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



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

788 thoughts on “Nature: The Ultimate Reflection

  1. Nature is naturally very healing for us in so many ways and no wonder the colour green seems to be a colour associated with healing and has a calming effect because it reminds us of nature.

  2. Town planners and developers have no doubt about the effect the environment has on mental and physical health. Yet I have also noticed we need to step into supporting ourselves by actually using the spaces provided.

  3. Nature reminds us that there is a breath to breathe that is not the breath we have been taking into our lungs when we have become so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. Learning to ‘breathe our own breath’ is a task we must all one day complete in order to arise out of the mess we as humans have created in this plane of life.

  4. “Being in nature seems to support us to be more willing to connect openly with each other,” It is interesting that when walking in nature when you meet another you may greet them and say hello but if we are walking along an urban street we are inclined to just pass by with little or no connection even if there is only one other coming towards you.

  5. Do we use nature as a relief for our stress and tension, or do we consider all it offers us? As Maree shares here, it reminds us of the bigness we come from and how we can be and live together in harmony, by showing us so many examples … it’s there for us to see, do we see it?

    1. Well said Monica, and when we appreciate what nature reflects to us we are also able to appreciate how deeply held in love we all are in God’s body.

  6. “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.” This is so true and the amazing thing is that just being in it we learn subconsciously, evidenced by the enhanced quality of life when we are in its envionment.

  7. I recently moved and my new suburb is on a headland where nature and animals are the majority and humans are the minority. Nature surrounds us with sea views to the front and river/mountain views to the back. I often find it challenging to wind down of an evening to rest from the day and prepare for the evening nights sleep – I can get caught up in the doing of life and pushing myself to do another job or wasting time on Facebook! Moving here, I can feel how nature is supporting me to come more into stillness and rest. It is quite the gift!

    1. That sounds like a healing retreat as your new normal. One more thing I have noticed is that nature can be very busy at night but it never has the frenetic energy of our busy. Nature’s busy has purpose or it is not busy!

  8. Nature in all of its magnificence, inspiring us to be more, confirming of our gloriousness, interconnectedness and beauty. Reflecting how we can work together with purpose, holding us to account when we don’t. All of this divine creation showing us that we are even grander than this, our home away from home,

  9. ‘Nature is a gift from the Divine, the most precious gift of all, and it was given to Us as the ultimate support.’ So true Maree, having spent a week away in a city that is like a concrete jungle with not any greenery in sight, I am looking forward to returning to the lush, green pastures I live in and being bathed in the beautiful nature I have that surrounds me.

  10. Biomimicry sounds so logical to me. Yet it also makes me aware of how arrogant we have become to consider ourselves bigger and better than the divine design of the All we are from.

  11. This was truely an inspiring read about nature. It made me ponder more on nature and its cycles. Everything is about evolution, from the seasons, to the natural disasters, every species has or serves a purpose, has its way of living, there’s certainly community / brotherhood in some of the animal kingdom.

    I work in a hospital and my office does not have access to windows or natural light and I can feel the difference when I walk into a room that has natural light or a tree. It is so true watching a tree dance or a bird playing or flying, brings that reconnection to us again, nature is a good reflection for us and how we live too.

    1. There are so many messages from Nature reminding us of who we are but often we ignore its messages and not only that we tend to destroy it to the point where in some locations its magnificent reflections are no where to be found.

  12. This was a fantastic read Maree, and so fascinating to get a sense of the impact of Nature on our well-being. This shows how even the smallest little change in our environment and our feeling of connection or disconnection that is a by-product of it has potentially huge ramifications. Also, this blog made me remember all the times while hiking in the mountains when people just seemed generally more friendly and willing to help each other. I never really made the connection as you have here so wisely, that it was the connection to themselves that was fostered by Nature that rippled on to those they came in contact with during that time.

  13. Anything that is larger than we are and we feel upheld by it (nature, God) offers us the perfect counter for a very common tendency of reducing our life to a point. That is why, it offers truth to pursue.

  14. Nature reminds us to drink in the exquisiteness of all that has been divinely created so that we can reconnect to our own divinity and from here take it much deeper. In this way, nature acts like a bridge between Heaven and Earth and as such is a necessary one to cross, but once on the other side, although appreciative of it, we are not dependant on it as in our true essence we are far grander than this.

  15. Nature is a fantastic reflection, we are reminded and shown things through the symbology of each element. What I connect to on an even deeper level is that there is the multidimensionality that is has the precision to guide us to see the exact nature and its symbology when we need it. There is so much more going on than what we see. I Love this.

  16. Nature is probably the only place we can go that is free of the challenges of everyday life. It is indeed a sanctuary that we can use to relax, let go and recharge. A very beautiful gift..

  17. Haven’t we all looked at a flower and felt its delicacy and its beauty? Imagine how amazing we would feel if we got to the realisation that each flower is reflecting that we hold exactly the same in us…

  18. Nature is pretty awesome, I could say how en mass we ignore all it has shown us, but then I flip it back around – what does nature reflect to myself that could be given more attention to?

  19. There is a constant, constant reflection happening around us all the time… In every instance, with every step, with every breath, always there for us with such a rich tapestry that, if truly felt, would answer every question that we have ever had about the meaning of life.

  20. I am totally in awe of nature and see that biomimicry is the only way for us to learn. Nature just has it down pat so why fight it when we can be inspired by it?!

  21. Nature cannot be tamed it stays and offers us the rhythm of the universe no matter what we do or how much we fit it into our own concept of life.

  22. Nature never ceases to amaze me. The symbols that it gives us are absolutely the truth of what we need to see. I have come to trust these symbols so completely, and have learned that if I ignore them my life gets super complicated. If I take notice of them then life unfolds easily. It’s about living in tune with everything instead of going against the grain.

  23. Walking with a someone who marvelled at birdsong, in a way that acknowledged its incredible beauty, but not her own. I reflect back to her the beautiful birdsong equalled to beauty that lived within herself and every other human being. All we have to do is become aware of it.

  24. Not only must we receive from nature, we also have a responsibility to give back. Better to walk in nature in a way that confirms who we are than seek a fix for our disharmonious bodies.

  25. Yes I agree, nature is the ultimate reflection. I spent a day in a botanical garden and visited a pavilion of alpine plants with the tiniest of delicate flowering plants in a myriad of colours, shapes, textures, patterns. Each one perfectly formed in its own way. I marvelled at the sheer beauty before me and reflected on how plants exemplify the difference between being and doing, They don’t try to impress, persuade or seek recognition and there is no comparison or competition between them, Sufficient and complete in themselves, simply being is enough.

    1. Yes, I love that, and they don’t decide they are not as pretty as the next flower and stay in bed! Nature shares with us the beauty and purpose in it all.

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