Nature: The Ultimate Reflection

I didn’t realise how important green space was for health until I spent time in a city with limited access to the natural elements. When I made my way to the river and botanical gardens, I felt a noticeable shift in the way I was feeling. I let go of the tension I was holding in my body and felt a deep appreciation of the beauty of the natural world.

So what is the powerful quality of nature all about? What is it about nature that allows us to feel content and reconnected to ourselves?

Research confirms the healing quality of nature. It reveals that the natural environment can reduce stress, which in turn impacts on our body. It can change our mood, but also affect our nervous, endocrine, and immune systems. Alternatively, being disconnected from the harmony of nature can make us feel anxious, sad and helpless, which can elevate our blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and suppress our immune system [1].

The physician, Robert Ulrich, conducted a study on patients who had undergone surgery. One group was provided with a view of trees and the other group a concrete wall. The group with access to nature healed faster and appeared to nurses to have fewer negative effects, spending less time in hospital [1].

Time spent in nature also connects us to each other and the larger world and this in itself has healing properties. When I go for a walk, I will often meet people along the way and we will exchange a hello. During the day, say, when I am at the supermarket or going about my daily tasks, I notice there is often little connection between people at all. Being in nature seems to support us to be more willing to connect openly with each other, perhaps because we have connected more intimately with ourselves. We can let go of drive and busy-ness, the need to get things done, and we may begin to let people in and make relationships a priority.

Indeed, nature does offer us the chance to relieve ourselves from the tension we feel as a result of how we live our days, but are we failing to bring our awareness to the fact that nature serves a purpose that is so much more? Through its reflections, nature offers the blueprint to all of life, and for humanity to learn to live more harmoniously together.

Research in a Chicago public housing estate with trees and green space around the built environment reported that these residents know more people, have stronger feelings of unity with neighbours, more concern for helping and supporting each other, and stronger feelings of belonging than did tenants in other built environments where the buildings were without trees. In addition, there was reduced risk of street crime, lower levels of violence and aggression between domestic partners and an enhanced capacity to cope with life’s demands [1].

Scientists have reviewed the effects of nature on our brain. When participants of a particular study viewed nature scenes, the parts of the brain associated with empathy and love illuminated, but when they viewed urban scenes, the parts of the brain associated with fear and anxiety activated [1]. Our body is so sensitive it is constantly providing information about how we feel about our environment. How amazing!

Lately I have been reading about biomimicry. In this Science, engineers, architects, entrepreneurs, biologists etc. look to nature for answers. Nature has a successful history of survival, regeneration, dealing with waste, using only what is needed, and working together within systems, and so it has much to share about achieving balance and harmony. Nature may very well be our expert, far superior and more refined than anything we have achieved thus far as human beings. For instance, to find out how to pump water to the top of a skyscraper, an engineer using biomimicry may look to the detail of trees, or when designing a helicopter, may study the hummingbird, or even the flipper of a whale to perfect a wind turbine blade [2].

So when the world was made, perhaps it wasn’t by chance that nature was a part of its design. Perhaps it was all part of a grand plan to support us in our lives.

There is also so much in nature that shows us how communities work effectively together. We can see this by observing the ways of the Emperor Penguin, which reflect absolute brotherhood. Their survival relies on each other, and on working as a community, in order to survive the harsh winters. The Meerkats also show us that many families can live together and support each other, as well as the importance of always being aware of what is happening in the surrounding environment. Ants, such a tiny species, work steadily together with such dedication and achieve mighty things, like being able to carry supplies weighing far more than themselves back to their nests… and please, let us not forget the gorgeousness of our bees.

If nature was designed by God, then it was the most loving blueprint we could have been offered to help us to learn to live in a more loving way. And the message is clear – nature is asking us to learn to live on the planet as One and to move away from a life about Self.

What do we learn from all of the reflections in nature?

Our world is an amazing place, here to support us to live with more harmony. Connecting to nature in this way provides the opportunity to look at the world through a different lens, allowing us to feel its constant reflections and to remember we are part of a sphere that is ultimately much bigger than us.

Nature is a gift from the Divine, the most precious gift of all, and it was given to Us as the ultimate support.

By Maree Savins, AssocDegLaw (Paralegal), GradCert HROD, Australia

References:

  1. http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/enhance-your-wellbeing/environment/nature-and-us/how-does-nature-impact-our-wellbeing 
  2. https://biomimicry.org

Related Reading:
By Connecting to our Natural Rhythms we Improve our Well-being
A True Relationship with Nature
A Walk in the Park

703 thoughts on “Nature: The Ultimate Reflection

  1. We as humans put conditions on our life and then we are restricted in what we see and how we see. Nature on the other hand just is, radiant and perfectly designed for what ever it’s purpose is. When we strip back our conditions, ideals, beliefs and pictures and let them all go we to are radiant and perfect, designed for what ever our purpose is which is innately within us.

  2. There is so much that we do not understand… For example the healing rates mentioned in this article and the simple correlation between looking at nature and healing… There are so many examples like this that we could become overwhelmed with our ignorance… And yet all we simply have to do is reconnect in gentleness without own inner awareness within our bodies and we will know all that needs to be known

  3. “Through its reflections, nature offers the blueprint to all of life, and for humanity to learn to live more harmoniously together.” thank you Maree for your inspiring blog reminding me of the blessings that nature holds for us. I haven’t walked in nature lately and I am missing the harmony I feel when in nature.

  4. I agree. I think being in nature can help us to let go of emotion and excess tension, to open up and re-connect with a deeper place inside of us that is harmonious, and then when we do this we can remember that we always have the opportunity to re-connect with this place inside of us, whether we are in a beautiful surrounding or not…

  5. If my daughter is feeling out of sorts I take her into nature and it is beautiful to see her return to herself again. Nature offers us a space to re-connect, rejuvenate and to deeply heal – it is part of my daily medicine.

  6. The wisdom of nature has long been recognized throughout the history of mankind, and held as such in many traditions. It feels very unnatural for us to be trashing and interfering with nature as we do now.

  7. I have spent most of my 60+ years in a love affair with nature, and it does reflect on how we react to life. I have moved to London from the countryside. I have large areas of green and a small brook in front of my house with woods and green fields in both directions. The wildlife here does reflect the people that live here, except they have attitude! We have a lot of foxes if you are driving at night and a fox walks into the road, stops looks at you, and if it could talk it would say “What”! Crows attack cranes that are huge in comparison. Ducks and Rats co-exist. Nature: the Ultimate Reflection, it is in London.

    1. I agree with you Steve since we moved to London from the Oxfordshire countryside we have seen more foxes, ducks, geese, crows, pigeons, water rats and the cranes than we ever saw while living in the countryside. Nature reflects so beautifully here that I feel there is an abundance of messages constantly being given to us; things like a mass of green parakeets flying low level was amazing, along with a flyby of four ducks circling anti-clockwise first thing in the morning (what a greeting) and then setting themselves back in the same place.

  8. ” Nature is a gift from the Divine, the most precious gift of all, and it was given to Us as the ultimate support.”
    This is so true and nature never fails as it never changes its understanding of life , life is about harmony.

  9. I love how nature can be part of life’s daily medicine and offer us a point of reflection to what we too hold. for example the stillness, joy and honesty we see in nature are also innate qualities we too hold within, this is a great point of reference for all to appreciate and reflect on. Nature and it’s rhythms, is the magic that we all innately hold within our own expressions too.

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