In this moment I have one wish. It is that my voice, words and message would refresh you like waves splashing at your feet, warm you like early morning sunshine in summer, and flood your spirit with the healing genius of cool, pure Alpine air. OK. You might be thinking, “What a crazy lofty wish!” Me too. I’ll scale that back to wishing that the thought “What is she talking about and why am I reading or listening?” will not cross your mind in the next few minutes.
Here’s a reality check:
Prisoners in maximum security prisons in the U.S. are guaranteed 2 hours of outdoor time daily. When asked about this time, one prisoner said ” it’s probably the most important part of my day, it’s an opportunity to take all of the frustration and all of your problems and just leave them out there. It keeps my mind right and my body strong.”
“Keeps my mind right.”
When these prisoners were asked what would happen if this time was cut back to 1 hour a day, one said “I think its going to build more anger. That really would be torture.”
“Torture.” …There’s no mincing words with this group.
In a survey of 12,000 parents in 10 countries with children from 5-12 years of age, 4,000 said their children spend less than 30 minutes outside daily.
Based on trends today, a child born today will have spent 200,000 hours in screen time and less than 2,000 outside by the time they are 60.
This is not a new problem, its a growing problem. It’s self-inflicted torture. Is it damaging our minds?
In the U.S. 10% of the population over 18 have a mood disorder – the average age of onset is 30 years old. Personally, I’ve driven enough on the Southern CA freeways to suspect that the rate of mood disorders is much, much higher!
In the last 7 years the mental health related service calls have increased over 84% in San Diego county. It’s not just one thing, its PTSD, drug use, substance abuse, and other forms of stress. In the U.S. 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness in any given year. That’s 44 million every year in the U.S.
We must get ahead of this and apply our most overlooked and under utilized gift – Nature.
Nature makes a difference. A huge difference. For the health and well-being of humans.
Programs for boosting confidence and creativity are successfully delivered in Nature. Humans heal from surgery and disease more quickly when exposed to natural settings.
Vets are having significant results healing PTSD through Nature, they call it “green care”. Stephanie Westlund, author of the 2014 book, “Field Exercises: How Veterans Are Healing Themselves through Farming and Outdoor Activities.” shares validated proof. She says “We have this connection to nature that is not totally explainable but works really well.”
Our disconnection from Nature is a root cause of our problems and imbalances.
This disconnection has scarred and polluted our precious environment. This disconnection shows up in the stress from our boxed in daily routines. It shows in in the quality of our physical and mental health.
Over 100 years ago Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Thoreau, 2 great American writers said that they did not view Nature as a pool of resources to be exploited, they proclaimed Nature as a complete and connected entity, an expression of the essence of God, and a source of spiritual renewal.
Wow. All that is right outside these doors.
In our world Nature has become a screensaver, a green backdrop to our busy lives. If your lucky you have time for the occasional walk in the park.
Yet, there’s more to Nature Reconnection than that. As humans we have the capacity to regenerate our multi-dimensional and multi-sensory natures. This requires effort. The effort to overcome our habitual way of thinking and labeling. When we allow Earth to teach us our 54 natural senses, the senses the connect to Nature are regenerated. As this occurs our habitual way of thinking changes.
Imagine for a moment you have come upon a magnificent Maple tree. The five-pointed leaves are backlit by the sun. The leaves are still. Do you think name? “Maple” check. “Pretty” check and move on your busy way.
Or, can you bypass the label and immerse yourself in the moment, in this backlit emerald bath and see more detail, more depth, more subtle and brilliant colors, sensing the shape, strength, form, texture and canopy, drinking in its exquisite beauty and mystery, and for this moment in time you truly celebrate and sense its relationship and gift to the environment and to you?
That is Reconnection to Nature around you and inside you. That changes neuropathways, heals connections and generates good feelings. Profound and prolific author, Mike Cohen, built a repertoire of 104 Nature Reconnecting activities that anyone can learn and practice. Nature Reconnection is “green care” – everyone benefits!
As mothers advise their children that the company you keep matters – it is true with Nature –
Listen, you are wildly genius! Reconnecting with and learning from The Wild Genius, Nature is the only environment that will bring out the natural genius in you.
What happens will change the way you live
The above is an excerpt from “Wildly Genius” A Nature Reconnection Presentation and Program by Rhana Kozak, Speaker, Interpretive Photographer, Entrepreneur