As I develop my relationship with the natural world, I find myself feeling more connected overall. So today I put together this short list of simple practices for cultivating a more vibrant sense of self - via earth connection.

  1. Breath: As you breathe, imagine, feel, and recognize the reality that every breath is an exchange with the plant world. On the inhale, breathe in the oxygen that is here because of the trees; let the natural world - the "outside" - come in. As you exhale, breathe out the carbon dioxide that feeds the trees; let your body - the "inside" - move out. Every breath is an exchange.
  2. Observe: While you are waiting, perhaps for a bus, in line at the post office, or at the Doctor's office, shift your eyes to the natural world (even if through a window). Take a moment and watch the way the leaves move, or how the clouds are shifting in the sky. You can even look at the grass, or the way a "weed" has pushed its way through the concrete. Let yourself pause and marvel!
  3. Yield: Your body is being supported by the earth in every moment. Notice that when you stand, it is the EARTH that is holding you up! Even if you're sitting at a desk on the 12th floor in a mega-city, it is ultimately the earth, full of worms and stones and lava, that is supporting the structure you are sitting in and on! Isn't that amazing?!?!
  4. Step: Please DO walk on the grass! Even when there's a concrete sidewalk, sometimes I intentionally walk on the grass, rocks, pile of leaves, etc. Try it - it's fun!
  5. Stop & Smell the Flowers: Literally.

I'm curious...what simple practices do you have? In what ways do you find time to pause and connect - nature related or not?