As Spring is in the air, I am reminded of the healing power of nature. As the Earth starts to wake up from its hibernation, there is something about noticing nature coming to life that resuscitates the body, heart, mind, and soul.
The natural antidepressant of negative ions:
Have you ever been up in the mountains, at the beach, or in a forest, and suddenly feel a significant change in your sense of well-being? It might be negative ions! Negative ions are molecules floating in the air that have been charged with electricity, and our bodies benefit from them. On the other hand, high levels of positive ions have been found to make people feel more lethargic.
Dr. Clarence Hansell — an American research engineer — is noted as the first official pioneer in negative ion studies. In 1932, he investigated the biological effects of ionized air. Hansell noted in his study that his colleague’s mood changed when he was exposed to the ions,” as stated in the article, “Negative Ions Believed to Be Nature’s Antidepressant” by Sheena Robertson. Not only that, but negative ions are known to purify air, killing viruses, bacteria, and mold. They are generated by waterfalls, the ocean, plants, and thunderstorms.
The Earth can help stabilize us:
As humanity dangerously flirts with AI, and we are bombarded with stimulation, we can return to the earth to soothe our agitated nervous systems. The practice, called “earthing,” enables us to do just that. “Earthing allows people to directly connect their bodies with the Earth and use its natural electric charges to stabilize them.”1 The practice of earthing includes walking barefoot on the earth. It may alleviate anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, sleep disorders, and may improve immunity and heart health. For more information: https://earthinginstitute.net/what-is-earthing/
We can get swept away:
I gaze toward the sky and notice ravens surfing through whirling windstorms. My attention is pulled upward and out of my thoughts. My eyes widen, my jaw drops in wonder, and I’m no longer caught in the mind. The dross of winter is left behind, swept away, and I am reminded to enjoy life’s currents.
Yes to the mess:
My boots are draped with mud as the Earth rebirths herself in this messy process of offering life in the Spring. We have the power to rebirth ourselves every day by choosing something outside of our ordinary habits. It reminds me of a quote from the teacher, Chögyam Trungpa. He suggested to “live life as an experiment.” We might experiment with slowing down in our life. When we practice slowing down, the first few days we might be late for an appointment because we’re not moving so fast. This in turn could elicit anger from the person waiting for us. We might discover that while we are transforming the way we move through the world, it may be a little disconcerting to ourselves and others. We might find our shoes covered ankle-high in dirt, yet, in the long run, it could be more rewarding.
A role model of surrender:
When I feel stuck in resistance, or have difficulty letting go of something, I go outside. Fallen tree limbs, an insect struggling, scorched dry earth, the spirit of nature, all demonstrate what it is to be non-resistant. Eventually, a sense of relaxation comes over me. This physical relaxation gives me greater capacity to soften to whatever I am pushing against. From this place, it is possible to let go of my agendas, situations, beliefs, and anything that life is requiring me to release. Surrender happens here.
To be expansive light:
As I extend my awareness outside, I notice that the Sun has no edges, nor does the Earth. I wonder what it would be like to live radiating light without edges like these miraculous planetary spheres. Meditators, yogis, and shamans have been practicing this kind of visualization for centuries. We can use our imagination for our benefit and the benefit of the whole by projecting light from the inside out. It may also give us a taste of our essential luminous nature.
Interested in receiving nourishment from the earth? Please join me in the One Year Luminous Living Program, where we will have all our sessions outside of city limits, deep in nature. We will not only explore the above practices, but learn how to have an intimate connection with nature, become good stewards of the Earth, and lighten our existence as well.