How Nature can Make You a More Spiritual Person

There are many reasons why guests from all over the world make their way to Origin, a place of primordial purity, where verdant foliage and stunning views over the high desert of New Mexico enable them to reconnect with their inner selves. One reason many visitors have in common is a need to reconnect with their spirituality; in many ways, our abrupt ‘divorce’ from nature has distanced us from our rich interior life. As we fight to acquire rather than grow, our health, both physical and mental, begins to show the consequences of denying an important part of human contentment.

Happiness and Spirituality

Scientists have shown, again and again, that those with a rich spiritual life are happier than those who don’t. Dr. Harold G. Koenig, a psychiatrist on the faculty of Duke University, notes that involvement in a spiritual/faith community makes people more content because it enables them to cope with stress better, leading them to make healthier lifestyle choices and to have a more positive outlook on life.

Spirituality and Nature

Spiritual naturalism espouses that the universe is a sacred whole comprising human beings, nature, and external forces acting on our planet and our bodies. The connection between nature and spirituality extends to ancient times, The Native American Indians, and the Australian Aboriginals, relate nature to spiritual occurrences, from creation stories to explanations of how traditions and rituals began. Today, one’s relationship with nature can almost be non-existent; many of us barely spend an hour outdoors a day, denying ourselves the many powerful benefits of nature. Studies have shown that simply walking in a natural setting can have powerful effects, particularly on our stress levels, which significantly decrease when we are in the presence of nature and her glory.

Strengthening our Relationship with Nature

Building a strong relationship with nature takes work and consistency, though in this case, the effort is always of the most pleasurable kind. We can start off by simply taking a walk through a verdant setting, opening our senses to the peaceful sights and sounds around us. We can find a peaceful spot in which to think and practice controlled breathing, to instil a state of mindfulness and conversation with our inner selves. Retreats to nature-bound settings such as Origin are a fantastic way to immerse ourselves in spirituality, healing mind and body with yoga, Reiki or meditation retreats. Science has repeatedly shown that holistic activities such as yoga and meditation lower stress hormone levels, improve mood and increase our vitality.

As spiritual and material beings, we can benefit greatly from a life that includes spirituality as a fundamental pillar and source of support in tough times. By being part of a community and taking the time to visit natural settings and take part in holistic pursuits, we are able to achieve a state of happiness that is all-too-elusive in a purely materialistic mind frame.

article by Sally Writes (sally@diamondmail.net)