There's just something about being outside, I mean really outside, away from crowds and man-made things, that is hard to pin point. It's best described as something that eases the mind, awakens the soul, and refreshes the body. In other words, it does a lot of good in a lot of ways. Maybe it's the fresh, crisp air, or the untrampled, somewhat unexplored ground beneath one's feet. Maybe it's the views that are unlike anything ever made by man. Maybe it's the sounds, or lack thereof, or the wildlife that is just as curious about you as you are of it. Maybe it's the smells - the pine needles, the wild flowers, the sweet grasses, the dry dirt... Maybe it's the sense of solitude, or self-sufficiency or a necessity for survival - some primitive instinct that begins to emerge when one is far from civilization.
Whatever it is, it's something that I like and something that I genuinely believe is a good something. It's not always realistic to get outside - really outside - all that often. With our fast paced, packed schedules and obligations it can be a challenge to get out into nature even one weekend a month.
So I've set out to try to pinpoint some ways in which we can try to capture that something and infuse it into our daily lives. A feeble attempt to bring a little of that certain something about the outdoors home to tie us over and stimulate the senses until our next grand adventure when life allows us a chunk of time in which to get lost in nature.
1. Sight: The outdoors are full of beautiful, pure, natural sights and breathtaking views.
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2. Sound: The sound of the wind rustling through the grass and rustling through the trees. The sound of birds chirping and a stream gurgling...the sound of silence.
Try this! Leave your windows open and let the fresh air and the breeze in. Find a nice Pandora station that plays nature sounds.
3. Smell: In the outdoors your nose is met with natural scents of wild foliage and places untouched by man. They are pure and simple and interesting.
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4. Mind and Soul: Outside, you can unplug and slow things down. There's no rush and there's too much to do, see, smell, and hear to even think about updating your Twitter. It's just you, your thoughts, and your senses.
Try this! Unplug for a bit. Stow away your electronics for a night or a weekend. Take time to just think and to be aware of your surroundings and engage your senses. Take some of the time that you would normally spend on your phone or computer and instead try meditating. Or do something to care for yourself, such as a nice relaxing bath or a yoga class or reading a book you've been meaning to get to. Capture some of that slow-paced, quiet, reflection that being outside gives you.
When I'm outside I feel relaxed, happy, curious, and in awe. I think those are good things to feel. So my goal is to try to mimic what I feel when I'm outside in my daily life, even when I'm stuck inside.