In 2023, I hope each of you is able to set goals/intentions/resolutions/etc. and fill your own cup while doing so. We all know you can’t pour from an empty cup!
Here are the links to the rest of the series!
Reflection – 1/3/23
Rest – 1/6/23
Movement – 1/9
Rituals – 1/12
Connection – 1/16
Compassion – 1/19
Mindfulness – 1/23
Today’s post will be about “Nature”
We all know what nature is, so this post will be more about images than words.
Why is nature important?
There are countless studies that tell us that how much time we spend in nature has a direct effect on our levels of energy and life satisfaction. Nature can make you kinder, happier, and more creative.
What kind of nature you like varies, of course – I like the mountains more than the beach and lakes more than oceans – so just think about the first place that comes to mind when you think of nature. When we are immersed in nature for a couple of hours, (as long as we feel safe) there are physically measurable benefits.
So think of your place, and we’re going to do a little visualization exercise while I share my favorite place with you.
My place started as a tree with exposed roots in the backyard of the house I grew up in – this is a photo I took this winter. In my imagination, it is more green with the nearby creek running much higher.
Sometimes, I imagine the trees even taller, like redwoods in California that I went to visit.
I can hear the creek running, the leaves rustling, birds and squirrels running around and singing or chittering…this comes pretty close.
I can also hear my dogs running around in the forest or splashing in the creek, someone mowing their lawn in the distance and other, similar neighborhood noises.
Sometimes, it is misty like this, and noise is muffled the way mist and fog do sometimes:
It smells like rain and mud and green growing things. The air is clear, it is misty so it smells a little wet like it might rain. If I am in the mood for daffodils, it might smell like those. Or if it is nearby, I might be able to smell freshly cut grass. Different trees smell different, and this one is an oak.
I cannot download a scent for you, so you will just have to imagine it – but here is a list of smells in the forest. This photo is actually from the rainforest in Costa Rica in 2020, from the top of a forest ranger lookout – rainforests are a totally different kind of forest, but some smells are the same and I like the panorama:
Usually, I am not eating or drinking anything, so I can taste the air and all of the smells. I might have something like tea if I am picturing it to be a little cold, or root beer (because that is what I would have had out there when I was a kid and I still like it). Here is a Spruce Tip ice cream that might invoke the right tastes (I have not tried it… yet).
Here is a sunrise photo from a morning walk in my neighborhood, which reminds me of how some mornings taste – like grass and pine.
I am sitting in the roots of the tree, so I can feel the rough and smooth varying textures of the bark. If my dog comes near, I could pet her. If I put my hand in the creek, it would be cool and the water would run over my fingers. If I touch the ground, it would have the loamy texture of the forest floor with all the seasons of fallen leaves making the soil kind of fluffy on the top; if you dig your fingers in, you would hit ground with more pebbles and a kind of clay like red mud that is smoother and more difficulty to dig into.
This is my favorite visualization exercise and is great to do before you go to bed. The more details you can put in, the more relaxing it will be!
If you want to try a different kind of mindfulness exercise, try this Five Senses in the Forest.
To end this sensory forest journey, here is a fall photo from my visit to Bedford Springs, Pennsylvania in October 2022:
FYI, I drove a UTV through the forest and up a mountain to get to this view, and I LOVED it, so I may add that to my forest sometimes. Anything you want, you can add to your vision! It does not have to be all peaceful and calm all the time, it can also be fun or energizing!
© All Rights Reserved, Kendra Wilson 2023, Wind Over Water, PLLC