Enjoying nature: taking inspiration for our health and well-being from outside

By John Brant | 16th June 2014
A photograph of a flower

Anyone who has taken time out to spend time walking in nature will tell you that walking is fantastic for de-stressing and connecting with yourself again.  We have three walks at the retreat, each with its unique qualities. Two of our walks pass through or alongside a natural park along the coast which is protected due to its trees, plants and wildlife. Indeed, in the Sierra Helada natural park, you may come across red squirrels or see dolphins swimming off the coastline. This article is inspired by all that nature has to offer.  We reveal for you five simple things to learn from nature to enhance your well-being:

1) Become and stay present. Have you ever seen a cat complaining about what happened yesterday? Or a dog worrying about the future? No. They can trust that life will support them so they can enjoy the present. When you take time out in nature, focus your attention on what is around you in that moment. That’s where your life is too.

2) Play – a lot. People are so serious! Play is fun and joy for no good reason at all. Nature plays in abundance and is second only to gathering food (and mating season of course!).  Animals don’t look to be worrying about where their next meal is coming from.  They don’t seem to be worried about future security.  Once their immediate needs have been satisfied they will have fun, frolic, playfight.  Next time you finish something, take time out for a little fun to celebrate. Watch a funny film, go for a walk or take time out with friends – get your whole body involved and let yourself be consumed by the moment. When it rains, still go for the walk; put on your waterproofs and then go kick up some puddles! You can always dry off when you return home.

3) Don’t over extend your energy. Doing what is needed is just enough. In nature there is no striving, no struggling – the grass just grows, the early bird is just in time to grab the worm. Preserve your energy for the important things in life (like play!)

4) Follow your instincts – they are usually right. You don’t see many animals scratching their heads thinking about what to do. They just do in the moment what is instinctive. Our human mind is normally looking to separate things into manageable chunks. The conscious mind can never hold billions of bits of information, it must delete information to help us think and keep us sane! However the unconscious mind can process huge amounts of information effortlessly and it often gives us an intuitive nudge. It is great for coming up with creative solutions to complex or subtle problems.  So next time you have a feeling about something or someone, take a chance and follow your gut instinct. Walking in nature can help to quieten the chattering conscious mind and bring us closer to our intuitive nudge.

5) Nature shows us that life is ever changing. The whole of life is in flow. The pattern of life is to emerge/be born, express yourself and then return to the earth. If we look deeply into nature we can observe change everywhere, even in the parts that at first seem static. The tree is drawing up water, sap is moving and oxygen is being expelled from the leaves. And at the atomic level, everything is energy and the energy is expressed as a vibration. Again, vibration is the essence of change. So next time you think you want to keep things as they are – think of nature, and get ready for something new.

The area surrounding La Crisalida Retreats is truly stunning, with mountains and an azure blue sea. However, there are pockets of beauty and nature even in the largest of cities that you can explore and enjoy. Create a space in your garden or terrace, or find the local park or beauty spot close to you. Feel, be, experience life in the moment, life in nature.

Headshot of John Brant - Retreat Founder at La Crisalida Retreats
John Brant

John is one of the founders of La Crisalida Retreats. He leads our life makeover programme as well as overseeing the retreats.

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