Oh man, it’s that time of year again….
…the time where the weather gets cooler, the rain starts coming more frequently and although the natural world around us looks beautiful, it’s all dying. For most of us we’d much rather come home, put some sweats on and remain under our covers until the sun breaks the next morning.
As someone diagnosed with S.A.D (seasonal affective disorder) I still don’t welcome the drastic changes and adjustments that Autumn brings with its chilly winds and less sunlight each day. Even though you’ll find me outside more often than not, what you don’t see is, like you, I really dislike boots and coats and layers and crappy weather, mud, rain and harsh wind. Sometimes even though our minds convince us we’d rather stay indoors, we can start to feel completely isolated, alone, almost as if we’re forced to box ourselves in. Trapped and separated from the outside world.
However, one of the best things you can do to free yourself from this funk is to get outside. I definitely find that the more I exposed myself to the outside world not only am I better accumulated for our harsh Canadian winters that follow, I am also less depressed. I feed my “animal inside” that fresh air, rustic landscape and fall smell. The picturesque landscapes mirror how much change we are all experiencing during the transition from spring to winter.
Just going outside using nature and trees especially as a mirror to reflect our inner world during this times helps me feel less crazy, less alone and more connected. While I’m internally feeling like there’s a bunch of crap and dead weight from the summer to let go of I find comfort seeing that Mother Gaia is also completely transforming. Continuously putting myself outside and watching how much things change on a day to day basis makes me feel more inspired to shed what no longer serves me. Connecting to trees during this time especially helps me break out of my comfort zone. They help me shed the previous years frame.
Trees are the easiest nature spirits to work with and they embody what true unconditional love is by rooting themselves down to the core of earth and reaching high into the sky, giving all that they can to anyone that requires them. Just standing with your back up against a tree and sharing a breath with it can drastically improve ones mood. Not to mention it’s a discrete way to feel fully supported by a tree without an onlooking stranger wondering what you’re up to. Trees want you to engage with them. So don’t feel shy about it. They are here to show us that we are not alone. We are love and we all deserve to feel whole, perfect and complete. Just as we are.
When we can fully begin to embrace our nature of being and start braving the harsher, unpleasant elements to enjoy nature’s playground we can begin to feel alive during this difficult time of release. Connecting to your innate childlike self can also do wonders for people suffering from depression, anxiety or even just people that abuse substances, people or sex to distract themselves. Setting time aside to “play” really sounds silly as adults, but it increases creativity, imagination and releases dopamine (one of those feel good chemicals) as we remember our freedom of spirit.
Acting like a child not only helps you interact better with your own children (should you have them) but allows you to just BE. Nature can help us connect to that “wild child” inside and can anchor us in the moment. If you’re sitting in an office right now or on the couch watching Netflix I encourage you to stand up, walk outside and just take one breath. Look at a trees leaves moving in the wind, smell the wet grass, feel how cold the wind is on your cheek, breathe into your feet as you watch the world around you. Feel at peace knowing that in this moment everything is fine.
Start slow with a daily “breath with nature” allowing yourself to be in the moment so you don’t have to worry about dinner, bills, work, your spouse etc. Just allow yourself to be. There is no need to live inside the frame society builds for us. Let yourself have the feelings of freedom and youthful joy that is your birthright this fall season by getting outside! Mother Nature is called mother for a reason. Let her hold you in this darker time of tumultuous change and release of past pain and emotions.
Share a breath with a tree today and break out of the box.
I love you… and so does Mother Earth.