A Part Of The Whole - Nature Observation & Wellness By Ric Chamberlin, LMT
Of all the articles I've written for newsletters and the website, many have included some aspect of nature observation or season change. Since my practice deals with wellness and helping others restore comfort and balance to their lives why all the emphasis on nature? When we notice our surroundings we are more connected with them and we see ourselves as part of a bigger picture.
When we can see ourselves as part of our surroundings it increases our inner awareness which moves us closer to a state of comfort and balance. See the article Awareness - The Ultimate Healing Tool on this website for more on this.
For most people that come to my office, stress is a large issue. I know from my years of working in a stressful corporate job that if I put all my energy into the task in front of me and tune out my surroundings I also lose touch with myself and my body. I'm operating mostly out of my head. It is when we lose this awareness of self that we fall into patterns of discomfort. When we break the connection with our tasks, even briefly, and return to ourselves it allows our body to do it's job of keeping us in balance and comfort.
When we cast our gaze outward at our environment it helps get us out of our heads. By honing our skills at observation it allows us to make a healthy habit of being a part of our surroundings rather than separate from them. When we take the larger view we use more of ourselves. This balance of self benefits our physical, emotional, and even spiritual life. We spend much time each day outside even if it's just walking to our car or driving to work. Even if we work in a sea of concrete and buildings there is still natural light (and dark). There is wind, blue sky and clouds. Even the unnatural sounds become a part of the environment. Cars passing by echo against the buildings. Horns honking, people walking, construction sounds, they all remind us that we are a part of something bigger.
Observation is a skill we have all possessed. Young children are naturally inquisitive. No one looks with more awe at their surroundings than a child. As adults this awe is not lost, just forgotten. With practice we can get it back. It only takes a few seconds to do so.
How do we hone this skill? Simply stop, periodically, throughout the day and open your senses.
Look We miss things, even when our eyes land on them, simply because we are not looking for them. Allow your focus to scan the skies, the ground, the buildings, and the utility poles. Use both wide angle and pinpoint focusing. Rather than trying hard to see something allow what is there to come to you as you scan back and forth. Look without judgement. Watch for movement. Approach this with the knowledge that anything could be of interest. Notice... The hawk on the light pole or circling in the sky. The clouds in the sky and their contrast with the blue of the sky. The young squirrels chasing each other. The sunlight (or man-made light) reflecting off surfaces. The shadows created by objects. The list can go on and on.
Listen For the songs of birds and insects. Wind blowing the leaves of the trees. The roar of cars on a busy street echoing off the buildings.
Smell Vegetation. The damp earth. Flowering trees.
Feel The breeze on your face or the wind in your hair. The warmth of the sun on your face. The biting cold. Pick things up and feel the texture: Leaves can be rough or smooth. Sticks likewise. Stones can be smooth or may have many sides.
Experience all this without judgment and with no sense of being on a mission. Just allows these things into your senses. This can be done for an extended time, for instance while walking in the park or sitting in your backyard. It can also be done one second at a time while you are doing some other task, stopping frequently to "smell the roses" so to speak.
When we acknowledge our place in the universe with acceptance we open ourselves to what "is" and allow it to evolve to where we are supposed to be.
Seeing our place in the big picture can help us in our quest for balance and comfort, to bring us back to ourselves, to be all we were meant to be.
Ric Chamberlin Registered Practitioner - Society of Ortho-Bionomy International ® Licensed Massage Therapist - State of Nebraska The Healing Connection 900 S 74th Plaza, Suite 116, Omaha, NE 68114 402 850 0752