“If I really wanted to pray I′ll tell you what I′d do. I′d go out into a great big field all alone or in the deep, deep woods and I′d look up into the sky—up—up—up—into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I′d just feel a prayer.” – From the dreamy Anne Shirley, in Anne of Green Gables.
I recently relocated via road trip from the East Coast – Brooklyn, New York – to Pasadena, CA. We drove west though the more northern portions of the US, including Ohio, Nebraska, Iowa, Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah.
Relating to the vast expanses around me induced “feeling a prayer.” In Ohio and Iowa, the rich, rolling green fields looked like a verdant ocean broadening into the horizon. Wyoming felt like a different planet, with wide spaces and weather patterns that changed wildly from a lightning storm, to rain clouds, to sun within seconds. The immense mountains of Colorado and Utah ranged from pale to rich red and even hues of purple.
The natural beauty all around me through my journey soothed my mind, easing the anxieties and worries that can inevitably crop up when making such a significant life change.
Thich Nhat Hanh spoke of the healing capacity of the natural world: “When we suffer, the Earth embraces us, accepts us, and restores our energy, making us strong and stable again. The relief that we seek is right under our feet and all around us.”
Praying or meditating in nature, and mindfully reflecting on the peaceful elements around you, can be powerfully healing and restorative. Whether you can briefly step away from the claims of day-to-day life for connection and community in a group retreat in a beautiful, natural setting, or whether your closest contact to nature is found through a quiet view of the night sky from your window, I encourage you to find ways to consciously connect to the vibrant heart of our living world. See what arrives for your mind and soul when you relate to the peace and beauty of the natural habitats that coexist with us, supporting and nourishing our reality.
By Erica Magdalene
Erica assists the InsightLA office team as email marketing consultant. She enjoys sharing mindfulness practices and contributing to this compassionate and supportive community.