Back To Nature

Although we are certainly derived from nature, human activity in all its bizarre and unique forms is frequently interpreted as a separate category from so-called ‘natural’ or non-human related phenomena.

Some separate man and his machines from everything else. Others say that man is natural and therefore anything he creates, good or bad, is natural as a direct extension. In actual fact there is no exact legal definition of natural. The word itself is entirely arbitrary which is why ‘natural’ is not always beneficial or good.

The word nature is derived from the Latin word ‘natura’, meaning ‘essential qualities or innate disposition’. In ancient times it literally meant ‘birth’. So an implied connection between nature and life itself seems evident from as far back as you can go.

At any rate, if you’re like me, you dig nature, meaning everything excluding humankind and our toys. I crave nature and thrive in it. I’m impressed by it and never cease to be amazed by its beauty, power and majesty.

From the deep blue sea to the endless sky above, natures’ realm is as magnificent as it is infinite and priceless.

The natural food industry is empowered by nature but all that glitters is not gold. Buyer beware. To some nature is an effect of something supreme that endows everything with its existence and life force (chi).

Here’s my definition. Nature (material reality) is a non-conscious force that demands respect and obedience. Failure to comply with the rules of nature, defined by us in physics, chemistry and biology, leads to a life of misery and increased suffering.

Life is a sport and the object of the game is to succeed at being well. All sports have rules and they must be obeyed. There are penalties and rewards.

Our genome evolved over a long period of time from a diet consisting of whole, natural, fresh organic food. To survive and acquire sustenance as hunters and gatherers before the dawn of agriculture, our function-rich physical bodies lived in a state of constant motion. To sustain our existence by necessity we had to walk, run, climb, lift, grab, pull, tear and manually carry everything without any technical support whatever. Today the opposite is true.

If you compare our current lifestyle as modern domesticated humans to most of our former existence, we live in violation of many natural laws; laws that keep our physical, mental and emotional lives in check. Laws that when obeyed keep us well when cloaked in the essence of nature.

Nature is what nature does, and what nature does for me is keep me sane. If I happen to live in a concrete jungle surrounded by constant noise, automobiles, skyscrapers and cement, over time it becomes increasingly difficult for me to remain calm. I get anxious and begin to lose my cool. I feel like an animal in a cage.

But when I’m surrounded by nature, like in a national park, up in the mountains or out in the wilderness, I feel at peace with myself. I’m calm, cool and relaxed where the air is fresh and clean. Nature provides an endless variety of plants and animals and they’re all fascinating to behold.

The vast oceans and fresh water lakes, rivers, streams and ponds collectively nourish the plant and animal life community that exists as a great expanse spread across our planetary terrain. It all adds up to an extraordinary bouquet of exquisite charm and beauty, and all I have to do to benefit is simply look at it.

It’s one thing to watch a nature or travel program on TV, but it doesn’t compare to actually being there in real time. For instance, at this moment I’m writing this article from Catania, Sicily with Mt. Etna looming in the distance. Wow!

The effects of being surrounded by and immersed in any number of almost endless natural settings has a definite soothing and calming effect on my soul.

My emotions light up, my life energy flows in sync and my entire personality blooms inside like an Evening Primrose flower at dusk.

Everything that exists is connected to the whole, including me, but if I’m away from the Source too long, it’s easy for me to lose perspective. I begin to wither and die like a neglected house plant desperately in need of water, light and nutriment.

How To Be Active In Nature

During the colder winter months many of us retreat to the artificial world of residential home life, where the environment is safe and warm, but often dry and lifeless. We watch TV, read, surf the internet and play video games.

But we still need to move physically because we’re designed by nature to move year round. Seasons are irrelevant and failure to comply will get you into trouble. In addition to hitting the gym, here are a few practical ideas to help you get the lead out and overcome the winter blues!

Morning/Evening Daily Walks

Suit up according to the weather. Use decent footwear. Devote at least 20-30 minutes and walk at a semi-leisurely pace. Walk with a friend or family member. If you venture out on your own consider using an MP3 player so you can listen to an audio book, tutorial or your favorite tunes. Music always helps with motion.

Weekly Hikes

In the United States and Canada hiking is defined as walking outdoors on a trail, or off trail, for recreational purposes. The idea of taking a walk in the countryside for pleasure developed in the 18th-century and has philosophical implications tied to the Romantic Movement. Today many hike strictly for love of nature, fresh air, stress release, the view and of course the multiple health benefits of physical exertion.

Snowshoeing

Modern day snowshoeing is made up of casual snowshoers who hike trails for pleasure, trek through the backcountry or even compete. The sport is easy to learn, inexpensive, poses little risk of injury and is a great way to exert energy during the cold winter months. Snowshoeing is a family-friendly way to enjoy the beauty of nature.

Here’s just one extraordinary example of nature at work from my own personal library. I could literally provide thousands more as I’m sure any nature lover could do.

Ambergris Key Island, Belize, Central America

The year is 1997. It’s 2:00 am and the ambient temperature is 28°C. Tracy and I are strolling back to our bungalow along a quiet, isolated sandy beach holding hands. The moon is huge, bright and full so we stop to take a look. It glares back at us with uncommon brilliance. Moonbeams dance off the surface of a perfectly still ocean surface illuminating its presence to the edge of the horizon. Suddenly a firefly flashes overhead then disappears into the void. The overall net effect is profound and impossible to forget.

Routine physical exercise, optimum nutrition, rest and sleep are obviously crucial for long term health and freedom from disease. Everything you can do that has a positive effect on you and your environment is worthwhile doing, provided you keep it all in balance.

Focus on quality, and a life of quality will follow. That's logic personified!

But please don’t neglect Mother Nature. She can’t heal your mind or body if you shut her out. Open up, take a deep breath and exhale through your nose. Be sensitive to your biological needs. Nature needs us as much as we need her.


Stay well and live free!

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