Nature as a partner in life – Food Pharmacy

Helena Önneby

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Nature as a partner in life

Summer is here and with it nature is in full bloom and lush. Everything is so beautiful, and the wildlife is busier than ever. As are many of us. Everything needs to be ready by midsummer, as if there is no after. And if you’re in the middle of the pre-holiday heat right now, this might feel a little provocative, but I still want to urge you to pause and get some support from nature.

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

Lao Tzu

We long for this time all winter, but it’s still easy to run past it. Now, here it is, are you? I don’t call for deleting everything on the agenda and lying on the grass for days on end, rather to include nature in our lives and take help from her to balance.

Here are some prescriptions for you who want to try:

Stop and smell a flower. Empty the lungs of air, then inhale through the nose, through the flower and fill your whole being with floral scent. Close your eyes and be curious about how it feels. Repeat 3-5 breaths. Time required: 30 seconds.

Put your feet in the ground. Take off your shoes and socks, let your feet land on the ground. Feel the contact with the surface. Take a few slow steps and let the whole foot “roll” on the ground, starting with the heel, then the hollow foot, the whole sole of the foot and the toes, one by one. Note temperature, humidity, soft / hard, still or moving. Breathe. Time required 60-90 seconds.

Get in touch with a tree. Walk to a nearby tree that “calls” on you. Put one hand on the trunk. Follow the trunk with your eyes up to the treetop and the sky. Move closer if you want. You can either choose to embrace the tree or turn around and lean your spine against it. Feel how stable and grounded the tree stands, at the same time as it sways up in the treetop. Close your eyes and “feel” the tree. Is there something it wants to tell you? Time required: 2 minutes.

Hang out with the wind. Whether it’s stormy or completely calm, note the air around you. Maybe the wind against the skin or just the temperature. Note how it moves and changes and how it affects you and your body. Look up at the sky and see if the clouds are moving or if it is still. Note what is moving in and around you. You do not have to change anything, just be with what is. Time required: 1 minute.

Balance is not something we achieve and “are in”. To me, it’s a verb, it’s something we do, as in balancing. Nothing is perfect but we can make small choices every day and every hour, to remind ourselves of where life is, here, and to help ourselves get back here. To the moment. To the presence. To what is true right now. And in that, nature is a fantastic reminder, because she is only ever here. Always present, always changing. Just as we can be if we choose.

So, no matter what your life situation looks like right now, nature is always here for you, as a health partner if you want. It may sound strange, but really, it’s the most natural thing in the world, because we are also animals, a part of nature. It’s just something that many of us have forgotten, lost, in the modern lifestyle we have created. But still she stays there, always. Note, feel, let her hold you when it storms in your head and note what’s true, here, and now.

If nature could be your partner in everyday life, what would be different then?



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