What does "nature connection" even mean?
Hello nature lovers, "Nature connection" is a term that is often used in our communities, though seldom defined. We use it to point to an idea, to a certain set of values.I've used it many times over the years to describe an important aspect of my work with plants and it just occurred to me yesterday (while sitting in the woods, I might add) that I've been relying on an assumption that people understanding what I mean when I use the term.So, I thought I'd take a crack at actually defining this term, "nature connection." In this article, I also want to share with you...
- a vision for what your "nature connection" could be,
- give you some practical steps to deepen your experience
- and let you know about possible next steps if you'd like to learn with more hands-on guidance.
It can be hard to describe what "nature connection" is because it points to a relationship, rather than an object. I'd say that it's an experience that you have with the energy of the Earth.If I were to ask you "what does love mean?", I suspect you'd have a difficult time answering at first."Nature connection," like love, is a feeling, a need and a relationship (you could even say a complex set of relationships). To a large extent, "nature connection" is about each of us remembering (and putting ourselves back into) right relationship with the Earth and all Its intertwined forms of life. You are a part of the web of life, after all.It means something slightly different to everyone because the meaning is deeply personal, it's about your own relation with the Earth. And while this term is most often used in reference to the "wildness" of the world, it can also be found in your yard, garden or urban green space.In very broad strokes, you could say that "nature connection" is about your relationship with the place where you live, with a little piece of the Earth near you. It's about that relationship providing a deep and profound sense of peace in your heart and soul.No one can be completely whole without "nature connection."We live in a unique time in human history. Because so many people live in cities, for the first time ever, people are seeking out "nature" to meet this need.Some people strongly prioritize spending time outside or "in nature," which I think is wonderful. It's great for your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. And for me, it's more about the quality of the connection than just being somewhere green.Let me give you an example...When I got walking in the woods near my house, or when I spend time in my garden, I'm surrounded by my friends. I see plants that have blessed and healed myself, my children - many, many times! - and my clients.Not only do I see the type of plants that have provided so much for me, but I can actually point to patches where I've gathered medicines or places where I've sat and received teachings/guidance from plants.I can point to a shrub and tell you, "this helped so and so get rid of her urinary tract infection," or "this plant gave me an insight that saved my relationship when things were strained."I can show you the berry and mushroom patches that have fed us countless meals.And so, when I walk in the woods and I'm open to connecting, I'm easily filled with a sense of love and gratitude. I don't just see "green space," I feel the love and support those plants have provided for myself and my community.In this way, "nature connection" is a feeling. It's the feeling of being supported and cared for by the Mother Earth. It's a mix of feeling gratitude, celebration, relief and humility. It's a heart connection.And... it's there for you to plug into whenever you like or want to! Because it's woven into the very fabric of your being.It's also a need.We need "nature connection" in the same way that we need love and touch and food and water. It reaches deep inside you and touches a part of your soul/spirit that can not be reached by any other means."Nature connection" can give meaning and purpose to your life. It can heal your deepest emotional wounds. And it can provide direction and guidance to those of you working to restore balance and justice to the world.
There are three key characteristics needed to deepen your connection with Nature...
- Openness - First, you need to approach "nature, the livingness of the world, with an openness and a humility. You must remember that you are not more important than any plant, animal, stone or even a single blade of grass. You each have your role to play.
- Receptiveness - Second, you need to be willing to receive. This is different than taking, to be clear. It's about breathing in that vital essence of life and, sometimes, harvesting what you need from the abundance. Like gathering fruit from a tree full of ripe fruit, you don't need to take as much as you need to just catch what coming to you freely.
- Using Your Heart - And thirdly, you need to use your heart as an organ of perception. I'm not using this as a metaphor for compassion or loving. I mean it quite literally. Your heart is actually a very powerful organ of perception that can provide as much information as your other senses combined.
This is a skill that won't make much sense at first. And don't worry, it's definitely in you. It will 'switch on' sometimes when you slow down and open to receiving.
For now, I'll suggest that you simply practice "reaching out with your heart." Reach it out to whatever (or whomever) you want to connect with and you'll start to notice some feelings come back to you.
If you'd like to learn how to profoundly deepen your "nature connection," then I invite you to check out my upcoming workshop...
Healing with the Spirit of Herbs
A weekend workshop for those who want to deepen their spiritual connection to the healing power of medicinal herbs
~ Nelson, BC near Whitewater Ski Hill ~
~ Sat/Sun Sept. 24/25, 2016 ~
The Pertinent Details...
- You'll learn to connect directly with plants in order to develop plant allies, learn their medicinal properties, find the guidance you need and heal your spirit
- Class runs 10am - 6pm on Sat. Sept. 24 & Sun. Sept. 25, 2016
- Near Nelson, BC (close to the Whitewater ski hill)
- We'll be in some beautiful, wild places and very old forests that you'll be able to go back to
- Space is limited to 20 students
- The Early Bird price saves you $25 and is available to the first 10 people who register by Sept. 9
- This is a very hands-on class, you'll be practice various exercises and spend most of the weekend communing with some very powerful, local medicinal plants
To find out more, click here --> Healing with the Spirit of Herbs weekendFor those folks considering coming from out of town, I'm happy to try to arrange a place for you to stay while you're in Nelson.And if you know someone who could benefit from this class, please take a moment and forward this to them. They (and I) will thank you for it ;)I'd love to hear about your experiences, practices and stories of deep nature connection. Please comment below...strength & wisdomgarliqPS. I currently have room to take 3-4 new clients. If you're interested in deepening your "nature connection," you're looking for some guidance and support from the plant spirit world, or you've got a health issue and would like some herbal support, we might be a good fit to work together. Please check out my --> Work With Me page