Let Nature be Your Therapist

It was a little more than a handful of years ago that we were talking to our plants...playing music for them...encouraging them to grow. Studies back then showed that plants responded to human voice and music, that happy plants produced abundantly. What that study didn't include was the benefit to us from interacting with and being around those happy plants. Simple little flowers peeking out of a vase lift the energy of the space they're in and coax a smile out of us. Indoor plants like Philodendron, Peace lilies and Spider plants clean the air of chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene.

It is only in the past 10 years that I have been able to grow orchids and violets, and have them bloom year after year.  I love them and they know it.  I compliment them on their beauty and I dust off their leaves so they can breathe properly.  Every once in a while, I will change the tablecloth they are sitting on...like changing the sheets!

In my modest garden I have a wonderful patch of mint that is now thriving after the rain.  It's fragrance surrounds us as we come in or leave the house.

They offer me visual and olfactory pleasure as I crouch down to pull the weeds that try to quietly infiltrate their camp.  I notice that I breathe more deeply and feel calmer as I wander from area to area, watering...picking fruit...admiring the blossoms...listening to the birds... and watching squirrels chase the ever elusive things they chase!

The dogwood is beginning to show off its creamy yellow buds with the promise that we'll find it is an exquisite addition to our yard.

It takes an act of Will to get us out of the house sometimes.  But we can't but be happy one we make it outdoors.  Train yourself to notice the little things on your walk or drive.

Our family home was surrounded by very tall pine trees. Mom said they had healing energy.  I think many old trees do.  After chemo one day, I wanted to be in a forest setting, so my boyfriend and I drove to a grove of tall trees, that included Redwoods, in the Berkeley hills and took a short walk.  It helped me relax, connect and feel 'larger' than what I was going through.

I think that is a key... to have some way to remind yourself that you are 'larger' than anything you experience.  When we identify ourselves with pain or hardship, we limit our ability to rise above it...letting it define who we are in that moment.

Allowing the grandeur of creation to remind us that this 'condition' is temporary and 'small' in the scheme of things is helpful.  Even if your energy is low, try to get outdoors, weather permitting.  A drive to a park or through hills will work if you can't take a walk.

I was born under the sign of Pisces, and love being around water. If you are lucky to live close to or within driving distance of a lake or river, pack a light snack, a blanket, and go!

We pay therapists to help relieve stress in our lives, when the most competent, compassionate and unerring therapist is just outside our door. The cost? Our willingness to join it.

~ Be Well.