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Unwinding in Nature

Awesome sunset just after setting up camp.

With the hectic whirlwind of the holiday season upon us, it is important to take time to slow down and relax. In order to facilitate this, and enjoy some quality time together, several friends and I decided to go on a camping trip over the weekend. While choosing to undertake a camping trip in mid December meant for a cold trip, a great time was had by all, and it was a wonderful time for camaraderie, reflection, and relaxation.

During most of the year, and especially during the holidays, most of us simply buzz from one project to the next, much like a busy worker bee, and never take any time to unplug and reflect. I know that lately I have been flustered and out-of-touch because I have been trying to get caught up at work so that I can cross off many of the legal cases and projects that I have working on prior to the new year, while trying to plan holiday gatherings, and finish holiday shopping, in addition to editing chapters for my book, and writing content for this blog. Therefore, a weekend away from the rat race in order to unplug and unwind is just what i needed, and is probably a remedy that many of us could use.

Campsite prior to setting up camp.

Nature provides a wonderful venue to unplug and “simply be”, because it prevents you from being plugged into the artificial environment, composed of television, radio’s, cellphones, computers, etc., that surround most of us during each minute of our waking hours. Spending time in nature allows us to unplug from this artificial environment, which allows us to really live in the now, and enjoy the mystery and beauty that is life.

Enjoying nature through camping, outdoor activities, or even quietly sitting in a park, not only helps us unwind from our technology-filled world, but it also seems to harken us back to a simpler time and way of life. I know that when I camp, I love to lose myself in the hypnotic effect of the campfire flames, which are set to the soundtrack of the crackling wood and night life. I also love to get lost in a beautiful starlit sky, which really instills not only a sense of awe and wonderment, but also helps to reinforce the fundamental questions of life regarding “who am I?” and “why am I here?”. This provides a wonderful time for reflection, especially since each star, is not only a point of light in our night sky, but it is a sun in a far off galaxy, many of which contain planets and untold mysteries. While the ancients probably did not possess the same understanding of astronomy that we do today, it is little wonder why they devoted so much time studying and charting the heavens for understanding and insight into the mystery of God.

My campsite setup, and a small fire started.

Spending some time in nature can really help to not only provide relaxation, but can also help you to put the perceived problems and issues of life into perspective. While we are engaged in the rat race of everyday life, it is easy to see problems and issues as pervasive and all encompassing, because we are surrounded by the trappings of the material world which is the cause for many of the issues and problems that lead to stress and discontentment. Therefore, by temporarily leaving the material world behind, it is easier to really evaluate problems and issues clearly, and from a detached perspective, which often provides astounding insights.

For the above reasons, I encourage everyone to enjoy spending time in nature. Nature not only provides relaxation and clarity, but it connects us with the beautiful universe that surrounds us, which is so full of mystery and beauty.

We had more of a bonfire, rather than a simple “camp fire” 😉

Let us first be as simple and well as Nature ourselves, dispel the clouds which hang over our brows, and take up a little life into our pores.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden Pond

Practical Tip: Try to make time to get out into nature, whether it be a full-blown camping trip, a weekend getaway, a hike, a walk, or a trip to park. Getting back to nature will help you get back to the person you are meant to be, which is not meant to be disconnected from nature and the world around you.
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Also please check out my book, “The Path: Using the Religions of the World as a Guide to Personal and Spiritual Development.” (Click on the book cover to view on Amazon.com)

  1. December 20, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    I found a footpath that runs along a stream near my office. I’ve been walking it at lunch 3 days a week for almost a year. Until I started these daily walks I only got into the woods a couple of times a year. Time outdoors helps clarify my thinking and brings my life into better balance. Every little bit helps.

    • December 20, 2011 at 3:59 PM

      Wonderful! I used to live near a heavily wooded park, and my wife and I would go on long walks through it. We no longer live near the park, but I still love just take walks through parks and wooded areas as often as I can. Thank you for your comments!

  2. December 20, 2011 at 11:02 PM

    I love to walk in nature. I also love the soothing effects that water has for me. I love to sit by running water, listen to the sounds of nature, and just be.

  3. iamnotshe
    December 21, 2011 at 7:26 AM

    Nature and animals provide me with great joy; simple love. Thanks for sharing some Root Peace. mel

  4. December 21, 2011 at 1:47 PM

    Nothing is quite as peaceful and healing as a retreat into the wilderness. Thanks for the invitation to take time out to rejuvenate in nature’s all-natural spa!!

  5. April 1, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    So true… So restorative! Great posts here:)

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