Another trip to our cabin! With plenty of supplies and our three old dogs in tow, Dad, brother Fred and I escape squelching temperatures, leaving demanding schedules behind to experience nature’s grandeur for a few days — what a blessing!
Driving through charming communities and passing attractive ranch-style homes, we are surrounded by abundant green and gold pastures. As we travel into higher elevations, I become overwhelmed once again by the splendor of our Rockies. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., speaks of mountains as “the place of visions, where one can touch the panoramic scale of the natural world and its intersection with life’s fragile but tenacious rootings.” Even after many adventures among these sacred giants, I am still in awe of the elemental nature of this rock-solid landscape now rising above our little caravan.
As my excitement continues to mount, I draw a deep, purposefully slow breath. The surrounding evergreens, clear streams and lush floral valleys draw my glance more than once along the way. The wind begins to howl, bringing with it a sudden rainstorm that accentuates the deep, rich hues of green, blue, brown, gold and grey of this incredible terrain. The storm subsides as quickly as it began; the warm afternoon sun glows vibrantly upon our little convoy as we turn onto our cabin road. The last few miles of rugged maneuvering beckon us to slow down and embrace nature’s glorious beauty all around us. Varieties of fauna greet us unexpectedly, only to dart into the woods as we carefully work our way around numerous ruts and mud puddles, left by recent showers.
At last, we arrive! My whole body relaxes, my breath slows and my heart beats calmly, quietly. I surrender fully to this perfect moment — body, mind and soul.
Nature is our “non-built” world of earth, air, water, creatures and vegetation. She impacts our health and wellbeing at any moment because we interact with her continuously. Ultimately, spending a little time each week among natural surroundings can reboot our energy, refreshing and rejuvenating us. Scientific investigators have discovered that nature unequivocally helps us feel better physically as she enhances our happiness, reducing the influence of our inner fears, diminishing anger and depression. Thus, our psychological wellbeing benefits as well.
In these stressful times, when we are experiencing a seemingly uncontrollable world, it is more critical than ever that we develop and utilize tools that will lift us up and improve our overall health and wellbeing. Fortunately, we have been abundantly blessed in our area with a natural environment that supports us in many ways. Even when we cannot travel out of town, there are scores of local natural resources available to help nurture nature’s grandeur in our lives: parks, ponds, rivers, mountain views, wildlife, flower and vegetable gardens, walking and biking paths, and much more.
Embrace these incredible natural surroundings, whenever you can. Mother Nature shares gifts that can transform your life.
Experiencing her grandeur is truly our blessing!
Teresa (Teddy) E. Araas, PhD, C-IAYT, CHES, E-RYT500, CYT700, RPYT, is a globally-certified Yoga Therapist, owns local businesses Balanced Living Health & Wellbeing Consultants, LLC and Santosha Yoga. Email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.