Nature Connection as a Spiritual Practice
Since the beginning of my coaching journey, I knew I wanted to incorporate nature into my practice. It has been, and continues to be, an incredible source of healing and inspiration for me. I thought, if nature has impacted me in such a deep and powerful way, surely there is a way I could incorporate it into my coaching practice. It took some digging and research, but I finally learned more about the concept of Ecotherapy and how I could incorporate those principles into my coaching. This is something every person can include in their daily lives for a sense of overall peace and well being.
Simply put, Ecotherapy is nature connection. It is a way to get back to our roots in and connect with nature in order to improve our overall well-being. It has been the topic of increasing study and research during recent years and is becoming increasingly popular.
Based on my own personal experience and that of with my clients, I feel strongly about including nature-connection as one of your spiritual practices.
Here are my top reasons why you should include nature connection as a spiritual practice:
Nature has a positive impact on well-being.
Studies performed by Ecominds revealed that 7 out of 10 people experienced increases to their well-being when spending more time with and in nature. This equates to reduced feelings of stress and depression, more social interaction, feeling of being connected to nature and people, improves mood, increases confidence, and more. Adding in natural elements to aid these outcomes can be as simple as including a discussion about your favorite times in nature or spending time outdoors.
Nature provides an outlet for grounding and mindfulness.
Grounding and mindfulness are important parts of your spiritual journey. Nature can provide a unique outlet for coming back to your center. For example, it may be helpful you to meditation on your favorite outdoor location and how it makes you feel. Or to remember a favorite memory that happened outdoors. This can be a powerful practice when looking to be more mindful. You can also crystalize these moments so you can return to them any time they wish.
New perspectives can be born from a relationship with nature.
Many occurrences in nature can be seen through metaphorical lenses, which provide an opportunity for clients to see circumstances and mental blocks from a different perspective. For example, sitting at a lookout point provides a great metaphor on seeing the grander picture and what that means in their life. What can you see from that perspective in nature and in what they are currently experiencing? What can you learn from nature that can be applied to their life? There are endless opportunities for you to relate to nature, which is called mirroring, and have the potential to bring upon a new perspective through simple observation and insight.
Nature Speaks to Us
So much can be observed and experienced through and with nature. Much can be spoken through an encounter without words. Going on a silent nature walk can bring forth powerful emotions, energy, and realization. Even without words, there is the opportunity to experience the same energy and understanding from something seen or experienced in nature. For example, it may be witnessing animals in the woods, listening the sounds of a river, or hearing the song of the birds.
These are only a few reasons to include nature connection as a spiritual practice. Nature is an beautiful gift from the universe with incredible healing capacity and I highly encourage you to contemplate where nature may fit in your routine. This may be as simple as a short meditation, having visual or hands on nature items in your home, or sitting on park bench. There is a world of possibility when you partner with Mother Nature as a source of healing, connection, and spirituality.