“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately,” said the often-quoted Henry David Thoreau, meditating on the beauty and soul-restoring power of the environment at Walden Pond. As our work and home lives grow increasingly saturated with stress and material goods, it can be difficult to remember just what “living deliberately” means. If you are feeling disconnected, dazed, or out-of-touch one of the best things you can do to bring deliberateness – both mental and spiritual – back into your life is try to reconnect with the natural world around you.
Move Your Body
Coming back to yourself requires you to re-familiarize yourself with your body. You can exercise in a gym, of course, but it doesn’t have the same effect as exploring a place you’ve never seen before or even old, familiar hiking paths. When you take a walk through the woods, over rolling hills, or beside a stream, you open yourself up to the ecosystem around you.
Your mind has been proven to respond positively to the sun, wind, and land beneath you when you go on these little adventures. There’s more benefit to a walk, then, than a little bit of exercise. You’ll come away from a day spent in the wilderness feeling more at peace in your own skin.
Disconnect to Reconnect
It’s difficult to advise that you leave your phone at home when you head out on an adventure, these days. However, stepping away from the computer is essential if you want to re-discover your inner balance. The constant barrage of information makes it difficult to focus. When you return to the wilderness, you can focus in on all of the little things that you wouldn’t have noticed if you’d been looking at your phone: squirrels in the trees, clover beneath your feet, and the pleasant brush of wind against your skin. It’s always easier to find peace in that quiet.
Recover From Burnout
Returning to the wilderness – even for just 90 minutes out of the week – can also prevent you from succumbing to emotional and spiritual exhaustion. Because the world demands so much of you, it’s easy to get caught up the hustle and bustle. That’s why it’s good to get away from the stress of the urban. Even as you retreat to the wilderness, there are places that have been established as safe havens where you can find restoration. Take advantage of them and work to find your inner peace again with the help of a like-minded community and spiritual guides.
Living deliberately requires deliberate self-care. Going back to the wilderness, as suggested by Thoreau, is one of the best ways to reconnect with yourself and rejuvenate when the rest of the world has hollowed you out. So close your eyes, feel the sun on your face, and let go. The wild can carry you for a little while.