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

662 thoughts on “Nature: The Ultimate Reflection

  1. Wow. It’s a horrible feeling when you realize that kids are being forced into boxes for 8+ a day, for five days a week, and come out of it all 18 years later knowing so little about the wonders of nature and what is happening to the environment. This post was eye-opening. Thank you.

  2. Walking to work this morning I was stopped once again to appreciate the reflection of small birds. Should I ever believe that my voice is not enough/needs to be different small birds are a great reminder of the power and reach we already have from within. Out of that teeny tiny body that sound travels miles. I am considerably larger than a robin but equal to that power they unreservedly sing with.

  3. I love nature and agree it can definitely help you let go of any tension in the body when being in it. What I am learning more and more though is how we can do this in all of our movements (let go of tension in the body) whether in nature or not. You are right about the magic and divine design of nature and I would say on the whole, currently we do not appreciate this or learn from this as much as we could.

  4. Nature is a huge support in our evolution, giving us the reflections we need. But we need not glorify it and forget our humanity; that is taking part in everyday life, as so many use nature to hide and find refuge while the true part of evolution is found in seeing the harmony in nature and seeing the possibility of this in our human form too.

  5. Having just come back from a walk in nature I feel it has ended my day beautifully .Definitely a Gift from God!

  6. Makes perfect sense. I can’t imagine the state of health of people that choose to sit in front of a computer and game all day long. I’ve recently been told that people are being found dead in their homes with game controls in their hands. Unbelievable that we have taken disconnection from nature to this extreme.

    1. I know! It seems like we have just gone into a virtual world and forgotten how to engage and live in the real world. Nature offers a wonderful clear out – refreshing us physically and energetically.

  7. The beauty and connection to nature is a reflection and confirmation of our own divinity and the appreciation of this is deeply supporting for us 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” Wow how beautiful it all is set out for us .

  8. We have indeed strayed very far from our natural and harmonious way of living with ourselves and each other as a world-wide community. The fact that we have nature is very needed now as it reflects qualities that we need to work on, however, nature is only reflecting what is already within us to live.

  9. Maree, ‘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.’ It is very true that in nature we seem less likely to rush and more likely to go at our natural pace and to connect with each other, this shows the power of nature and what a calming and rebalancing effect it can have on us.

  10. I love how nature reflects the fact of cycles to us, most notably through the seasons but also in other ways – it reminds me to connect with the cycles in my and our lives and honour what is needed in each moment.

  11. There is no doubt that we all know that nature has a stilling and healing effect on us and we are given so much. It comes back to us to understand our part in the whole and take the responsibility that lies therein and begin to deeply appreciate ourselves and bring all of us to the world like nature does.

  12. I do agree with you Maree, nature is a great support to us, and I think I do know why, or better said I do know why. It is interesting to see these studies on our brain activities and that the fear and anxiety areas light up when we are in urban environment and the opposite when we are in nature as these are on a scientific level supporting that what we already know, a deep inner knowing we unfortunately have lost connection with because of how we have chosen to live our lives. Of course we respond to being in nature differently than to the man made created structures in life. We are part of co-creation and this life we live here on earth with all the cities, infrastructures and all other things we have created to make our lives ‘work’ are from us choosing to be part of creation while our true nature is to live with the quality that nature is responding to which is co- creation.

  13. “nature is asking us to learn to live on the planet as One and to move away from a life about Self.” We should all learn this in school or through our upbringing. Nature is the most wonderful reflection of harmony. I am constantly humbled by the simplicity of the lessons I learn when I take time to observe nature.

  14. There is something about being in nature, I feel we are reminded that we are part of something bigger, and there is a flow and steadiness to nature which supports us to come back to our own natural flow and rhythm.

  15. The times when I think that I don’t have time for a walk and to be outside are usually the times when I get most benefit from doing so. Being in nature is not about dumping our tension on nature and walking off frustration or whatever else we’re feeling but about appreciating the reflection of stillness and grace that it offers us, that remind us that we are those qualities too.

  16. It doesn’t surprise me that planting some trees would make a difference to the feel of a place and the behaviour of the residents, as it just goes to show how healing it can be to be in nature.

  17. If we accept that nature is a blueprint for us as to how we can live in harmony and at one with the all, then every moment has the opportunity to be a point of evolution or of confirmation. Why wouldn’t we choose that? It’s a beautiful way to live.

  18. Is it possible that nature is even more than a ” part of a grand plan to support us in our lives” – a superbly enriching and interactive agent in our evolution back to our true divine origins?

  19. There is a calmness and stillness that nature offers us. If we don’t have this within, nature can offer it to us so that we can reconnect to the same qualities we do hold within, only that we may have temporary lost connection to.

  20. We can look at nature and be in awe of its pristine beauty and order of harmony and flow knowing that humanity does not generally live by such quality together. And in this we are showing we innately know what that such order and harmony is what we so desperately seek as we know it to be true. Why have we not made human life that same equalness and quality?

  21. I used to crave being in nature, and only the wildest most remote would do. I certainly didn’t want to see another person or a building while I was there. But this relationship with nature was very unsettling and unhealthy because I would be looking for the ‘perfect’ spot and miss all the glorious reflections being offered to me by everything I saw. I would feel even more desolate and empty on my return to town. I was seeking to fill my emptiness whereas now with nature anywhere, even a single tree in an industrial wasteland, I feel it as a moment of reflection to remind me to reconnect, or to confirm me if I am already there.

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