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Natural Awakenings Healthy Living Magazine

Tuning the Soul to Nature

About 15 years ago, I realized I had completely lost my exuberant enjoyment of life. Much of the time I felt overwhelmed and uneasy, out of sync in mind and body, and knew that a major shift was in order. The worst of it occurred after watching the news on TV. I even had a hard time sleeping some nights.

            As I looked for a solution, my mind wandered back to the days of a carefree youngster playing outdoors all day and only returning home at sunset. My fondest memories often involve just rambling around outside, and the smell of a campfire instantly elicits treasured images of childhood. Each summer, Mom took us and our friends up north to camp, swim and hike in the woods. We all loved hanging out together with no particular agenda, staying up late into the night and talking about everything under the moon. I knew that I longed to recapture this relaxing and nourishing experience in my adult life, and decided to make a concerted effort going forward to spend more time outside instead of turning on the news.

            It didn’t take long for me to re-experience the harmonious sounds of nature and the sound of silence to hear my inner voice experiencing deep peace. Tuning back into nature, I watched TV less and less until one day, I stopped watching altogether and discovered I was happier and slept much better, too!

            It is understandable that with so many of us tethered to devices and constantly bombarded with trivial entertainment and information overload from all forms of media, we can easily be overwhelmed if we allow it. I believe generations like mine without such up-to-the minute communication turned out well, but I do worry that our kids are at an unhealthy disadvantage if we don’t encourage them to disconnect from electronics and experience nature in the wonderful ways that it offers balance to our lives.

            Mental health experts advise building resilience to the perils of accelerating societal and personal change through self-care that includes taking steps in our own and our family’s lives to make a difference. I know that tuning back into nature was the best thing I could have ever done to foster my own well-being and sanity. There is even the possibility for creative transformation if we work together and inspire each other by sharing our own journeys. That is what this month’s feature story is all about, and I hope my words have encouraged introspection within you, as well.

            As you consider your blessings this month, perhaps you’ll recall a similar kinship with Mother Earth like mine while breathing in the delicious autumn air. For quieting a tumultuous world, there sure is nothing like an extended absence from devices and electronic stimulation while you listen to the crunching of leaves under your feet and the busy birds in the trees. Stargazing around a cozy campfire with family is still one of life’s many delights for us, and something I’m truly grateful for. May all of this be yours as you enjoy the warmth of family this season and a harvest of heartfelt moments.

From all of us at Natural Awakenings, Happy Thanksgiving!

Trina and John