I drowsily began to stir just before dawn, awakened by lucid moonbeams streaming through my window. Nature is calling, beckoning me to rouse from heavy slumbers and meet the coming swell by first light.
Ah, the age old question—solo surf into the sunrise, or catch a few more hours of sleep?
I reluctantly drag my bum out of bed and plod through the waking Moroccan village. Wetsuit on, board in hand, a crew of stray puppies and thrumming prayer chants from the mosque rise to greet me.
The waves are powerful and perfect – chest-high, glassy lines, illuminated by golden-hour rays. As I submerge in the sea, the last sticky remnants of tired negative energy are swept away. My eyes are reopened to the infinite possibility and beauty of the present.
The entire course of my day has been re-aligned, re-energized, reset.
These days, answering nature’s call can be more challenging than ever.
In a time of so much rapid change and uncertainty, we feel we must stay constantly tuned-in and connected in any way we can. Unplugging completely, even just for an hour, can be hard to justify.
Yet this exact moment is when taking a break and immersing in nature is most important—when we feel depleted or afraid, and don’t know where to turn.
Here are 3 practices to harness the power of nature to reconnect with your strength and purpose:
1. Journaling in Nature: Reconnect with the Bigger Picture
I was once talking to my big sister Alyssa, founder & CEO of Hipcamp, about a defining crossroad approaching the company’s future. I’ll never forget when she said, “This is too big for a computer—I need a pen and paper.”
Next time you feel overwhelmed by the trials of life, ditch your phone, grab a notebook, climb the nearest tree and ask yourself the following questions:
- What is it that I truly value and want most out of being alive?
- What are my unique gifts that I can offer in service to the greater good?
- Which aspects of my life are not in harmony with these truths, and how can I see this changing in the future?
Internal reflection is the first step toward bringing our external lives into closer alignment with our truth. Doing these exercises in nature will bring inspiration and a core-cutting clarity. Don’t be afraid to throw some color in there, either!
2. Dropping into Your Body: Earthing
Scientific research is continually proving that spending time in nature is a critical factor in our longterm mental and physical health.
A fun and effective practice that can be squeezed into even the busiest of work days is ‘earthing’—or walking around barefoot to intentionally recharge in the electrons emanating from earth’s surface.
Next time you’re exhausted and glued to the screen, take a 10 minute break to squish your toes in the ground and breathe.
No nature nearby? No problem! This practice can be just as effective on city streets or in your office.
3. Deep-Breathing Exercise: Awaken Your Primal Intuition
Caught up in the daily hustle and bustle, it’s easy to forget what we’re doing it all for. Add in fear-mongering, disempowering news stories being shoved down every technological crevice, and you’ve got a recipe for depression. Just one click deeper down the social media vortex and before you know it an hour’s past, your back aches, and your window to get outside has slammed shut!
Close your laptop and get into nature.
Find a comfortable seat where you can sit upright, or even lay down and relax your body completely.
Bring your right hand to your low belly and your left hand to your heart. Begin to breathe deeply and slowly through your nose, utilizing your full lung capacity.
As you inhale, open your being to infinite opportunity and possibility.
As you exhale, release all stress, tension, and anxiety.
These are just a few of the many powerful practices we can use to recharge in nature. Do you have your own favorite practice? If so, let us know on Facebook, we’d love to hear!