Our challenge this week is to deepen our connection with nature. Increase your awareness of self as part of the natural world, reawaken your connection with other life and the outdoors, and boost your health.
Our modern lives create a degree of separation from the natural world that affects our health and well-being. Explore your connection with nature this week with intentional activities to get outside, or bring the outdoors in. Reconnect with your environment and the living things around you.
Choose from the activities below (or do them all!) and follow along on Instagram to share your experience with others. Be sure to tag us @weareladyfarmer for a chance to win this week’s challenge prize.
- Spend 20 minutes outside. Prioritize spending at least 20 minutes each day walking outside. This can be spread out across the day or in one break! Step outside your home office between clients, walk to a nearby lunch spot, drive to a park after work, or simply sit on your front step at the end of the day.
- Identify flora and fauna. On one of your walks outside, choose to identify new species and learn ways to remember them in the future. Bring a local nature guide for birds, trees, or plants and you’ll start seeing your neighborhood from a whole new perspective.
- Bring the outside in. Gather leaves, flowers, or branches from your neighborhood and yard. Decorate a vase with branches.
- Journal. As you move about this week, take time to note your experiences, such as signs of the changing seasons. What animals did you encounter this week? Notice any memories or emotions that might come up as you do this. Gather a handful of dirt, and think about the quality of soil, the breakdown of nutrients, and the living organisms within it.
- Do a 10-minute meditation. Find a spot inside by a window, or outside if possible, closing your eyes and simply letting yourself be awash in sunlight, feeling the warmth and gratitude for the life-giving power of the sun. Let any current problems or stress diminish in this light of the ages.
- Watch your wildlife. Depending on your season, consider adding a bird water fountain or feeder to your balcony to attract local birds. Bring healing to your own small patch of earth by planning a small pollinator garden in your yard for the spring. Now is the time for ordering seeds to attract bees and butterflies.
During all of your encounters with nature, focus on the sky, the weather, trees along the street, and any small patch of ground that you might find. As you walk or sit, be aware that with every breath, you are drawing the outside in and through your body, so that you are a part of the air around you and it is a part of you.
Listen to guests on The Good Dirt podcast discuss the importance of understanding our nature connection.
Our modern way of living perpetuates the perception that humans are separate from the natural world. This is a fundamentally false assumption that harms us in body and soul, just as it harms the earth itself. The only real separation between ourselves and nature is in the worldview that has evolved out of capitalism and industrialization, creating systems that are destructive to our earth home.
Our direct interaction with the sun and wind, the weather, the seasonal shifts, water and soil is much less than our predecessors of even a few generations ago. We haven’t really changed much as humans in that time, however. Yes, we are the dominant species on this planet because we were gifted with brains that make that possible, for better or for worse. Yet, we are still organisms that grow from a division of cells, we need water, oxygen, and nutrients to live, we have a beginning, a life span and a time of death.
“Our goal in exploring the idea of slow living is to identify where we have become separated from ‘the hand that feeds us,’ so to speak, and to find our way back to a right relationship with the true source of our nurturance.”
Having said that, we can see how our current way of life is taking us increasingly further from who and what we are as physical beings, which is flesh and blood, from dust we came and dust we shall return along with all of the other billions and billions of organisms that make up this beautiful, miraculous, rich and diverse home we call earth. What we are beyond these physical selves belongs to another discussion, but to know and embrace this seamless relationship between humans and all other life on the planet is an essential step toward our healing…
Continue the conversation on The ALMANAC! Join Mary, Emma, and the Lady Farmer community inside The ALMANAC this month to participate in group forums, weekly meet-ups, and advanced resources to take The Slow Living Challenge to the next level.