Nature may not instantaneously heal us – it takes time to release our tensions. Take hiking as an example.
Sometimes at the beginning of hikes my mind will play games: “Why are you doing this?” Or my favorite: “Go back home.”
But through prolonged presence, these thoughts begin to fade away.
What do I mean by “presence?”
Hiking is the art of intentful walking. If we wish to walk in safety, we must concentrate our attention on where each foot is being placed and on the external environment. With enough of this presence our mental attention becomes aligned with our physical actions, allowing us to temporarily disengage from thoughts, which may have previously plagued us. We can become absorbed with what we are doing; fully present with our internal and external landscapes. When we are immersed in our doing, we connect to the stories of life, which dance all around us, instead of being lost in the stories the mind may tell us.
This allows for a release, it comes in many forms: bliss, insight, perspective change, heightened sensations, feelings of unity.
Nature has the remarkable capacity to heal us, but first we need to let it.
Scott is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan. He is a traveler, writer, poet, photographer and full-stack storyteller. He finished his Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan in April 2016. During his degree, he was fortunate to take 11 classes on mindfulness and nature-based spirituality. He has taught meditation, yoga, nature-based mindfulness and helped to lead a large student wellness collective. After the completion of his degree, he was awarded the Bonderman Fellowship, a fellowship given to 4 graduating students to travel to and immerse in non-Westernized regions, alone, for 8 consecutive months. Since returning home Scott has been speaking to schools and publishing his writing and poetry. Above all, Scott cite’s his connection and the time he has in nature as the most important constructs in his life.
To read more, please visit ScottHaber.com or find him on Instagram @HaberScott.
Photo supplied by the author.