Updated: Oct 20
From my point of view, connection to nature and community are foundational to health and wellbeing. What does it mean to be healthy, after all? Of course, a healthy diet and exercise are essential to preserve our physical health and prevent illness, but they only go so far in terms of well-being. Mental, emotional, and spiritual health are just as important as physical health. While we may all agree on the importance of the first two, spiritual health is often overlooked or misunderstood, but I believe it is the most essential component of our overall well-being.
"All ancient healing traditions recognized that the spiritual and physical aspects of human beings are inextricably linked. They understood that illness is not just a physical problem, but also a spiritual one. To heal the body, one must also heal the spirit." - Deepak Chopra
"The Tao is the way of nature. It is the way of the universe. It is the way of our bodies. When we live in harmony with the Tao, we are healthy. When we live out of harmony with the Tao, we are sick." - Lieh Tzu
The next time you go outside, take a deep breath, look at the trees and remember that you are in a relationship with them. The oxygen in the air that allows us to live is provided by plant life. Every breath taken can be a reminder of this truth which is so incredibly profound and yet so easily forgotten. This connection with nature is literally our lifeline and it deserves to be revered and protected. We belong on this planet. It is so important to remember and feel our belonging because it elicits the appropriate sense of our responsibility for the earth and all life on it.
When we fully acknowledge the sacred truth that there is an intelligent force that provides us and all beings with the opportunity to live we are reminded of what a precious gift life is. Having this perspective to come back to day by day and moment by moment can be profoundly healing to our minds, bodies and spirits. Our spiritual connection to something larger than ourselves grounds us in truth, humility, gratitude and the present moment.
Being an herbalist keeps me close to this truth. The plant meditation segment of The Herbalist’s Collaborative is designed for us to connect with plants and deepen our relationship with our Materia Medica. We intimately explore the plants using our senses, intuition and direct perception. This practice allows us to learn about plants intuitively while strengthening our sense of taste and familiarizing ourselves with the physiological effects of the five flavors. We continue to work with the plant throughout the month through medicine making, journaling, drawing, meditation and any other way that inspires us to connect with it. It is such an honor to provide and hold space for herbalist’s to cultivate their own relationship and understanding of plant medicines.
"The greatest medicine is the natural healing force within us. We only need to stay out of its way." - Hippocrates
I have witnessed firsthand the amazing ways in which nature and plants can support our physical, mental, and emotional health. Connecting with nature daily keeps me feeling healthy, in the moment and a part of something larger than myself. I truly believe that if everyone could tap into the truth and reality of our symbiotic and genuinely miraculous connection with nature there would be no discordance when it comes to what really matters in life. I encourage you to find ways to connect with nature on a regular basis, whether it's spending time in a park, sipping some tea or coffee in your yard, gardening, or simply taking a walk through the woods. I’d love to hear from you, what are your favorite ways to connect with nature?