Experience the healing power of nature and build resilience!
I recently went to a private Women’s Retreat at the beautiful Whole Heart Ranch outside of Denver, Colorado.
Whole Heart Ranch is the brilliant creation of HeartMath coach and Equine Intuitive Amy Budd.
Amy works with 4 beautiful, kind and wise horses.
Interacting with these impressive animals and spending time at Amy’s ranch in the middle of the Colorado’s prairies was a balm to my body, mind and soul. I lost myself in the starry night, smelled the snow and listened to absolute silence.
One of my mentors, David Crow says that the basis of a healthy lifestyle is a healthy relationship with nature.
Nature has the power to help us heal because it can help us be and feel whole.
Spending time in Nature
All ancient indigenous medicines and spiritual teachings teach us that we become sick because we are disconnected from Nature.
Spending time with nature has wonderful benefits like stress reduction, boosted immune system, improved memory and problem-solving skills, increased creativity and enhanced social connections.
However, this is not the only way we can experience the healing power of Nature.
Here are 5 surprising ways we can reconnect with nature and nurture our bodies, minds and souls
5 ways to experience the healing power of nature
# 1: Interacting with animals.
I believe that interacting with animals is one of the best ways to boost our endorphins. Studies show that watching, playing and/or petting animals decreases cortisol levels, lowers blood pressure and boosts the mood.
A friend who manages what is called high-functioning depression shared with me that being in the presence and petting animals can raise her endorphin levels and keep the feelings of depression at bay.
# 2: Aligning with our circadian rhythms.
Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. These rhythms need to align with nature’s rhythms.
Thousands of years ago, Ayurvedic Medicine developed what it calls dinacharya.
The Sanskrit words “dina” means day and “charya” means routine or regimen.
So dinacharya is a daily lifestyle routine that helps us align our circadian rhythms with nature’s biological rhythms.
One example of dinacharya is eating at specific times of the day. When we align our meal times with our circadian rhythm, we naturally improve digestion.
It’s one of the reasons why my clients can effortlessly lose weight, decrease their digestive problems and boost their energy levels!
# 3: Preparing meals from scratch
There’s nothing more natural than whole and fresh foods!
“Plants are crucial for human survival because they take care of our biological necessities of nutrition AND detoxification.” David Crow
Natural plants both nourish and heal us. Eating a diet of whole, fresh foods has numerous healing benefits such as, lowered risk of chronic diseases, increased energy levels, and better weight management.
But there’s a deeper benefit to eating whole foods we don’t necessarily think about.
My clients describe the act of cutting vegetables as being meditation-like.
Cutting, touching, and eating foods of different tastes, colors, textures and smells is nothing short of miraculous or what I like to call divine!
Plants demonstrate the innate intelligence and order at the core of all that exists!
# 4: Taking herbal medicine
Ancient and traditional healing systems consider medicinal plants as the repository of botanical wisdom.
And when we consume these plants, we consume their wisdom.
This is very different from taking a vitamin and mineral supplement. All the elements in medicinal plants work synergistically to create the healing capabilities of that plant, so taking one element out doesn’t increase but rather reduces its qualities and sometimes can have an adverse effect.
# 5: Meditating
Meditation is not so much about connecting with the healing power of the outer natural world, though meditating outside could be!
It is more about connecting with the healing power of our own inner natural world.
We are all familiar with the physical and mental benefits of meditation. It aids recovery from chronic illness, maintains a healthy brain function, improves circulation, oxygenation, increases vitality and decreases cognitive decline.
However, the healing potential of meditation goes deeper.
When we meditate, we tap into that part of us that is established in inner stillness, peace and equanimity.
Meditating helps us connect to a strong sense of who we are at a deeper, spiritual or soul level.
And a regular practice enables us to maintain that state of serenity and coherence for longer periods of time in our daily lives.
Building positive resilience
Resilience is a big buzzword right now. And I often cringe when I hear people talking about it.
I have witnessed so many women sacrifice their health for the sake of productivity, peer recognition and social success and call it resilience!
They wear resilience as a badge of honor. And perceive their personal sacrifice as a way to honor the sacrifices of the people whose shoulders they stand on.
It wasn’t until I was at Amy’s ranch, and worked with her horses and HeartMath to build emotional coherence and resilience that I understood why.
There’s a difference between resilience that is the result of a deep emotional processing and resilience that is the result of social conditioning. Meaning, you have to put up a brave front and push through!
Unfortunately, in our society we do more of the latter rather than the former. Which explains the incidence in burnout, anxiety and depression and other mental health issues. Kaiser Family Foundation talks about an epidemic of depression and anxiety symptoms.
Incorporating the 6 ways I mentioned in this article to experience the healing power of nature is about creating what I call “positive resilience.”
“Positive resilience” is the type of resilience that stems not from sacrificing ourselves but from aligning ourselves with the intelligence of our outer and inner natural worlds.
Have you taken my new Work-Lifestyle Self-Assessment yet?