spending time in nature

In this modern day and age, we tend to spend so much time indoors, focused on the busyness of our lives and disconnected from mother nature. But much of what we truly need can only be found under the naked sky, alongside tall cypress trees, in vineyards, or in the sound of running water. Spending time in nature allows us to commune with other living beings and to find comfort in the nurturing embrace of Mother Earth. You can’t help but experience a different sense of self while walking through a vineyard or traversing a mountainside. Being in nature connects us to the earth, grounding us as we walk, unhindered by concrete, upon her. Surrounded by other living beings, both bigger and smaller than we are, we remember that human beings are simply one form of life in this vast universe.

Because we instinctively know that nature is good for us on many levels, it’s not unusual to feel powerfully drawn to it. Even if you live in a city or find it difficult to travel to the countryside or a forest, there are a myriad ways to reconnect with nature. When you step out of your door each morning, pause for a minute and close your eyes long enough to let your senses absorb your surroundings. Listen and breathe deeply, until you hear the wind rustling through branches, smell rain on damp grass, and see the reflection of leaves brushing up against windowpanes. If you have time, crouch down and closely examine any nearby flower. The sights, sounds, smells, and sensations we experience that are part of nature can remind us of all the gifts Mother Earth grants us each day.

Spending time connecting with nature nourishes the soul, reminds you that you are never truly alone, and renews you by attuning you to the earth’s natural rhythms. Taking a walk under the stars or feeling the wind on your face may be all it takes for you to reconnect with nature. Remember, you are as much a part of nature as are the leaves on a tree or water bubbling in a brook.

A few days ago I returned to Florence from my autumn yoga retreat in the countryside and am so grateful for all the beautiful yogis who joined me for a few days. We had the opportunity to completely unplug, practice yoga and meditation daily, see wildlife (deer, wild boar, hare, unusual birds, and even the loving and very affectionate resident cat, Chica). We ate delicious healthy food and got to know ourselves and each other a little bit better in the process. I cannot express enough how rewarding it is to bring guests to Tuscany and to see the healing powers this land has. Looking forward to the next retreat and yogis who will join me under the Tuscan sun. (next retreat June 10-17, 2017)

Much love,
Shirley

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