Flex Your Mental Muscles and Connect With Mother Earth

Updated on November 29, 2017
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She's a woman on a mission. Audrey Hunt donates her time helping others to discover their personal power through nature's lessons.

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My Introduction to Mother Earth

When I was a child, my father introduced me to the stars and planets. The dark, black canvas sprinkled with diamonds stretching endlessly above my head made me feel as though I could spread my wings and fly amidst the stars.

"Always respect nature and connect with the earth every day," my father lovingly said. This was my first introduction to Mother Earth. I immediately felt a powerful connection to my creator, my own significance, and life itself.

As I turned to nature I found endless inspiration and creativity surrounding me. I used this energy to make my piano music come alive. A lovely walk through fields of flowers taught me how to interpret the music of Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Flowers." I no longer just played notes on the piano. I began to capture the playful feeling of the field of flowers, the varieties of shapes and colors, and transposed this vision into my piano music. I could interpret the mood of each flower. The notes on the printed page began to take on a life of its own. The sound was magical.

I was learning how to flex my mental muscles as I connected with Mother Earth and all her beauty. These experiences taught me how to play piano with such expressiveness I became a professional pianist for cruise ships, hotels, venues, and musicals.

Today, I live in a magnificent forest where tourists visit year-round just to experience the peace of this divine environment.

Stimulate Your Brain by Spending More Time Outdoors

Spending time outdoors is important to our well-being.  It also makes us nicer people.
Spending time outdoors is important to our well-being. It also makes us nicer people. | Source

Maintain a Flexible Attitude for Healthy and Happy Living

Science is proving what we've always known intuitively: nature does good things to the human brain—it makes us healthier, happier, and smarter.

Nature teaches us that we must relax the death grip of logic and use our intuition which is more powerful. Many of the problems of life come from the mind within rather than the external world.

Flexing our mental muscles is healthy in the same way as flexing our physical muscles. We can maintain flexibility in our encounters and avoid becoming set in our ways, especially as we age. Being flexible also opens the door to more possibilities.

When we are in a state of inflexibility we are closed off to opportunities. Let go of fear, the obsession to be right, and resistance which bring on inflexibility. Keep your mind open to change and new ideas.

Nature teaches us to:

  • Let go of attachments.
  • Not take ourselves too seriously, which brings on stress and worry.
  • Adapt to new ideas and concepts.
  • Go with the flow.
  • Be tolerant.
  • Let go of rigidity.
  • Stay positive.

It is impossible to flex our mental muscles regularly when we are negative and inflexible. So, how do we become more receptive to the lessons Mother Earth can teach us? How is it possible to flex our mental muscles by connecting with nature?

"I get my ideas amid the freedom of nature, in the woods, on walks." —Beethoven

Ways to Connect With Mother Earth

I've provided the following daily checklist for ways to connect to Mother Earth and become more receptive to her teachings:

  • Allow your feet to kiss the earth. Feel your feet connecting to the ground. Walk gently absorbing the earth's energy with every step.
  • Wake up your awareness. Inhale gratitude for each flower, blade of grass, the trees, and painted skies. Notice the freedom of a small bird, the whiteness of the lily and the bubbling sound of a brook.
  • Dig into the dirt with your hands. Plant flowers or tend to a vegetable garden. Build a sand castle or gather a pile of autumn leaves noticing the texture and color of each leaf. Digging into the earth with your hands will ground you.
  • Hug a tree. I do this often. I live in a forest at the top of a California mountain where Oak and Pine trees surround each step I take. Experience the spiritual and physical energy and peace that awaits you as you give your love to the tree. Give thanks for its beauty, strength, and protection. Trees produce oxygen and remove carbon dioxide and contaminants from the air.
  • Connecting to nature involves all the physical senses. When is the last time you walked barefoot in the grass or in the sand at the ocean's shore?
  • Talk to Mother Nature. The plants are much like ourselves. They love to be talked to. Make this a daily habit. Even sing to nature. This is a powerful way to connect with Mother Earth.
  • Go for a walk. Hiking and walking trails offer a pleasant alternative for connecting with nature. Parks are another way to enjoy getting outside.
  • Create alone time with nature. When we're with others we tend to talk and become distracted. This is a time when we can focus and deepen our spiritual and intellectual relationship with nature.

