I believe that this earth was created by a loving and joyous God who wants us, his ultimate creation of joy, to be able to enjoy our experience here; to find joy in nature. He made it beautiful no matter where you are. All you have to do is take the time to step out and notice. As you do so, you will feel His love and caring for you, and you will learn what you are meant to know about yourself, and your place and purpose here on this earth.
Plus, your body needs to spend time outside:
- While all exercise boosts endorphins, the natural body chemicals that elicit sensations of pleasure, exercising outdoors can improve self-esteem and reduce feelings of depression, anger, and tension.
- Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.
- Further, sunshine is the primary source of vitamin D for most of us; vitamin D deficiency has been linked to osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, high blood pressure, and poor pregnancy outcomes.
Beyond these very practical reasons for spending more time outside in nature, there are what we might call spiritual motivations for heading out of doors.
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
– Lao Tzu
From my book, The ABCs of Joyful Living: We can learn some valuable lessons from nature. Take the sun for example. It rises and sets, warms and comforts and creates some of the most powerful and beautiful colors in the sky. So, like the sun, we can bring warmth and comfort to those in need and receive the warmth and comfort of others. We can welcome and be grateful for all that comes into and goes from our lives, all the people we connect with, all the challenges and adventures we experience and witness, each one leaving their mark and bringing beauty and power to our lives.
As the rain washes and cools things down, so we can let troubles and problems wash over us and learn to cool our tempers. Winds can blow fierce and hard and often leave destruction in their wake. But afterward, there is calm. When things get hard and stressful, and our life seems to be blowing out of control, we can find peace in the storm, knowing there will come a time of calm and rest.
Like the trees that stand firm and strong, despite the winds and rains that blow and beat upon them, so we can be valiant, strong and true in being who we are, and not giving in and cave to the pressures and pursuits of the world. And as oceans guide and protect the life that lives deep within them, so we can be protectors of our souls and learn to follow its guidance on the pathway of our lives.
Lessons Learned from Nature
When was the last time you saw a flower rush to grow up? Have you ever seen a fish get angry at the school for the traffic jam they create in its way to another spot in the ocean? Did you ever see a tree give up and stop growing because it thought another tree had better leaves or cooler bark?
Nature simply does what it does and is what it is. It accepts itself for what it is, and we can all learn from that.
There is something amazing and peaceful about being in nature. No matter where or what climate you are in, you can connect with your true source, and feel great power and love in a way that calms, teaches, and inspires.
Unlike nature’s power to grow and expand, I have limits to what I can share in a blog post. However, I have a great deal more space in my book to share my thoughts on how and why you can and should find joy in nature. If you’re curious about those, please pick up a copy of The ABCs of Joyful Living, and let me know how the steps I outline in it have helped you experience more joy.