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Nurturing Yourself With Nature

Written by Diane Baker

Between your job, spouse, friends, and, oh yeah, the gym, where does balance find itself in your life?  Take a hint from Mother Nature. 

How do you refill your well of inner resources when the demands of family, work and home are draining you dry? Who's nurturing the nurturer?

Keep an arrangement at your workplace to remind you of peaceful moments in nature: shells from the beach, a pine cone from a walk in the woods.
Check out your favorite tree on the way to work. Notice how the light changes with the lengthening and shortening days.
Put up a birdfeeder. If the birds don't come, place it in a better location and gradually move it to your special spot.
Try moon watching. When you keep track of the waxing and waning moon, you develop a bond to a grand natural cycle.
A plant in your workspace or fresh flowers bring nature right to you.
How about Mother Nature? Her soothing powers are so potent that after only moments of connection you'll feel renewed. The amount of time you spend hardly matters, what counts is letting yourself make the link.

Just pausing to watch a flock of birds as they pick out which tree to descend upon can clear your mind and help you get a grip on what's important.

Psychologist Allen Kanner explains why we can draw balance by connecting to nature: "Like every species, we evolved in balance with our local niche. Healthy nature is in balance, including us. Being part of nature, our pull to be in balance from nature is very old, very deep and exists on many levels, from the biological to the spiritual."

Eckhart Tolle in his book, "A New Earth," explains the emotional and spiritual benefits of being still with nature and living in the present. To see the webcast interview between Oprah and Tolle, click here.

Elizabeth Lee, a surgeon and mother of three, finds a still moment in her back yard where two birds are nesting. Each morning she spends a few minutes watching them feed their brood and listening to their chatter. Small, simple acts ensure that at least for a moment, you're in touch with nature.

Kanner suggests we avoid making these moments of retreat recreational or social, but rather, be alone and at rest. "Many times we keep moving and talking. One of the most powerful ways to benefit from the natural world is to simply be quiet and let yourself be still."

And before returning to your ordinary activities, say a quick thank you to nature. "When we give thanks, we're completing the circle," says Kanner. "By giving back thanks, we receive the benefit of full emotional satisfaction."

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