Have you ever tried hugging trees? I have to admit- I did and I love doing that! Even if we put away all the esoteric stuff about exchanging energies with each other there is something so lighthearted and simply positive about spontaneous hug to a tree- it always makes me feel like a child- happy, grateful and so small next to the tall, old tree. If you haven’t done any tree-hugging, well, that’s a pity, but as they say- learn new thing everyday ;) It really makes you relax and not take yourself too seriously and that’s always a good thing.
When I moved to Munich last February I was so excited to see Munich’s “winter”. Of all seasons spring is definitely my favorite one and here there was no winter as we know it in Lithuania (around half a year of cold, dark, grayish “sleeping season”). All locals told me it was not a regular year, but this year it’s the same, it’s just the beginning of January and there are already some fresh grasses, lots of singing birds and some days it’s so warm that it doesn’t feel like winter at all… So whenever I have an opportunity I try to go out and spend some time in nature. To take a walk and get some sunlight (my cats are the best teachers at this), read a book on a bench outdoors, hug some trees or later in spring- to gather some wild edible plants… I find nature to be a great source of inspiration and it can also be incredible healer and teacher if we choose to notice and listen to its subtle lessons. Who else can teach us better about abundance, divine order, living in ever-changing cycles, collaboration and so many other topics?…
Nature also has a tremendous ability to harmonize the body and mind if you choose to spend quality time outdoors. By quality time I mean being present and fully absorbing what’s around you. Sounds, scents, all the little details- soft, green carpet of moss when you walk in the forest or small water droplets that hang on the branches after rain… Having a direct contact with the earth, like walking barefoot or laying on the ground creates even stronger harmonizing effect. If you have something particular that is weighting you down you can always do a simple meditation when you walk barefoot or lay on the ground: breathe slowly and with each out-breath imagine that everything that you want to remove from you goes straight to the ground through your feet (or your back if you’re laying) and with each in-breath new, healing energy comes into your body. Notice how you feel.
Here are few images from our walk in the nearby forest this weekend (+music for the mood) : And for inspiration I want to share with you few ideas how to spend more time in nature:
1) Go for a walk/jog. Take your dog/child/friend with you, they will be happy ;)
2) Go wild foraging (I’ll make a separate post on that later in spring)
3) Take a good book and go read it outside, on the bench, or take a blanket and some snacks and make a mini picnic for yourself
4) Gather your friends and make a huge picnic- imagine sunny weather, shared laughter and yummy food…
5) Do yoga/meditate outside
6) If you do any kind of creative hobbies like knitting, painting, sewing etc- if it’s possible take them outside. You can do the same things but in much more relaxed way when you’re sitting in a nice place outdoors :)
7) Take your camera and photograph the beauty of current season. Tell stories, share them with your friends. Learn new ways to see the world around you.
8) Feed wild birds :)
9) Go hiking
10) Go camping, with friends or with your loved one
11) Have a garden and work in it
12) Choose a national park or other beautiful nature spot and go explore it. Traveling doesn’t have to be only to far away and expensive places to see new things and enjoy our time
13) Pick wild flowers and make bouquets to decorate your home
14) Try some active outdoors sports- go swimming, diving or gather your friends and go canoeing (by the way, Lithuania is wonderful for this with it’s plenty of beautiful lakes and rivers and really affordable prices, so if you will ever be there definitely try it), try speleology… Challenge yourself by reaching your new limits :)
And what about those who work full time, are super busy and think they can’t spend hours relaxing outdoors, even on weekends?
Well, if you make something a priority, you will find a way.
1) Instead of going to your job with car/public transport go by foot or by bike. If it’s too far away you can always go out of public transport few stops earlier and take a short walk to your office;
2) Use your lunch time to eat outside. For example I remember when we lived in Vilnius old town and my husband was working nearby our home and we used to meet for a short picnic for lunch on a beautiful hill with the view to the old town. It used to be a really nice break in the day :) Don’t have a beautiful hill with the view to old town nearby? It could be something as simple as a bench in a small park.
3) Can you minimize time for TV, internet or other unproductive activities and instead spend at least half an hour outdoors? In the worst case, take your FB with you in your phone and check it outdoors, at least you will get some fresh air ;)
I think that being in nature is one of the quickest, most available and very powerful, yet so underrated ways to heal yourself from stress and negativity. What do you think? Do you spend time outdoors? What is your favorite way to do it? I would love to hear your great ideas in the comments bellow :)
With love and inspiration,