For my whole life, I’ve lived in a city. It’s relatively small, compared to the largest European cities, with about 600 thousand citizens.
I never consciously noticed the nature around me. Riga, the city in which I live, is a pretty natural place, with lots of trees, forests, parks, and green public space. The presence of nature around my home seemed like no big deal until I moved temporarily to Turin.
It was a year ago when I made an emotionally-spontaneous decision to change my environment. At that time I was living with my parents, I took a break from work, studies, and everything else, and started to heal my emotionally wounded inner child. It was a tough and challenging time. When I made my decision, I quickly searched for Erasmus’s long-term volunteering opportunities, and in a matter of hours, I found an organization in Turin. A few days later, I flew to Italy. It was both an exciting challenge and a way for me to break out of my constant depression.
After two months of working and living there, I decided to return home. My emotional state, and therefore the physical one too, was in a constant fight-or-flight zone. Insecurities, people-pleasing, lack of authenticity, and health problems (skin picking) were present. Nothing had changed apart from being in constant discomfort.
When I look back at this experience, I am grateful for its teachings, and – one in particular – connection with nature.
I have a lovely friend who introduced me to the idea that nature (as we understand it) is not only a physical one (trees, forests, mountains, cannabis, etc.) but also a spiritual one, our human inner nature (being). Let’s call it “inner and outer nature”. It changed my whole perspective on my past and present experiences, and therefore my identity as well.
Back to Italy
When I took my first walk around Turin, I understood that I’m not vibing with this city. For me, it was too big, too loud, and too chaotic. When I realized that, I was grateful that I took the hiking gear with me.
Every time I visited mountains and forests, I felt released, back in my skin, and authentic. My Erasmus+ friends even told me that I look different every time I came back from hiking. When reflecting on this experience with perspective about inner and outer nature, and how they’re connected, it just makes sense:
Calm, clear, and rich outer nature
(trees, mountains, water, land, etc.)
calm, clear, and rich inner nature
(subconscious, conscious, and superconscious mind)
Let’s keep it super simple – nature works like a mirror. We see what we feel.
To understand it, ask yourself a question, think a bit about it, and answer honestly to yourself, “What do I see, hear, and feel in the presence of my surroundings?”
Nature (inner and outer) reflects the world around it, showcasing its beauty and its destruction.
What happened to me earlier is a great example. It was a late evening when I decided to do a cannabis ceremony after a long day of working at my computer. I started to have a pretty dark process where I was hearing noises, buzzing in my ear, having scary thought loops, etc. Studying this process, I began practicing the present moment – feeling, seeing, and hearing. Afterward, I realized that while intensively working at my PC for the whole day, I forgot to take care of my body, which meant I probably had tense and inconstant breathing, lack of movement, and lack of time for my mind to rest. The result was a messy apartment – unwashed dishes, unpacked bags, etc. Overall, there was a pretty tense energy in there. Nature (inner and outer) reflects the world around it. We see what we feel. In this case, during my cannabis ceremony, I saw darkness, because I felt like that. I just wasn’t aware of it.
The key to this realization is just to be aware of this mirror. Because awareness is usually the breaking point of any unhealthy or unsustainable habit or perspective.
During my reconnection, I started to notice how disconnected from nature we as a whole society are. We have normalized alcohol, we have abused plants (cannabis, tobacco), we’re packing our food in loads of plastics, we’re cutting forests to build new houses although our cities are full of abandoned houses, we’ve normalized eight-hour workdays, stores are full of useless shit, etc. I don’t know about you, but I would like to live in a different world. A world where people are deeply connected with nature, knowing that everything starts from love and that it is a choice. A world where people are also able to align their priorities more sustainably and healthily, keeping in mind natural habits, health, diversity, and ecology.
The best way to gain connection is to train focus which will lead your awareness to your true self and the calm, beautiful, and rich creation around us.
There are three things I strengthen my focus on:
Natural processes ultimately influence where different plants and animals can thrive. I think the same applies to us, humans. Once I started watching documentaries, and Youtube videos, reading articles, growing plants, herbs, and veggies, and making compost, I got preoccupied with discovering how the plant world works. That, in turn, got me hooked on the green lifestyle.
The term “holistic thinking” refers to a big-picture mentality in which a person recognizes the interconnectedness of various elements that form larger systems, patterns, and objects. It is a skill. For example, when I’m struggling with health issues, holistic thinking helps me to heal by considering my relationships with the mind, body, and spirit. Every struggle with my health is almost always connected to my mind or spirit.
Giving time and space to my inner child is one of the most beautiful things I can experience. Playfulness is also a skill that greatly benefits authenticity, trust, creativity, and energy.
These three things are helping me to clear out all the junk from lack of connection with nature: misaligned ego, thought loops, narcissism, and poor mental and physical health. In the end, we’re all beings of light. It’s just a matter of how many layers of generational junk we’re aware of.
Free and clear mind = free and clear environment = free and clear being
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