I’m in a rush, always, always in a rush. Between working, keeping up with friends, spending time with the family, squeezing in some exercise, eating, and oh, taking mandatory tea break number 312, I feel like I never ever stop! So when it comes to deciding how to spend my free time, the last thing I want to do is freeze my t*ts off by going outside.
Thanks to living in a country with schizophrenic seasons, every hope and plan I have usually gets dashed once I receive an icy-cold wind-slap. My body shivers and my face creases.
And I’ll abruptly shut my front door.
Ahh, that’s better.
But now that I’ve closed the door and turned back inside – contorting as the central heating slowly turns my skin from soft to dry and my contentment deflates into boredom – I start to realise that I desperately don’t want to stay inside. There’s nothing good to look at in here. Netflix can only entertain me for so long and these 4 walls will only serve to eventually give me cabin fever.
No – I must not waste my time by doing nothing.
No one’s life was ever made better by sitting and doing nothing.
Knowing that it’s Earth Month also gives me a bit of a kick up the arse because it reminds me how I really should make time and take advantage of the beautiful countryside I’m surrounded by, not shut myself away from it. However, being among the masses of people who work in front of a computer or end up cooped within bland cubicle walls, it can seem a pretty daunting task to muster up the strength to do this. Especially when we have to do it alone.
We work so hard and for so long that we start to forget what life is like outside of our little world. Longingly, we stare out of the window onto the concrete jungle and wonder what’s going on and what we’re missing out on. We drive to work in the dark, watch the sunrise while we load up our laptops and then we later watch the daylight draw like a curtain, all from the same swivel-chaired position. It’s just not right that we do this. Our brains will turn to mush if we do it for too long. And what’s the point in working to live if we never actually do that? Fear is the only real enemy here. Fear is stopping us from discovering what we love. By instilling scary thoughts of what could happen, inevitably, we make nothing happen.
“Truth be told, I’m not afraid of dying. I’m afraid of dying before first having lived.”
That phrase sits with me every day because, as much as I know it’s important to earn money and get things done, sacrificing our internal-happiness in place of work just seems downright crazy. Ignoring our innate need to explore our passions will only drag us down, and although it might be alright for now, in the long run, it catches up with us.
Stress is something we can all relate to, but it seems fairly unavoidable when our lives are structured this way. However, knowing that it can be alleviated from anything as small as sitting on a patch of grass in a city park to taking a long stroll through endless rolls of the hills is pretty incredible. 20 minutes is all our bodies and minds need to recharge. So before you think backpacking around the Amazon rainforest is the only answer, know that there are lots of other little things we can do to make ourselves feel a whole lot better.
I, for one, am a sucker for a sunset. I love the multi-coloured panorama it creates – watching on as secrets of the sky are tied up with pink and blue ribbons – it captivates me. And after a hard day or a never-ending week, this simple natural occurrence makes everything seem brighter. Life becomes more colourful again. My soul feels uncaged.
I feel free.
This is exactly why each and every one of us owes it to ourselves to be at one with nature. Even if you initially don’t think it’s “your thing” you’ll always find something in the outside world to lift your spirits.
Taking time out from the rush will restore your peace of mind. Realise you are not losing time by doing this. Stopping once in a while and enjoying the world around you is allowed. But more than that, being at one with nature will give you back a sense of freedom.
So whatever it is that you love, know that you’ll feel it between your fingers when they nestle the grass, listen for it within the beat of your every step and prepare to see it in all the picturesque beauty surrounding you.
If answers are what you wish to find, then let nature lead the way.