The Awesome Power of Nature: To Heal
[Note: This is a new series based on my meditation, The Awesome Power of Nature. Each post will explore how Nature has the amazing ability to give and sustain us in ways that many humans have forgotten. Rekindling these connections is an important step in rediscovering our deep roots in the natural world and living deeply.]
Have you ever just felt the need to get outside? To immerse your being in the natural world outside our doors?
Maybe you need to re-charge. Maybe you need to clear your head. Or maybe you need to put some space in-between you and that last meeting that just sent you over the edge.
Unconsciously, we are being drawn to a world that is bigger than us. To a place where the Vibe of Life is overpowering; to an energy source that has an amazing power to heal that which ails our minds and bodies. To some extent the human species has forgotten our roots in this energy, this place from which all life springs.
For generations (and generations and generations), humans have found solace in Nature: As a source of sustenance; as a manifestation of the divine; as a canvas where the purest beauty can be found; as a stage where life, death and re-birth play out in their most raw form.
More recently though, Nature has turned into a destination — a place where we escape from our man-made world of concrete and steel, bits and bytes, and happenings of modern society. Because of this self-created disconnect, Nature is some place we need to visit momentarily and then leave. It is something of an afterthought. A place we look at through our windows but seldom allow ourselves the time to experience first-hand. Healing has been handed over to science and institutions. The healing power of Nature, long embraced by indigenous cultures, has lost its way with modern society.
Let me be clear: I am not advocating we all just leave our doctors and hospitals and head to the hills when we are sick. But things are changing. Awareness of the role that Nature can play in healing our minds and bodies is coming back to the forefront.
Numerous studies are pointing to the benefits of reconnecting with Nature. Whether it’s using gardening as physical or behavioral therapy or the value that open, green space can have on fostering the physical and mental well-being of our kids, connecting with the multi-sensory experiences that Nature gives us is providing tangible benefits. Nature calms. It soothes. It takes us in and envelops us in its bounty. (As an aside, the Children & Nature Network maintains an amazing library of research on the value of connecting kids and nature. Read more here.)
Even Big Business knows the value that lies in Nature. Consider research on the global market for plant-derived pharmaceuticals: In 2008, plant-derived drugs generated US$19.5 billion in revenue. By 2013, market growth will drive revenue to an estimated US$32.9 billion. The field of ‘bioprospecting’—the search for and discovery of new organic compounds that can be commercialized—has grown so much it has required the development of laws to protect the rights of countries where new genetic material is being ‘discovered’ against the blatant exploitation by the companies and individuals doing the discovering. It appears that it’s just not the environmentalists who have an interest in protecting the rich biodiversity that wild places hold.
But at the end of the day, how Nature heals is unique to each person. We know what it does for us and why we are drawn to its awesome power: The quiet solitude; the energy; the deep connection with a web of life that is far greater than we alone are.
This is why Nature will always be a source of healing and rejuvenation. Regardless of what you believe to be the origin of this power, this fact is undeniable. We can only hope that the March of Material Progress does not cause us to cut ourselves off completely from this, or worse yet, eliminate the source altogether.
Up next in this new series: Nature’s power to nourish. To get this delivered right to you, please consider subscribing (for free) via RSS or email – if you have not already done so. Thanks so much for your support and readership!
If you found this post of value in any way, please take a moment to share it amongst your circle using Twitter or one of the other social media tools available. You may also enjoy these other posts:
- Nature as Mentor: 6 Life Lessons That Gardens Can Teach Our Children
- 33 Simple Things to Get You Reconnected With Nature
- 12 Favorite Books for Connecting Kids with Nature and Life