Spring has arrived in the northern hemisphere, where I am. The trilliums and trout lilies are blooming. Some people are heading outside. The trails are sprinkled with hikers and each weekend the roads leading to cottage country are full. In the winter, it’s a different tone. It’s about getting from one indoor area to another as quick as possible. I call this “car to building” behavior.
In general, we are reluctant to go outside.
I hear things like:
- I don’t like the cold. Or, I don’t like the hot weather; the bugs; the rain; the snow, the pollen.
- I don’t have the clothes; the car; the equipment.
- I don’t have the opportunity; the time; the place.
Not everyone is reluctant to go outdoors. There are day hikers, sports enthusiast and dog walkers. But all this activity still has safe boundaries and a distinct end time. Then back indoors we go.
Is it fear or habit that keeps us indoors?
No matter the season, I see us seeking pristine and perfect conditions. As if this is the only way to enjoy a place, whether it’s indoors or outside.
Studies along with my own life experience show exposure to nature benefits our health and wellbeing. So increasing our expose would appear to be something we would want in our lives. Is getting more nature in our routines about removing obstacles? That seems easy enough. But I feel there is more to this. I dug a little deeper and here is what I begin to uncover.
Urban dwellers no longer have the knowledge and skills to survive outdoors, much less the capacity to feel comfortable in the wilderness. We don’t trust ourselves in that environment anymore. That translates into limited exposure and safe indoor locations.
What we believe informs our behavior.
If our collective belief is “I won’t survive outdoors” then imagine the decisions that have been made and will continue to be made from a place of disconnection and fear of life on this planet.
This belief that “safe” only exists indoors and that’s who we are as a people is a state on mind. We have become very skilled are creating shelter and harnessing resources to meet our needs. This disconnect from a relationship with the land, the plants, our natural environment is creating a vacuum in our lives. There are many people who are unaware of the impact it is having on their choice and decisions.
This is a powerful realization for me. What is the solution?
Reestablish a Nature Relationship
Get outside. Full stop. You don’t need to go far. Find a place near home or work that is convenient to your daily routine. Perhaps a park, conservation area or trail. Just sit and notice your surroundings. Release yourself from judgment and let your thoughts flow. Return often each week and throughout the year to experience the patterns and cycles of life.
Let this practice inform your life choices.
Periodically reflect and ask; What do I know about myself in this world? How do I feel when I’m outdoors? What is important about this experience?
Over time, allow your questions to shift to just being present and open yourself to the way the interconnectedness of life reveals itself to you. This is a great start to a lifelong relationship.
Imagine the impact you can have on your life, community and business with Nature as your support system!