Connecting to Nature - Spiritual Self-Care

The Witch's Book of Self-Care: Magical Ways to Pamper, Soothe, and Care for Your Body and Spirit - Arin Murphy-Hiscock 2018

Connecting to Nature
Spiritual Self-Care

Nature is all around us, and yet we often are oblivious to it. It’s a shame, because it can support your self-care in various ways. For one thing, nature is quiet—not literally, but figuratively. Nature doesn’t bombard you with arguments, videos, headlines, and deadlines. There is less stress in nature.

Nature therapy provides an easy way to lower your stress levels. It can elevate your mood, give your mind a rest, and offers the chance for movement and exercise, if you choose. Being in a natural environment allows your attention to be caught in a passive, involuntary way, as opposed to a directed, active application of attention and focus, as in work or reading. Involuntary attention uses less energy than directed attention, which is why you often return from time spent in the company of nature feeling less tired than you would have if you’d spent the same amount of time in a cinema. Both are enjoyable, but a film requires attention and focus to follow the story and to process all the elements of the narrative.

Just being present in nature can reduce your stress levels. So where do you find nature?

♦ If you have a backyard, you can start there. Often urban sounds can intrude, so it’s not ideal, but use it if you’ve got it!

♦ City parks are a civic resource open to everyone.

♦ If your city or town has an arboretum or a protected natural area open to the public, schedule a visit.

♦ Check to see if there are local farms that host work parties or visitor days. Community-supported agriculture programs (CSAs) sometimes offer produce in return for work on the farm, which can be a terrific experience.

♦ Look for state or provincial parks within easy commuting distance and schedule a day to explore. Or pack a picnic and your journal and just sit and enjoy the sights and sounds.

For more ways to explore nature, check out the seasonal crafts in the Creative Self-Care section later in this chapter.

Green-Space Meditation

This meditation offers you a moment to reconnect with the magical energies of nature, even in the middle of a city. One thing that often gets dropped in modern living is interacting with the natural world. Exercising is done in indoor gyms, and interaction with the natural world can be as limited as dashing from your front door to your car on the way to work.

Taking the time to just be present and mindful in nature is a form of magical self-care that is often overlooked. You may not have access to a yard; you may feel awkward in a public green space. But take the time to try this activity. It may have benefits that outweigh the discomfort.

What You Need:

♦ Towel or blanket

What to Do:

1. Spread out the towel or blanket in your chosen spot. If it’s winter, you can forgo the towel or blanket and use a bench, a step, or the edge of a fountain or park statue.

2. Sit or lie down. Close your eyes.

3. Center and ground.

4. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly, three times. Then say (aloud or silently),

Mother Nature,

I honor you.

I open myself to you here and now.

Bless me with your loving energy.

5. Become aware of what your sense of hearing is telling you. Listen. What do you hear?

6. Become aware of what your sense of smell is telling you. Breathe in. What do you smell?

7. Become aware of what your sense of touch is telling you. Feel. What sensations do you pick up on your skin, beneath your body?

8. Become aware of what your sense of taste is telling you. Open your mouth. What do you taste on the air?

9. Become aware of what your sense of sight is telling you. Open your eyes. What do you see around you?

10. Stay there, relaxed, for as long as you like. Journal your experience, ideally there while it is fresh in your mind, or once you have returned home.

11. Before you leave, say:

Mother Nature,

Thank you for your many blessings.

Thank you for being here with me during this meditation.

May your love travel with me.


♦ Pack a book and/or a snack to enjoy after you do your meditation. Why waste the trip and time in your green space?

♦ If your city has a botanical garden, try this meditation in different areas of it and journal the experiences. How are they different?