Each summer you can find me playing in the sand and swimming in the ocean. St. George Island, Florida
Each summer you can find me playing in the sand and swimming in the ocean. St. George Island, Florida | Source

An Exercise to Help You Connect With Nature

Nature isn't just a collection of trees and rocks and animals. Nature is a presence unto herself, and you are part of it. The following exercise will help you learn to be more observant of nature:

  • Stop whatever you're doing.
  • Grab a pen and some paper.
  • Go to your garden. You can stay indoors if you like.
  • Close your eyes and clear your mind of all anxieties and problems.
  • Wait a few minutes until your mind is generally free of images.
  • When your mind is calm and clear, open your eyes and notice all that is physically present in your immediate world. Notice a sparrow's eye or head, the buds on a bare tree limb. Pay attention to the top of a coffee mug, the shape of a baby's toe, or the feel of fabric.
  • Record and list everything you observe and your impressions.

3 Herbs That May Charge up Your Brain

Herb
Brain Benefit
How to Use
Rosemary
Improves Speed and Accuracy
Sniff the aroma often
Perriwinkle and Ginseng
Improves Cognitive Function
Use as a tea or extract
Ginko Biloba
Regenertes Brain Cells and Improves Memory
Supplement or tea
Always check with your doctor before adding herbs and supplements to your diet. Side affects may occur as well as interference with some health problems.
Source

"This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn, and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls."—John Muir

Conclusion

Our three-pound brains get bored with too many indoor routines. Tasks such as studying, writing, reading, and sitting at the computer too long can make you brain dead. Even playing a musical instrument for hours on end can become boring.

When I was the pianist for the Nordstrom store in Northern California, I performed 4-6 hours straight with only a brief break now and then. I loved my job, but even so, after a few hours I became totally drained both physically and mentally. Even with all the busy activity surrounding my black grand piano I was so exhausted I barely noticed the thank you's from shoppers passing by.

As soon as I left the store and headed to my car, I began to summon enough energy for the drive home. Thank goodness I had discovered an alternate route which would keep me off the busy freeway. The new route took me through hills and valleys surrounded by trees and rolling hills.

As I began to concentrate on the landscape and it's unlimited beauty I began to feel revived. At one point I noticed a lonely tree standing near the road. I could relate to its feeling of loneliness. I suddenly had an urge to give the tree a hug. I pulled to the side of the road, got out of my car, and wrapped my arms around the tree.

Instantly, I felt a surge of energy. I gave thanks to my new friend for the very special gift.

When we take time to appreciate nature and take in the beautiful surroundings we feel rested and our mental performance improves. Our brains need the kind of stimulation only Mother Earth can supply in order to keep sharp.

Recognize that each person is free to create his or her own reality and his or her personal relationship with Mother Earth.

The sacredness of Mother Earth teaches us the futility of judging others who have not experienced the benefits of connecting with her. Allow yourself and Mother Earth to become one. Through this divine connection you will be flexing your mental muscles.

A Closing Poem of Gratitude

All who are one with nature
can achieve success in many forms

Our ideas come from the freedom and beauty of nature
A walk in the woods, the fire in a sunset

The fruitful intellect, the birth of the imagination
Inspired by the marriage of the soul to nature

The power of your imagination
Activated by magical colors, sound and movement.

Allow your words to arise thoughtfully
Inspired by the kiss of the wind

Enter Mother Earth and embrace her spirit
Her beauty and harmony will show you what is possible in your own life.

How Do You Connect With Nature?

