How to live in alignment with nature
Do you ever think about how some mammals undergo a hibernation process annually? When winter comes, these mammals rest, restore and slow down.
I think they could be onto something.
The modern-day demands that we work harder every day, hustle, be continuously connected and aware of everything going on all the time. This year, I’ve decided to focus on living more in alignment with nature, taking rest periods and disconnecting when I need to (I know, shock horror!).
I’m not going to say that once we get the first hit of a chill, we should all quit our jobs, relocate to a cave and sleep for months on end (but some days that sounds pretty good). However, modern life’s current fast pace can’t be maintained and goes against nature’s intentions.
Once you get in touch with the cycles of nature and seasons of life, you can think more clearly, be more present and show up in ways that you never thought quite possible.
Here are some things that help me to align with nature. Please make sure you take them one at a time, stick with what resonates and leave the rest, as nature intended.
Tips to align yourself with nature
A morning routine
Sticking to a semi-regular morning routine has helped me set up my day in a calming state and check in with how I feel before going into whatever the day may bring. While I don’t have a strict morning routine, I like sleeping without my curtains fully closed to wake naturally with the sun. I then check in with how I’m feeling and feel about what I need, whether that’s savouring a warm cup of tea in bed, writing down how I’m feeling or taking a few deep breaths before I start the day. I make sure I get some early morning sun to help wake my body and brain up for the day too.
A regular meditation practice
Unfortunately, our schedule-oriented world has made us believe we’re meant to be busy every second of every day. If that’s you, add meditation into your routine. After introducing Vedic meditation into my life a couple of months ago, I can honestly say it’s made a world of difference to my life. It’s free and is one of the most natural things a human can do — experience a feeling of calm and peace. Meditation, for me, has helped me feel closer to nature on a fundamental level and returns me to a balanced state.
Filling my home with plants
Having greenery around the house helps you feel more aligned with nature and clears the air. If you own cats or dogs, make sure to avoid peace lily and florist’s chrysanthemum as they can be toxic to animals.
Gardening helps me to feel grounded and connected. Gardening may be hard work, but it’s incredibly therapeutic, puts me in touch with nature and gives me a greater appreciation of my food. It’s an activity that helps me forget about time and makes me focus on tending to what’s right in front of me.
You know how kids run around without shoes on in the mud? They may be on to something. Feeling the dirt, sand or grass between your toes (sans shoes) helps you feel the earth’s vibration and can even hit incidental acupuncture points!
Follow the seasons
I believe that getting in touch with the seasons can teach us how to understand our energy and needs. It may look a little like this for you:
- Summer: This is the season to be outside, socialise and spend time in nature. It’s also the time for fresh foods, lighter meals and gardening.
- Autumn: Autumn tends to cool down, and nature slows down too, so wind down a little.
- Winter: It’s time to retreat, slow down and feel a bit more snuggly. Candles, hot baths and warming foods are just some of the joys winter can bring.
- Spring: Spring brings new beginnings, renewed energy and forward momentum. It’s opportune to start a new hobby, get your hands dirty with gardening and go on adventures.
Spending time with animals
Spending time with my dog and cat has put me in touch with cycles and seasons more than anything else. Watching nature documentaries can help us gain a clearer understanding of these fundamental components of life.
It’s never been easier to buy food that’s out of season. However, there are reasons vitamin C-rich oranges grow in winter and vitamin A-rich berries grow in summer. I find visiting farmers’ markets for everything I can’t grow at home helps put me in touch with seasons.
Plant-based seasonal recipes!
Cheesy Turmeric Cauliflower
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
- Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 small head cauliflower, chopped into florets
- Small handful coriander leaves, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, turmeric, yeast
- flakes, salt and pepper. Place cauliflower in and
- mix until coated.
- Lay the cauliflower on
- the prepared baking tray.
- Bake for 20–30 mins, until tender.
- Set aside to cool.
Nutty Sweet Roasted Pumpkin
- 1 small pumpkin, cut into half moon shapes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- Good pinch sea salt
- Handful mixed nuts & seeds
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and place pumpkin slices on a baking sheet.
- Drizzle with olive oil, making sure you also cover the back of the pumpkin.
- Sprinkle with cumin, cinnamon and coconut sugar. Season to taste. Roast for 20–30 mins or until crispy.
- Check halfway through cooking. Five minutes before it’s cooked, sprinkle over the mixed nuts and seeds to roast. Remove from oven. Serve with garlic tahini drizzle (recipe to the underneath).
Garlic Tahini Drizzle
- 1 garlic clove, crushed Celtic sea salt, to taste
- 70g tahini
- 3–4 tbsp fresh lemon juice or more to taste
- 2–3 tbsp water
- Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes
- Place the garlic and a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle and mash to a purée.
- Transfer to a bowl and whisk in the tahini.
- Add the lemon juice and a little bit of the water, whisking continuously, adding a little more water each time until the sauce reaches the consistency of thick cream (or runny yoghurt).
- Taste and adjust seasoning.
Lee Holmes runs Supercharged Food and recently released her book Supercharge Your Life.
Visit her blog at superchargedfood.com for cooking inspiration, recipes and tips.