Join me in my autumn musings on how we can incorporate more nature into our lives.
Lately, everywhere I look there is a news report, scientific article, or social media attack on nature. As if the very thought of something natural is dirty, tainted or contaminated. I study Anthroposophical Medicine where the focus is on restoring natural states of health within our bodies by turning to nature - not away.
Practicing naturopathy is utilizing the best nature has to offer. The colors, sounds, textures and tastes that can and do stimulate healing responses. How can you incorporate this into your daily lives?
#1 - Experience Nature
Get out and experience your natural habitat, even if that means spending an hour in your own back yard. Don’t bring your technology - leave distractions behind.
Did you know that the Brown Thrasher can sing 2,000 song variations? Nature is diverse and wonderful. We should be a part of it not apart from it.
It has been written that just 15 minutes of birdsong/day can help reset our ears and soothe our nervous systems. Many of my consultations involve discussions on supporting anxiety. If you are experiencing anxiety, try stepping out of your door first thing in the morning and then again last thing in the evening. These different birdsongs you hear, light you see and even smells of air changes can help us to reconnect our circadian rhythms.
You may have heard it’s all about the ‘flow’ but I believe it’s about our rhythms. Connecting to nature connects us to natural rhythms such as light and day - dark and night. Something we can be unaccustomed to when utilizing artificial light and sounds for so much of our waking moments.
#2 - Eat Nature
Natural foods should be 95% out our diet. I’d say 100 but even I like a little treat now and then. Funny, we call processed foods a treat? Hmm, something to ponder.
What is a natural food? You know, I’ve taken countless nutrition classes and read even more nutrition books. It doesn’t matter how you try to dress it up, natural food is food in its natural state. The problem I see is that we count on large chain supermarkets to deliver us natural food when it perishes so quickly. How to get around that - shop local and eat the rainbow.
I was born and bred in the city. I can actually remember when I learned meat was an animal and my cereal started out as a plant. I felt betrayed. Why had I never been to a farm? How did I not know that food packaged in plastic and cardboard wasn’t natural? Today, it feels incredulous that I was so disconnected from nature but I was a 70’s kid and just about everything in my life was about synthetics.
The other issue I hear, is that you have to wash, cut and prepare natural food. Time is something we all have a finite amount of. So food prep is a must when eating natural food. Beans need to be soaked, fruit needs to be washed, and herbs are a must! Some easy solutions? I like sprouting - shout out to Hamama for their easy and biodegradable sprouting seed quilts. They make my life easier and save me time. I sprout and cut fresh what I need. My daughter (yes you Laura Bee) is a Ninja in the food prep department. It helps when you have help. If you’re not sure how to food prep, set an hour a week to learn. There are plenty of demonstrations online.
#3 - Live Nature
How do you live nature? This has to do with what we wear, what we build our shelters with and what we utilize in everyday life.
Think about what you use in your household, your work and/or in your entertainment. Natural products have come a long way. I like to knit, but I only like knitting with natural fibers. It makes such a difference when I see, touch and experience natural fibers as I knit or enjoy wearing my knitted projects. Even my knitting needles are bamboo (Thank you Gregory).
Natural fibers are actually a part of Anthroposophical Medicine. Wool and cotton play a significant role in both suggested clothing and natural therapies. For instance, when one has a fever, the idea is to have a “safe” fever by drawing the heat away from the head and towards the feet. How can you do this? Applying warm water to cotton socks and placing them on the feet followed by dry wool socks.
Natural cleaning products for body, home and office are easy to come by. You can make them (thinks baking soda and vinegar) or purchase them easily these days. The point is to both use nature and protect nature.
As we enter the Autumn season it’s a great time to reflect on how the upcoming holidays we celebrate can incorporate nature. This is a traditional time when we bring nature indoors by collecting shells, leaves, or displaying gourds. The smells and sights are filled with spices, cool mornings, yellow, orange and red leaves. It’s a time of abundance, a time to gather and as always a time of gratitude.
Let a little nature into your heart.
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