See results

© 2017 Audrey Hunt

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    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 3 days ago

      Your hub was so personal and heart felt. The video fit wonderfully. As a young boy I would climb our tree in our back yard and sit up there and see the world a whole different way. Hugging the tree on windy days was one of my most favorite things to do. Even if I felt powerless against the wind the tree held strong. I haven't hugged a tree in years. I have to go now and hug a few trees in my yard. Thank you so much for sharing and caring.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 11 days ago from Houston, TX USA

      Meditation promotes coordination at three levels: physically, we begin to relax; mentally, our busied thoughts become quiet and focused; and spiritually, we get reenergized and are able to deal more lovingly and effectively with the people and events around us. By following a few simple steps, anyone can learn to meditate; even beginners may experience the calming effects of a few moments of purposeful silence.

      It is not musing, not daydreaming; but as ye find you bodies made up of the physical, mental, and spiritual, it is the attuning of the mental body and the physical body to its spiritual source. -- Edgar Cayce reading 281-41

    • wheelinallover profile image

      Dennis Thorgesen 11 days ago from Central United States

      As a child I spent more time outside in nature than indoors. As a young adult it was the same. While I did have to spend time in my office it wasn't my favorite place to be. Many times my office was a porch or deck.

      Then life changed for me. I was a shut in for a few years. There was no nature. It wasn't until my father realized what was happening to me that it changed. He made arrangements to have me moved to a mountain top surrounded by forest.

      Even though it took years, being in the forest did healing that I am sure would have never happened elsewhere. Freedom for me became horseback riding. On the horse I was once again able to become totally one with nature.

      I have never been a tree hugger. Being close to them and able to smell, touch, and experience what they give the world has always been spiritual.

      Those who were my writing mentors always told me write about what you know. Although what I write doesn't go into spirituality much it is there, in some of my hubs.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 2 weeks ago from Nashville Tn.

      Hi Eric

      A six mile hike certainly is impressive! I am doing three miles and I thought I was a rock star:) Do you find those inspiring thoughts for your sermons while hiking? Thanks so much for being here.

      Audrey

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 2 weeks ago from Nashville Tn.

      Mary

      How nice that you have a farm. And that fresh air through your open windows is so healthy. Sitting still, watch birds, admiring the open sky is refreshing and so good for our brain.

      Thank you my friend.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 2 weeks ago from Nashville Tn.

      Hi Linda

      We are "nature sisters'. I can picture you enjoying Mother Nature and all her many gifts. This speaks highly of your character and spirit.

      Thank you for your constant support through the years. I am grateful for you.

      Peace and joy -

      Audrey

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 2 weeks ago from Nashville Tn.

      Dear Maria

      You are the embodiment of all things admirable. Kudos to your lovely mother. I enjoy reading about her influence on your life in your marvelous book.

      And as for Mike...I'm thrilled to know I had a small hand in inspiring this very sweet and talented man.

      Much love and thank you.

      Audrey

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 2 weeks ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Audrey,

      Thank you for your sweet birthday message. It'd be wonderful to shadow each other... :)

      And to think you inspired Mike as well...that is 'music to my ears'...!

      Love you and thanks for the bedtime smiles, Maria

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 2 weeks ago from Nashville Tn.

      Dear Mike

      I'm on cloud nine! Your kind comments have lit me up like a Christmas Tree. My hope is always to inspire even one person. If I can do this - I'm a success. My mother was connected to flowers. She would talk to them. Pansies were among her favorites. She taught me how to observe their little faces. "Look closely and you will see" she would say to me. I can't wait to read your story...I love all your books but this next one will have special meaning to me.

      Hugs and Happiness

      Audrey

      Dear Maria

      Happy Birthday! You are a treat to the world and an asset to Hub Pages. I wish we lived close to each other. But maybe it's best that we don't because I would be shadowing you constantly. :) Have a magnificent day...I'm so thankful for you.

      Love

      Audrey

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 2 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Oh Audrey, What an inspiration. "The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Music" - oh wait, that's been done. You certainly bring a lot to your posts. I agree that we can become lazy when we stay indoors to often. Not that many trees around here, but plenty of flowers. Nature does recharge us. I think you have helped with a story that has been floating around in my head. Thank you

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 2 weeks ago from Nashville Tn.

