Flex Your Mental Muscles and Connect With Mother Earth
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
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.
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.
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"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
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?
© 2017 Audrey Hunt