Modern living is tough. There’s just too much to do! Too many people to please, too many tasks to complete, and too many fears and disappointments to deal with. It can be exhausting, frustrating, and soul-destroying all at once, and that can be on a good day!
Along the way, all too easily, we can lose our sense of self – who am I when I’m not a parent, a friend, or a worker? Do I have any idea anymore? When it all gets on top of us, when we no longer recognise, or like, the person in the mirror, this is when we need a way to rejuvenate from within.
Increasing our spiritual connection with nature, as our ancient tribal ancestors did, can be the vital tonic we need.
Here are five ways to increase your spiritual connection to the natural world that can help revive and re-centre you.
How to enhance your spirituality and connect with nature
Walk Among the Plants and Animals
Go for a walk in a park or nature reserve and imagine all the trees, plants and animals are inhabited with spirits, kind and natural. Instead of just looking at them try to feel their presence. Feel what it might like to be them. Like the old majestic, patient and wise tree. The soaring, all-seeing, eagle. Or the flighty, almost nervous, small bird.
Imagine the Earth as a Great Spirit
Notice how the earth grows and nurtures so much of all that becomes part of it. What would it feel like to be that motherly spirit? Feel the presence of the rocks, earth, mountains, streams and lakes. Don’t just gaze upon them, let yourself feel what they are like in their parts and as a whole.
Feel the Spirit of the Sky
Feel it’s openness and its moods, its peace and its rage, and its calming infinite night time beauty. Imagine a spirit in the dark clouds, rolling in to give life-giving water to the earth. Imagine the spirit of the sun, giving warmth and light to us all. Notice how the spirit of the sky feels for you.
Notice the Smaller Spirits
What children – stars, planets, worlds, animals, plants and people – are part of the greater whole? Imagine all the smaller parts of life on earth, and all we notice in space, like child spirits combining as part of a greater whole. No one part greater than another, each of us brothers and sisters of the same heart and spirit. Feel the spirit of kinship we share with each other and the entirety.
Notice the Spirit of your Ancestors
In the heart of every child is a part of the many people that came before them, like the spirit of every ancestor still residing inside them. Notice this in them, search and feel for it. Take the time to notice the same spirit of our ancient past inside you. Are we really so different from them? Have our once-shared basic desires for friendship, caring, and peace been lost? In our heart we can find the spirits of people passed and how they made us who we are today.
Human beings once roamed the world and remained in close connection with nature, it helped define us and became an integral part of who we were. To help us make sense of this world we gave it human qualities we could understand, spirits we considered our equals – we didn’t consider ourselves superior. The spirits became our brethren and helped us feel part of a greater whole. Among spirits we were never alone. To be among the land and sea calmed us, and gave us a sense of our greater self.
In a logical and busy world, when we don’t have time to think let alone feel, to connect with spirits in nature, whether we believe they actually exist or not, can help us find who we are, remind us of our place and priorities, and be a powerful and vital tonic.
There is so much of life to embrace, explore, and relish. Connecting with the spirit of nature can be our guide, and doorway, to a better life.
Dr Winfried Sedhoff is a family physician specialising in mental health with over 25 years of clinical experience.