Discover yourself in Mother Nature

Gardening is a great way to re-establish your intimacy with Mother Nature, says Lea Tran

To really understand who you are in the world and to feel secure in it, you have to remember who your Mother is.

Mother Nature, that is.

The awareness that Mother Nature sustains you can be very uplifting.

She’s easy to find. She’s everywhere. Mother Nature is not just ‘out there’ in the wilderness in the middle of nowhere. Not just along the country road you drive on. She’s in your city! In the park by your house, your community garden, in your own backyard. She’s at your dinner table, on your plate, in your cup. So intimate are you with her, you could almost say you are one and the same, interconnected with everything.

If food, air and water are all part of nature; and you ate, breathed and drank it in today, at what point does it stop becoming nature? It doesn’t. It continues on with being you.

Mother Nature is not a far removed concept from you. Whether or not you are consciously aware of it, you’re experiencing her right now. Isn’t it healing to remember that you are part of such a beautiful life force?

When you pay attention to your interaction with Mother Nature, the connection between Mother and child deepens. The child [you] realises that you are truly loved, looked after, and secure. You realise that your Mother provides you with all of the food, medicine, air, water, beauty, and inspiration that your most authentic self needs to thrive.

What Mother Nature teaches us

Gardening is a great way to start the conversation with Mother Nature. When you plant a seed, it’s like you’re communicating a hope to her by saying: “Hello. I would like to learn more about who I am. Here is a seed we can plant together. Please teach me how this seed relates to me and my world. Show me how we can grow this seed of hope into something beautiful.”

Garden Therapy is what happens when you receive the healing benefits of interacting with nature in a garden setting. It can also be referred to as Horticultural Therapy, which the Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association defines as “the use of plants, gardens, and the natural landscape to improve cognitive, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing”.

Both consciously and unconsciously, we learn so much about how we can behave in more balanced ways by spending time with plants and seeing how they interact with their environment. Mother Nature is an expert at creating harmony. She creates balanced ecosystems full of mutually-beneficial relationships based on the amount of nutrients and resources available.

A garden with healthy soil will support strong plants. Their flowers will attract and feed bees and butterflies. In turn, plants will get fertilised and produce food and seeds. Birds eat those seeds and help to disperse them. The nutrients get returned to the soil as organic matter gets composted back into the earth. In some way, everyone in the system both provides nourishment and gets nourished. Such a wonderfully energy-efficient and interconnected environment makes you feel a sense of awe. You realise it is possible to work with others in a balanced way so that everyone’s needs are met. This has an uplifting and inspiring effect on your spirit. You feel a sense of hope that you can have this security within your own community.

It is easy to be more present in a natural environment. Your true self shines through better because you realise that you are so much more than what your mind is thinking. Your senses are awakened and the mental chatter in your head calms down. Mother Nature pulls you away from your worries about the past and future. You can then ‘think’ with your heart and act more authentically.

discover-yourself-in-mother-nature-250x376How to deepen your relationship with Mother Nature

You don’t necessarily have to have your own garden and do gardening activities to benefit from the therapeutic effects of nature. Even just being in a garden or natural setting can have beneficial effects. You could go to a botanical or community garden, or that of a friend. An attractive natural setting like a park or forest is great too.

Think about the feelings, sights, sounds, scents, textures, and tastes that you love. Where can you find these soul-nourishing things in nature? Some ideas:

  • Love the sound of birds? Go for a walk in a garden, forest or park and pay attention to the birds chirping. What are the birds doing? How do you relate to them? How do you affect each other?
  • Love the smell of lavender? Plant some in your garden or visit a friend’s or community garden where your favourite scented flowers bloom. Feel its calming effect on your mood as you breathe in its lovely scent. If you have permission, harvest some flowers and make a bouquet for a friend who might need some uplifting.
  • Love being with other people? Volunteer at a community garden to help beautify your neighbourhood and make it easier for others to appreciate what Mother Nature has to offer.
  • Love cooking? Grow nutritious herbs and vegetables and use them in healthy meals for your friends and family.

Even if you don’t realise it, you are intimately connected to Mother Nature. Your relationship with her determines how secure you feel and how well you know your true self. You can consciously choose to strengthen your relationship with your Mother. She is waiting for you to have an intimate conversation with her. Start by remembering what you love about her and then go and find her. In doing so, you’ll find yourself.

This was first published in the February 2014 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

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