I love spring time. The first warm rays of sunshine, the budding of new life, the fresh rain that is like no other rain during the rest of the year. I am a lover of nature and wanderer of the wild. This is where I go to find myself, to reset and recharge, to restore my sense of calm and balance. John Muir said it best, “In every walk in nature, one receives far more than he seeks”. When I go into Nature I make a point to not seek anything and just allow my sense of wonder to draw me to what nature chooses to offer. Whether it is in the form of a bright puffy dandelion, a curled up baby fern, or a bee buzzing nearby, I feel blessed. These are our roots. Nature gives us the air we breathe.
When I allow myself to just simply be, and to just notice, and take in these beautiful gifts from Nature, I feel this deep-welling sense of gratitude and aliveness. There is a wealth of research that gives evidence that spending time in nature is not only healing for the mind but also helps to reset our physical bodies, like reducing blood pressure and decreasing cortisol levels. How cool is that? Research also shows that practicing mindfulness can have a great impact on reducing stress and improving our overall mood. Imagine combining the two – practicing Mindfulness in Nature. You’ve got yourself a therapeutic cocktail that is like no other!
We are living in a unique time with this pandemic. It is easy for our minds to find that soft shoulder and go down a dark path. Instead, why not choose to accept Nature’s invitation? Sit or walk. Set aside your to do list. Allow your sense of wonder to be your guide. Be where you are. Breathe. Notice. Accept. Give thanks.
May you find Resilience in Nature.
Jessica Volpentesta, LMHC, M.A.