Since tomorrow is Earth Day, I thought I'd pay homage to Mother Nature with a post (and a personal tale or two) in her honor...
Hit the Trail
About 5 years ago, I was going through a bit of a personal rough patch (I had one too many life changes happen at once and was feeling a bit overwhelmed). That's when I decided that it was time for a little therapy of the natural kind. Every morning, I would head out to a nearby nature preserve and spend about an hour or so walking in the woods. I did this just about every day for roughly 3 months. I've never taken a mood-enhancing drug, so I don't have anything to compare it to, but WHOA -- that daily sojurn in nature cured whatever was ailing me (and then some) at the time.
I still walk in the woods a few times a week, even though that rough patch is long gone. I've even been known to burst into spontaneous yoga asana in a clearing or two from time to time. No matter how many times I walk on those trails, I come back with a nature high that lasts all day long. I never tire of the drive-to-the-preserve-and-spend-time-on-the-trails routine and it never fails to make me feel good body, mind, and soul.
And When There's No Trail Available...
A year or two ago, a friend of mine recommended a book that sounded intriguing. Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? touted the benefits of grounding oneself to the earth and all the health benefits thereof. Since I'm a barefoot kind of gal, I got into the habit of walking around in the backyard barefoot each morning (sometimes I even did some standing yoga sequences on the grass sans mat). I wasn't looking to cure myself of anything -- it just felt like a nourishing practice.
These days I actually use a Earthing Connection Universal Mat when I sit at my desk and sleep at night. My friends laugh at me and accuse me of drinking the Kool Aid. I laugh right back. To me, it makes sense that the earth offers up healing energy (oh, my friends are rolling their eyes right now, thinking I've jumped on the Woo Woo Train). Now, I'm not saying ditch the doctors, buy a bunch of Earthing products, and sleep on the ground. I'm just thinking that when something that makes sense to you/feels right, you try it and see if it works for you. Rather than believe the hype, why not experiement with it yourself before making a decision about it?
I'll just end by saying this -- I'm the one with the last laugh. I've experienced some pretty cool benefits as a result of my so-called woo woo practices. Hmmm...maybe it's not so much as standing on the ground as it is standing your ground?
Honoring the Earth
This Earth Day, how about walking around outside barefoot, just to see how it feels (since it's something that we don't often do). Or maybe when you're hanging out in Tree Pose, say a little prayer of gratitude for nature and all its wonders. Here are some more ideas:
- 5 Easy Things You Can Do to Celebrate Earth Day (and do your body good)
- Shop sustainably -- The Natural Store has just about everything you could possibly need and they are offering special Earth Day deals. Seeking Serenity is a female-owned and operated apparel and jewelry line that melds spiritual inspiration with sustainability. The company works with Distant Village to create fair trade packaging in third world countries and donates 5% of all company proceeds to www.water.org.
- Earth Day -- What You Can Do
- Visit Earth911 for Earth Day ideas, a recycling center database, product reviews and earth-friendly tips.
I like to think that I do what I can to take care of the Earth and it takes care of me in return. That's not a bad deal, if you ask me.