Together in Nature
Hello and Happy Tuesday! We hope that you’re settling into a great quaran-routine. These are indeed strange times and the situation stills seems to be escalating rather than showing any signs of a return to “normal.” We continue to focus on only what we can control and the opportunities that we have available right now. But before we jump into that, here are a few things that might interest you:
The most important thing we can do right now is to invest this time and grow from it. To support you in that, we are offering the 30x30 Challenge for only $1. Our hope is that you will get friends to join and commit to seizing the opportunity in front of you. The offer lasts through April 17 with the promo code: CORONA
Consider joining the private group and the Pillar Experience calendar. This month we are focused on a daily skill block and craft - a perfect fit for the time at home. As a bonus, all members have access to the 30x30 Challenge and all other courses.
ONE FROM THE AGES
Polar explorer and Nobel Prize Winner, Fridtjof Nansen on a starry night:
“[a starry night] is the truest friend in life, when you’ve first become acquainted; it is ever there, it gives ever peace, ever reminds you that your restlessness, your doubt, your pains are passing trivialities. The universe is and will remain unshaken. Our opinions, our struggles, our sufferings are not so important and unique, when all is said and done.”
ONE FROM TODAY
Professor, author, and social psychologist, Jonathon Haidt on awe and nature:
“Awe acts like a kind of reset button: it makes people forget themselves and their petty concerns. Awe opens people to new possibilities, values, and directions in life…People describe nature in spiritual terms—as both Emerson and Darwin did—precisely because nature can trigger the hive switch and shut down the self, making you feel that you are simply a part of a whole.”
Source: The Righteous Mind by Jonathon Haidt
ONE FROM US
Most of us are in some form of state-mandated or heavily-suggested form of “shelter in place” or self-quarantine. One of our few options to leave home is to exercise and access natural places. You might live near some incredible hikes and beaches, or you may have access to only local walking trails or public parks. No matter what you have available, you need to go outside now more than ever.
Humans need a connection to the natural world. I won’t give you a cliche description of feeling more “grounded” and I won’t even go down the scientific rabbit hole showing that time in nature improves sleep, reduces stress and anxiety, reduces crimes rates, improves healing times, and brings on myriad other cognitive, physical, emotional and societal benefits. It is not an exaggeration to say that nature is therapy.
To call nature a therapy actually does it a disservice. Rather than view it as a means to simply treat the stress and ailments of “normal” life, a connection to nature is the true human normal. All of those measurable benefits might be symptoms of a much grander effect. Nature gives us a sense of awe. We feel small in relation to the vastness of the world around us. Our problems and daily stressors seem petty and insignificant in contrast. We feel that we are at the feet of God, in the presence of the divine, or simply standing before a realm whose size and power form a level of grandeur far beyond our capacity to comprehend. As the German philosopher, Martin Heidegger puts it: “The world disappears when you go into it.” We lose our perception that we are separate or exalted from the rest of the world and are reminded that we are a tiny piece of a much larger whole.
These are feelings and ways of being that we need in good times and bad. When all aspects of our lives feel colored by the growing global pandemic, we need “nature therapy” more than ever. As luck would have it, at least at the time of this writing, natural places are one of our last remaining freedoms. Even if this opportunity closes, we can all still sit at our porches, balconies, backyards, or windows to take in the night sky.
This is also a perfect family outing and a way to help your kids develop a love for the natural world.
Happy shinrin-yoku! Until next week
PS - Here a few links from us and around the web that might interest you:
The latest IHD article: Why Are We Learning Any of This Anyway?
Creating Your Own AWEsome Rite of Passage in the Modern World
ChildrenInNature.org - Check out the directory of outdoor opportunities in your area.
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Membership also gets you access to the Pillar Experience Calendar, the 30x30 Challenge, and all other IHD courses.
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