I spent last week at an intensive yoga retreat. This was the last part of the yoga teacher training I followed this year. The retreat was located somewhere in the middle of the Eastern Townships mountains in Quebec. Apart from practicing yoga and meditation extensively, the true benefit of this retreat was that we were all immersed in nature. No phone, no money, no TV, no radio, no internet… It felt great!
I didn’t wear any shoes or sandals during the whole week. At first I was strangely anxious of walking barefoot all over the forest in the mud, on rocks, under the rain… But honestly there is no better feeling than being able to touch the ground with your skin, lay down in the middle of the forest and observe the micro-life happening everywhere or eat roots of wild plants you have just picked.
Nature is not like technology. It doesn’t try to get your attention with beeps and notifications. It’s just there and you can enjoy it as much as you want if you accept it. When you’re not constantly interrupted but you can contemplate what surrounds you, parts of who you are start to be more accessible. During this week I’ve accepted to explore some parts of my soul that I didn’t want to touch before. By connecting with nature I allowed myself to travel deeper inside my consciousness and discover a little more who I am. It’s hard because we have been raised in a control environment. We have been programmed to think that this environment is good for us. And then when we find ourself in the wild and we let the nature rhythm get inside us we get scared of all that we could discover. It doesn’t seem reasonable. We are not used to explore our true self anymore.
This adventure of discovering who we are is our true mission in life. And it is actually easier than it seems when you put yourself in the right conditions.
If you’re like me and live in a city it might seem difficult to connect with nature because you’re still in this control environment. Actually you don’t need much: just go to a park, lay down in the grass and observe what is happening on the ground. Kids do this naturally, they don’t need anybody to tell them how to do it. I did the same yesterday evening. I needed to re-connect so I went for a walk in a nearby park and I just looked at the wind in the trees for 5 minutes. That’s all I needed to tune in with nature. Alternatively you can just look at your skin, your hair, feel the pulse of your blood in your veins. You are nature too after all, you can have access to it… right now!
How often do you reconnect? How often do you get mud on your feet or walk under a heavy rain? When was the last time you felt your heart pounding inside?
How did this make you feel?