Each one of us has our unique interests and passions for getting outdoors, whether it be hiking, bird watching or gardening. There are many ways to get into nature, promote health and enjoy ourselves.
There are also activities with the sole purpose of immersing ourselves in nature. It can be a chance to open ourselves up to the earth, to listen to the language of the world, to revive ourselves, to literally ground ourselves, to re-member ourselves as a kin amongst all species of life, and to discover our unique role in the health of the universe.
With numerous activities for nature connection, I want to share one in particular, the nature ally exercise. First find a place outside with as few human built structures around, a place where you feel safe and supported. As you arrive bring your awareness and gratitude to the beings here. Draw to mind a specific question or theme that has been playing out in your life lately. It can relate to you specifically or be as broad as the universe. As Joanna Macy reminds us, ‘the personal is the planetary.’
As you notice the forms of nature all around you, open yourself to being called by a particular piece of nature. This form has its inherent wisdom that it can share with you; offer your respect. Take some time with your ally, allow yourself to tune into the language of this companion. Consider the experiences of this part of nature, where it came from, what it has witnessed. Receive the wisdom that this ally offers you; it may not be immediate, allow for the process to unfold.
As you transition to leave, offer your gratitude to your ally and all of the beings that nourish and support life. Your thanks could be with a nod, words or touching your forehead or hand to the ground. Give yourself time to process this experience, perhaps as you walk, journal, or talk it over with someone.
I would love to hear about your experiences!
Many blessings, Melissa