Looking to Nature

Have you ever been in a gorgeous place, trying to relax, but can't stop your mind from racing? This happens to me a lot. For instance, I was in the park last week trying to read and enjoy the springtime in Buenos Aires. I felt at such peace on this lazy Sunday, yet somehow I could not slow down my mind to concentrate on my book. In these instances, I usually use my mantra of "PAUSE, BREATHE, BECOME AWARE, REFLECT and ACT" in order to gain control. Connecting with my breathe usually helps me slow down and center myself; however, in this instance, I was not able to gain control. So, I used another tool my mother had taught me. She taught me to direct my attention on something living in nature—be it a piece of grass, a leaf, flowers, or a tree. Spending energy on something living in nature helps to slow down, enter into the present moment and become aware of your surroundings.

While I lay in the park, I focused my energy on a gorgeous tree that stood in front of me. I told myself not just to look at the tree but to slow my mind down and focus on the shape of the leaves, the curves of the bark, and the length of the branches. Spending my energy gazing at every curve helped me slow down. It helped me reconnect with myself and be in the present. Taking that pause is important since it helps you appreciate where and who you are. It helps you to appreciate the beauty and simplicity of the world while you gain control of your thoughts and behaviors.

We must let the beauty and natural discourse of nature influence our lives. For instance, nature demonstrates how we should maintain composure and tranquility. Everything in nature flows to the natural rhythm of life instead of fighting against the currents as some of us humans do. We need to create an image and sense of nature within us so we may stand strong and tall likes trees and mountains while laying still and reflective like lakes and ponds. Always staying peaceful, open, and poised as the natural current of life continues to flow.

Suggestions: The next time you feel your monkey-mind jumping around, try to PAUSE, BREATHE, BECOME AWARE, REFLECT and ACT. Get control of your breath and ACT by directing your energy on a flower, tree, piece of grass or even a piece of fruit! Anything green and living that is in front of you. Spend some time studying that piece of nature and notice its size, texture, color, shape and maybe even smell. Make a detailed sketch of the object in your mind so you can slow down to appreciate its beauty. When you are finished, notice how much more centered and strong you feel. Understand that you will have a deeper appreciation for not only your own mind and body but also for the living world that surrounds you.