While moving through nature, we have the opportunity to enter a state of being, be present with all of our sensations, and awaken gratitude for the Earth that is also part of us.
Regardless of where I am experiencing nature—at a local city park, perched up high on mountain tops, or swimming in the sea—I’ve found it is always a good time to pause and be present with the gratitude I feel for our inherent connectedness to nature. Our breath is an anchor that can always bring us home. A few deep breaths, connecting with the space we are in, bring home a knowing that there is no separation between us. We need our Grand Mother, the Earth—her air to fill our lungs, her living things to feed us, her awe to keep our souls warm. She needs us too—to look after her, to shift our day-to-day ways of living, to treat her as one of our dearest friends.
We need our Grand Mother, the Earth—her air to fill our lungs, her living things to feed us, her awe to keep our souls warm.
Next time you are in nature, see if you can shift from a state of doing into a state of being. The key difference between exercise and movement is that when you move with the intention of exercise, you quickly enter a state of doing. Movement is free-flowing and allows you to enter a state of being. The benefits are vast when you allow yourself to be one with the nature you choose, connecting and moving with gratitude.
Awaken the Flow of Gratitude in Nature
- Give yourself permission to be. Go into nature without an agenda or expectations and just to be with it and move with it. If you are struggling with stress, anxiety, depression, or sluggishness, let movement outside help ignite an internal shift.
- Breathe and pay attention. Bring all the attention to your breath, its rhythm, its ability to inspire a reset with each inhale and exhale. Notice the air you are breathing in, the smells, the temperature, the freshness. Let each inhale be an opportunity to connect you deeper with the nature you are in. Let each exhale be an opportunity to let go of anything that is not needed at this moment.
- Breathe and feel deeper. Connected to your breath, what else do you feel? As you take each step, what flows through your body? How does the sun, wind, snow, or rain feel on your skin? What can you hear? With each breath can you start to unite with the space you are in, versus be separate from it? Can you notice you are one with the earth, the air, the water, around you?
- Breathe and open up to gratitude. Look around, and while staying connected to your breath, let your heart open to any gratitude that’s arising in this moment. Gratitude for the pause in the busyness of life and existence…to your body for its willingness to move freely…to this natural setting and the natural gifts from Mother Earth to you…for this moment of well-being…for knowing that this type of movement, state of awareness, and pause all in one is always available to you.
- Surrender. Surrender completely with the help of the beautiful nature around you. Become one with it, one with your breath. Just be and soak in the feeling of liberation that can come from the present moment.
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