      Dear Dora

      Thank you so much for taking time to read my hub. I appreciate your comments. Live in the moment.

      Audrey

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      We do well to heed your call to return to Nature and learn from her. You're right (so was your dad) about the benefits of connecting with Nature. Even reading your article about it gave me a refreshing feel.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 3 weeks ago from Jeffersonville PA

      A post from you is always a pleasure, dear Audrey.

      This is filled with wisdom and wonder - just like you.

      Hoping you had a peaceful and blessed Thanksgiving.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      There are some lovely ideas in this article, Audrey. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and suggestions. Like you, I enjoy exploring nature or sitting quietly with the natural world around me.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 3 weeks ago from Nashville Tn.

      Demas

      About your suggestion. Each bullet point is a continuation from "Nature teaches us to:" Therefore this line reads as "Nature teaches us not to take, etc." I appreciate your suggestions. This tells me that you have carefully read my hub and that you care about my doing a good job.

      I agree that we need seven real hugs a day. I'm not that fortunate...at least not for the time being. :) I lived on Kauai for many years where the custom is to hug each other upon greeting. I miss this so much. So I hug trees.

      Thank you my friend.

      Audrey

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 3 weeks ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Suggestion: In place of your bullet point "Not take ourselves too serious.which brings on stress and worry. Perhaps substitute "Let's not take ourselves too seriously and cause needless stress and worry."

      I enjoyed the thoughts and urgings. We all need seven hugs a day, the sincere and shared kind. Trees are many, but huggers are too few. Demas

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 3 weeks ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      What is it about hugging a tree that sounds so pale compared with hugging a person. Let the winds and breezes hug the trees. There are so many people who need hugs so much more. The trees are already rooted in Mother Nature. We need to root even more for each other.

      Good piece though and I enjoyed the read and the thoughts of hunting in the Maine woods, whether I was successful or just appreciating the enormous expanse of our complex natural environment.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 3 weeks ago from Brazil

      We are always outside on our farm. Plus the house is always open letting fresh air inside.

      I will often just be still and watch the birds, it is amazing how much better I feel after doing this.

      Excellent reminder, thank you.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Wonderfully done. I just can't get enough of nature. A good 6 mile hike and all other things are just a little bit more positive.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 weeks ago from london

      An invaluable piece about Mother nature and great bulleted tips for tapping in. I like how you have described her:

      'is a presence unto herself, and you are part of it.' Audrey Hunt

      A very wholesome and inspiring Hub. I envy your cute pic and where you live.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 3 weeks ago from Houston, TX USA

      This is a very good article and it is well written. "Mother Earth," to me is also our higher self.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      No wonder I love you!

      Peace and Love always, my friend!

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 3 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      We live in an old farmhouse tucked deep into the woods. I can't escape, nor would I want to. Even though I see them almost daily, when the deer come through it's always a thrill. Thank you for a beautiful article.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 3 weeks ago from United States

      Great work my friend. Many blessings to all. whonu

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 weeks ago from USA

      I echo Genna’s thoughts. I love nature and strive to stay connected, feeding the birds and squirrels and taking walks in a nearby state park. This is a lovely article.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 3 weeks ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Oh, Audrey, I just love this hub...it's where I "live." Ever since I was little girl, nature has been my friend, my companion, my "confessor," and my inspiration. It saddens me to see how humanity is becoming more removed from nature with each passing year. This inspiring article is a must read for everyone! Thank you.

    • Shernae Grey profile image

      Adrestia Chet 3 weeks ago from Bahamas

      Great stuff. So simple and eloquent. I’ve heard about hugging trees and with all I’ve come to know lately, I’m definitely willing to try it along with your other suggestions. Thank you for this article. Well done!

    • Shernae Grey profile image

      Adrestia Chet 3 weeks ago from Bahamas

      Great stuff. So simple and eloquent. I’ve heard about hugging trees and with all I’ve come to know lately, I’m definitely willing to try it along with your other suggestions. Thank you for this article. Well done!