Practising mindfulness in nature provides the perfect backdrop for slowing down and reconnecting with yourself.
How do we find space where there seems to be none? How do we find calm in the chaos? Perhaps it is less about searching for the perfect conditions and making the most of the moments we have. Nature provides the perfect backdrop for slowing down and reconnecting with your true self.
To practise mindfulness in nature, take the time to find the right surrounding. For some, that might be an earlymorning walk on a deserted beach. For others, a hike in a rainforest may call you to open up. Nature invites us to let go of the projection of busyness — to take the armour off and look at life holistically. Nature opens us up. Mindfulness involves connecting the body and mind to the present moment. As a practice, mindfulness trains our attention and awareness to be more present, open and equanimous. Mindfulness, most importantly, teaches us to be with the moment — how it is — not how we hoped or would like it to be.
Self-reflection invites you to meet yourself where you are right now. It is a catalyst for identifying strengths, areas of growth and change. It’s equally useful in discovering attachments, blind spots and stories/beliefs that are no longer serving you.
Mindfulness in nature
Find a place in nature to practise mindfulness in nature. Ideally it is a reasonably quiet place and has a walking track of at least 90 minutes. Leave your phone in the car, or at the very least in your bag or pocket on aeroplane mode. Pack a pad and pen for self-reflection. Remember to pack sufficient food and drink for your practice.
Grounding practice (10 minutes)
Grounding is the gateway to going within — holding space and centring you within the moment. Begin by walking; feel the body as you walk, feel the earth beneath your feet. Bring your full attention to the sounds, smells and sights as they come and go.
Grounding reflection question (10 minutes)
Where in your life do you need grounding right now? This question is about opening up to where you may be feeling unstable, out of balance or lacking cohesion.
Curiosity practice (10 minutes)
As you continue your walk, become curious. Take the time to pick up rocks, leaves, sand and/or branches. Look up at the trees or horizon with awe and wonder. Ten minutes for these questions may not be long enough to get clarity to action, but it will provide you with a beginning. If time permits, walk a little longer or investigate the self-reflection questions a little deeper. Take your time getting back to the car and give yourself a big thank you and well done for taking the time and making life work for you.
Curiosity reflection question (10 minute)
If you had the energy, courage and openness to fail, what is possible for you in the coming three, six, even 12 months? This question comes from the belief that we have everything we need and that everything is within us.
Walking reflection question (10 minutes)
What are you moving away from and what are you moving towards? These questions invite you to look at areas of your life that are changing and needing growth or where there may be attachments. Try exploring and opening up to the relationships in your life, your behaviours and even the environments you’re in.
Walking practice (10 minutes)
Mindful walking is one of the oldest and most profound practices in traditional mindfulness teachings. Begin by bringing your full attention to each step, feel the connection of each foot hitting the ground. Bring your attention to the feeling of each step, in each moment. (If you’re on the beach or somewhere you can go bare feet, please take off your shoes.)
Words LUKE McLEAN
Want to learn more about being grounded? Visit our grounded archive page.