In a recent interview, I was asked about one secret about me. I responded that I am just a big tree hugger at heart. The image that may come to mind is my arms embracing the tress lovingly. Though that might be a sweet sentiment, tree bark is not very snuggly.
What I truly love, is the opportunity to walk quietly and get grounded by simply sitting in nature, otherwise known as "Earthing". We are drawn to nature because we have felt the effects of a day at the beach, or the lazy picnic at the park. Even in bustling cities like Paris on a beautiful day, you will catch may Parisians grabbing their tiny patch of grass to lie in the sun during lunch or coffee.
The effects from that time on a patch of grass even in the city are earth's powerful electrons. These electrons that we can become disconnected from through daily life or driving and staying indoors, are the balance to the constant tech driven lifestyle we live. In an article from the US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health cites the many positive effects of Earthing with a list of studies on sleep, physiological impacts, and stress, being positively effected from earthing. So this is not just my “tree hugging hippiness” talking, but science.
When we were children we happily sat on the ground any time anywhere, but somehow as adults, we create an allergy to the idea of sitting on the ground. When I am grounded, I am delighted to observe the patterns of the bark of the trees, or the diversity of plant life around me, and study the various colors that are produced from an artists perspective. When I take time to get grounded (literally sitting on the ground), my anxiety levels drop, and I can begin to think more clearly. Without the time spent grounding, I wouldn’t have the creativity or energy to be able to run a business, let alone deal with the natural anxiety that comes from modern life. When I feel most overwhelmed is when I know it’s time to go to therapy - grabbing my favorite linen blanket and laying it over a soft patch of moss, then laying on the ground and doing nothing but listening, absorbing the healing energy of the earth’s electrons below me, and imagining the microscopic world busily moving below me.
So how does all of this connect to beauty? We all know the effects of stress on our lives. Toxic stress especially when it becomes too much, and we begin dealing with stress in un healthy ways such as overeating, drinking, and self destructive thinking. This can accumulate into an overwhelming mountain of things that begin to show in and on our body through tired sagging skin, dry hair, or a lethargic mental wellbeing. Taking the simple step of going outside and sitting on the ground for twenty minutes can be a highly effective way to recharge and literally release the negative accumulation of daily stress. It's so awesome something so simple, delightful, and free can be so effective.
Since I am totally enamored with nature right now as I sit on a deck over looking a river I leave you with a streaming consciousness -
Forest - it whispers to me. The trees toss their leaves in a teasing manner.
They know my desire - to gaze at their shape, read the patterns of their bark, understand the shape of their leaves.
Each one is different.
The roots of the river birch twist around the banks rocks, and gently lean to gaze at their reflection in the water.
The oak reaches up, then spreads it’s arms wide as if to catch each bird and drop of rain to feed it’s budding acorn buds.
The pine, so stiff and solid, yet it’s leaves ask so little. They know their destiny on the forest floor, but they are hardy and green through the winter months, and give us a taste and remembrance of spring’s green.
So I go into the forest and I sit. I answer to the whisper and I find a wiling rock, to hold my heart and wandering thoughts, while it remembers the days it was once just dust.
Go outside and sit.