I have been very fortunate in my life to grow up in an area where I can experience all that nature has to offer. I have so many incredible memories from my childhood of playing in the beautiful outdoors of South Carolina. My family owns several acres of land where as a child I explored through the woods, rode horses along trails, and made old-fashioned forts with my friends. Looking back on my childhood, I feel extremely blessed to have grown up being able to explore the outdoors. Throughout this time in my life I wasn’t aware of how connected I was to the beauty in nature.
Through my reflection I have discovered how important it is to make a connection to the natural world. Being able to realize and appreciate nature’s existence helps with personal growth and development. In today’s society, people are constantly concerned about what people think about them, how busy their lives are, and money, work, and school, among other things. When you can release your worry about all of these circumstances and unplug from the crazy of the world, you can truly appreciate nature’s offerings.
Finding a good place surrounded by nature, sitting down, and relaxing is important to me because it allows me to “unplug.” I am lucky to live in a neighborhood on the Saluda River with beautiful walking trails and paths in the woods that are surrounded by nothing but trees and water. For this exercise I left my phone inside, went to the walking trail, and sat on a bench for about 10 minutes just to reflect on the beauty around me. When I sat down with my intentions on nature, I had many thoughts and feelings. I heard the sound of the river flowing, chirping of birds and crickets, and the shuffling of others on the path. I saw the sun gleaming through the trees, squirrels running up and down, and I smelled the crisp air. Sitting still with my focus on nature and taking deep breaths of fresh air allowed all of the thoughts in my brain to relax. At that moment in time, I was one with nature.
In this day and age children are consumed of technology and they are not getting the outdoor experiences like older generations have. If children did this exercise daily this would help them in being more socially interactive. I encourage everyone to take 5-10 minutes a day to go outside and appreciate the natural world. Sitting in peace and quiet really does help with personal growth and development no matter what age you are.
Thank you and enjoy the beautiful world we live in!