of the shelters taught in wilderness survival education originated from animals, such as nests of squirrels and birds. A well-made primitive debris hut is a perfect human-animal "nest," warm, dry, and safe, just as other nests provide spaces to care for fragile young animals. And instinct keeps the adult animals attached to the young. This instinctual attachment to others and our environment is feminine, happening deep within.
Mindfulness is a state of being in the moment with no awareness of the past or future. Staying with “the moment” is a brilliant coping skill to stop worrying about what has happened or what might happen. Nature is a breeding ground for the state of mindfulness. Recently I used a flowing stream to bring me into the moment. I studied the creek cascading among the rocks, really watching the water gliding over the obstacles. I wanted to be like that, flowing gently over and around my obstacles. I took a short video of it on my phone, and now I have a tool to help me return to the awareness of allowing when I get strung out. When I watch my little video, I know that somehow I'll glide through.
Non-human animals don’t think like Homo sapiens. They are in a constant state of mindfulness. Non-human animals don’t worry, judge, or wonder if what they are doing at any given moment makes sense. They don’t attach dramatic meaning to events. They just take each moment or day as it comes. Although our thinking brain is a specialized gift, we can look to other animals to help us appreciate the state of mindfulness. Even your domesticated dog, cat, bird, or fish can be celebrated for remaining in the moment. Emulating the mindfulness and purity of creatures can help us cope with this crazy, toxic world.
Nature immersion can calm our primitive impulses if we make it a practice. Nature is comforting because it is our ancestral home, a feminine, rich, and nurturing environment. The more time we spend in and around nature, the more comfortable and relaxed we can be, detoxifying with clean air, healing essential oils, and mindfulness.