Nature, is the second topic covered in the blog series; The 9 Environments of You

In today’s world it’s easy for us to forget we’re part of nature. As a species, by virtue of intelligence, determination, and opposable thumbs we’ve managed to overcome myriad natural obstacles to lead lives of comfort and convenience. While other species fight and scrabble to sustain themselves, we’re perched atop the food chain so securely many of us take our position for granted. All the ease and comfort we’ve carved out for ourselves makes it easy to forget we’re still part of nature.

This forgetting can manifest itself in a tension or discomfort that, like our connection to nature, lurks just beneath the surface of our consciousness. At its heart it is a denial of reality, and living in that type of denial prevents us from being true to ourselves and bringing our best self to any given situation. This is one of the many reasons we need to maintain a conscious connection to nature.

As with any of the other nine areas of you, each of us has a different level of need when it comes to making and maintaining a connection to nature. Some are avid outdoors people, the type who might climb mountains for their vacation, or spend a long weekend kayaking and camping on a river. Others are regular hikers who frequently spend a Saturday hiking in the woods. And some of us have less expansive needs and find it sufficient to take a walk on the beach or in a park on a regular basis, or keep a pet or some plants at home.

While keeping pets or cultivating plants might seem like an insignificant effort to create and maintain a connection to nature, for busy urban people it’s a lot more efficient than climbing mountains or rafting rivers. Another advantage is with pets and plants, we have daily contact and provide daily care, and we engage in the cycle of life, which helps us maintain a healthy perspective on our everyday worries and concerns.

Most of us live in a very artificial world, where we easily elude or shield ourselves from the forces of nature. But the reality is we’re a part of nature and maintaining an awareness of that is a huge asset, even if most of our focus on a daily basis is on successfully navigating our artificial world.