I'm not sure where you reside in the world but over here in the Northeast it has been chilly! Being in the house a lot, seeking out warm places and curling up most nights with a book and blanket has got me thinking, how do we stay connected to nature even in the depths of winter? Despite the cold weather, how can we draw upon the incredible energy of nature to keep us fueled, inspired and warm from the inside out?
All of these thoughts started to stir inside me a few days ago and inspired a new flavor for my morning ritual. I was house sitting in a beautiful, more rural town, sipping my morning coffee and gazing out at the snow-covered corn field behind the house. Beyond the field is a forest full of thin, tall trees with wide spaces between each tree. Each morning I would stare out the window overlooking the field and forest, watching how the sun glazed the field, illuminating the natural glitter in the snow. And then if I looked long enough into the distant forest, I could see between the trees and even beyond them, imagining those deep pockets of silence present in every forest. Then the longing crept in-- to walk out with bare skin into that forest and feel the heat of the sun on my back. Wait, I don't have to wait until summer. How can I connect with nature in winter? Can I do it on a daily basis?
The next morning I awoke naturally to the sun rising over the mountains. Right as I woke up, I went outside with bare feet and planted them on the Earth. Yes it was freezing and my feet were close to numb but it felt so wildly exhilarating to feel the soles of my feet connected to the Earth, to breathe in the crisp air, to let the light of the rising sun flood my heart. And it happened in those fragile moments between dreaming and waking, just as thought patterns are beginning to ripen and the residue of dreams is still visible. That space where the mind is clear. The space of pregnant potential. The space so crucial to how our day is shaped. In this space we have the opportunity to set ourselves up for a day that feels inspired, abundant, whole and purposeful. Connecting with nature in this space-- when we are closest to our truth-- is one of the greatest ways to wake up our inner muse and stoke our creative fire.
After walking outside barefoot, I returned inside feeling fully inspired, abundant and grateful. I felt so deeply connected to the wild and to my own inner wilderness-- all in a matter of two minutes and in the midst of winter!
So, what are ways we can connect with mother nature as well as our own nature? Here are three ways I stay tapped in to the powerful life force weaving within and without me:
1. Connect your feet to the Earth
Like I just described, it only takes 1-2 minutes yet is totally powerful and inspiring! Right when you wake up, go outside with bare feet and plant them right on the ground. If you have the luxury of a forest or lawn in your backyard, wander out into it. You may just be able to find a small patch of grass or snow like me. Making some sort of contact with the earth is potent medicine. Run outside and plant your feet somewhere on the ground and close your eyes, taking in the day, the light of the sun, the vast potential that is waiting for you. Breathe the energy of the earth up through your feet all the way to the crown of your head and say something you're grateful for.
Breath is the pathway to our inner landscape. Breath allows us to leave our heads and enter our hearts, diving deeper into the realm of sensation. Through the breath we begin to marinate in all of our inner workings and flavors, rooting firmly into the ancient wisdom of our bodies. This is the same ancient wisdom that the wind whispers into our ears, the same ancient wisdom that the ocean water bathes us in. When we learn what's going on in the deeper layers of our being, we being to remember that what goes on there is exactly what happens constantly all around us. The creative fire in our bellies is the fire we gather around with loved ones. The current of our breath moves in the same way as waves. When we move our bodies authentically and freely, it is no different than the way wind moves trees or how water is ever-fluid. Whether you try breath of fire to light up your creative center or alternate-nostril breathing to calm and soothe you, try some sort of breathing exercise in the morning to connect you with the beauty of your inner elements.
3. Bring nature inside
Buy plants for your home. Take a walk outside and collect pine cones. Create a sacred space in your home filled with crystals, sticks, pine cones, plants, and other natural objects. Eat natural foods that come straight from the earth. I've found that eating natural foods as much as possible strengthens my appreciation for all of mother earth's gifts. My favorite way to start the day is with this delicious green smoothie from Earthsprout. Full of healthy fats, green plants, fruit and cleansing ginger + lemon, this green smoothie ALWAYS leaves me feeling nourished, energized, light and so ready to take on the day in the most inspired way. I'm telling you, greens will have you feeling like a rock star goddess. Plus, your skin, immune system, liver and heart will thank you. Greens do the whole body good.
When we take the time each day to connect with both our outer and inner wilderness, we gain an appreciation for the vast and gorgeous world around us and the world within us.
Now, I'd love to hear from you: as we finish out winter, what are some ways you like to stay connected to nature? What is your current relationship with nature and how can you strengthen that relationship? What are ways you can deepen the conversation with your inner landscape? I would LOVE to hear your input on this and find out what this all means in your personal experience. Meet me in the comments section below and let's chat!
I am so honored to be sharing this space with you. Thank you for taking the time out to read my words and connect with me. I am truly grateful for you.
Celebrating all of our abundant nature,