Balanced Through Nature: How Nature Gives Us Exactly What We Need

Jun 8, 2022


The natural world is a magnificent one. Full of life, functioning in ways we are still attempting to understand. Personally, while I always had a great love of animals, plants seemed to be relatively ignored. I didn’t mean to ignore them, but I was never taught about their beauty, power, and importance.

A weed was just a weed, something to quickly pull out before it could choke the beautiful, and therefore valued, flowers. Grass was there to be mowed, sculpted, and laid out perfectly. Trees provided shade in the summer, and indoor décor in the winter. Our sparse house plants were artificial, tea and coffee was forbidden, vegetables usually came from cans, and herbal supplements were unheard of. Nature was not a part of my life. But I’m learning that this severed connection to the natural world affected me in ways I’m still discovering.

As a result of being cut off from plant life, I was also cut off from the nature of…everything. Being severed from the wilderness, I too severed myself from my inner wild woman. Finding no value in nature, I too found little value in my natural self. Unaware of the playfulness expressed in nature, so too did I squelch my playfulness.

I learned to value man-made things and devalue things that occurred naturally. If it was good, it required work. Nothing good or valuable came naturally. This, in conjunction with being raised in an Abrahamic cult, contributed to a profound sense of unworthiness, that dreaded “never enough” feeling that pervades most of us today.

Creativity, bravery, trust, authenticity, independence, passion, intuition, playfulness, all beautiful things reflected in nature if we only spend a moment to look. Things that if we turn away from, whether due to ignorance or intent, will leave gaping holes within us that we one day have to fill. The problem is that we won’t understand how they developed or how to fill them.

So long as I continue to see nature as un-tameable, raw, dangerous, useless, etc. so would I see my own inner nature. If I turn away when I see playfulness, intuition, and creativity displayed, I unwittingly turn away from these qualities within.

So my journey into the wilderness within, and without, continues. Even though it can feel foreign, even forced sometimes as I build this connection. Still, this moment is fleeting. Then, peace. Now, each time I feel the weight of the world begin to suffocate, my instinct is to go outside. Why? It has nothing to do with beauty or playfulness. No, this benefit is much more profound. I go outside because I’ve learned that outside is where I breathe best. When I go outside, the world opens up, and my perspective along with it. My thoughts don’t seem so important, my emotions are not so heavy. Problems seem smaller and solutions seem possible. But more importantly, I can just be.

I can’t overstate the value of just “being” if you’re someone like me. In our man-made world of “newer is better” and “the only one holding you back is you,” it can feel impossible to find moments of contentment and peace. We’re constantly being told what we “want” or should want, leaving us itching to achieve more and more in search of happiness. Yet, ironically, I’m learning that contentment is the ONLY thing we can, and ought to be, seeking. Contentment is a much more stable condition, one that can be achieved this very moment, unless one is under direct distress.

Nature shows us what is real, compared to the stories/voices in our heads. It balances us when we’re off and stabilizes us when we’re ungrounded. All by simply reminding us to just be like the tree. Because in nature, it’s okay to simply exist.

I challenge you to sit in a park or backyard, or anywhere in nature, but close enough to hear humanity, and just notice the difference in energy. It’s alarming how fast the cars whip by us, compared to the slow pace nature seems to keep. The world moves slower when we step out into nature and away from our hustle-and-bustle man-made world. It’s supposed to be this slow.

Society wants us to keep moving, fretting, producing, seeking new happiness so that we continue to work, buy products and services, and seek help from others, thereby supporting society. Society needs us to value more money and toys, bigger houses, nicer cars, impressive careers, etc. If we didn’t, this whole thing would just come crashing down. And so, it’s in society’s best interest that we all stay miserable, forever seeking that illusive “happiness,” a state we’ve been tricked into believing is a maintainable state. (It isn’t.) It’s the very reason psychedelics were seen as such a threat in the 60’s, because once people took them, they realized that they didn’t want to be working non-stop for the illusion of happiness. They realized they could be happy now! They realized happiness was a temporary state, and that it was contentment, a much more constant and less extreme state, that they should be seeking.

This type of thinking is dangerous to the Western world, to the society I’ve described. But that only means we’re onto something good. It means we can potentially create a new society, one that nurtures us. You can get this same realization just by spending an hour amongst the trees. In fact, you’d be hard pressed not to gain clarity or perspective in at least one area of your life. Okay, if you’re super estranged from nature, some of this may take time. But what I can promise is a feeling of ease, and for me, often that’s the exact thing I need.

It’s becoming apparent that the closer I get to nature, the farther I pull from typical western society and ideas. I’d wager you’ll start to notice the same, if you haven’t already. You’ll notice stark contrasts between the deep green, still forest, humming with serene life, and the gray concrete cities, buzzing with frantic life and dis-ease. Once these contrasts are seen, they can be seen all around, especially within.

We can see what isn’t working for us. I’ve been a gray, concrete city for most of my life, rushing and competing, stressing and anxious. Now I know I’d rather be an emerald forest, peaceful and trusting, intuitive and flexible. But if I hadn’t noticed nature or taken the time to listen, I wouldn’t have noticed what I was missing, wouldn’t have had that contrast. It’s this contrast that’s woken me up, and what I hope to awaken in others.

I hope you join me in reacquainting yourself with nature, including the wilderness within. If nothing else, I hope you will see nature through fresher eyes. See the tree for its strength, stability, and the home it makes for various life forms. See the playfulness of the clouds as they dance and form shapes before gracefully disappearing. Watch a bird search for food and intuitively know where to look. Observe a rushing stream or river, how it flows ever onward, how some leaves flow effortlessly downstream, while others cling to the rocks despite being buffeted by the waters. Sit with a bumblebee and just watch it collect pollen. On and on the options flow for how you may see yourself reflected in nature.

You’ll be surprised how much nature reflects yourself back to you once you start looking. Could be a problem that needs solving, a feeling you’ve been seeking, a new perspective that needs gaining, or a pain that needs healing. You may not even know exactly what you need. It doesn’t matter. Nature will show you what you need to see and help you feel what you need to feel. You need only be present and open to listening.

Reclaim Yourself In Circle

Stop struggling! Your Inner child is calling out for some attention. Remember what you enjoyed doing as a child, foods you loved, and places you liked. Then give yourself that enjoyment. Take it to the next level by bringing her out in circle! 

About Me

About Me

I’m Shelby! A proud Ex-Mormon, psychonaut, animal lover, chai drinker, rain dancer, and sacred space facilitator. I hope to see you at the next circle! Contact me if you’d like individual space holding – I’m here for YOU!

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