It is no secret that nature is healing. I don't think I've met any human being who's left nature and then claimed their dislike for it. Most people who spend time in nature, often return to the "real world" feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and relaxed. Often the mind has a sense of clarity and the spirit revived to either help people through difficult life situations, or possible set them on the better track in life.
Many people wonder, why is nature so healing? There are countless reasons, but science is starting to understand how nature heals humans. Whatever your belief is, there is a certain vibration or energy found in different types of environments.
“Allow nature’s peace to flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.” – John Muir
Like attracts like. If you go to a beach town, you'll notice the people are different than say in the wild west or from the snow bunnies skiing in the winter.
There are four elements on this planet: earth, air, fire and water. Although every landscape differs, every landscape usually contains all four elements to some degree. Most common natural escapes include the mountains and forest (earth), the ocean (water) or the desert (fire). Air is found everywhere and in constant motion even though you cannot see it.
Most people usually appreciate all types of landscapes, but usually gravitate towards something specific like the beach, mountains or drier climates. Now there is a breakdown for what people like. For example, someone who loves water may not necessarily be attracted to sunny, hot beaches, but may actually resonate with cooler, icier waters like you see in Scandinavia.
The four elements is literal in a physical sense, but also metaphorical while viewing life through a metaphysical lens.
Air and Fire are masculine. Earth and Water are feminine.
“Nature itself is the best physician.” – Hippocrates
Some beliefs, like Ayurveda, state that there is a fifth element, called the ether, which is the vacant space where everything happens. Aristotle stated the fifth element was "aether." For example. if standing in front of a tree there is space between you and the tree. But there is also space between the leaves and the branches. Sound is part of the ether, which is vibratory and moves through space.
Part of our attraction to natural settings is also based on the soothing sounds of the natural world that calms the mind, body and soul. Whether its the waves of the ocean crashing into shore, the trickling of a stream in a forest, or the songs of the birds heard in a meadow, sound also has a way of healing us. Musically, the lower beat per minute stimulates the brain to relax where faster and harder beats per minute make us work out harder, move faster or drive more aggressively.
Sound is healing. The natural sounds produced from nature relaxes the brain, which affects the body.
Humans are naturally attracted to nature because we are ourselves are creatures of the earth. Nature is engrained in our DNA. When understanding the elements from a metaphysical sense, it is no wonder that nature is a healer. So many people gravitate to the mountains or ocean for healing or to escape the city life.
With earth and water being feminine qualities, it is no secret that Mother Nature herself bundles us up in her warmth, love and beauty, just like a mother does to her child.
“We depend on nature not only for our physical survival, we also need nature to show us the way home, the way out of the prison of our own minds.”
When analyzing the five senses (sight, sound, smell, hearing and taste), nature stimulates our senses quit differently than an urban setting or our daily job.
Nature affects our health in four primary ways:
Beauty is inspirational, and nature is beautiful. It is no wonder why poets, artists and other creatives spend time in nature writing, contemplating or drawing nature scenes. Beauty inspires the soul, and for some evolves them into the best version of themselves.
Being in the moment and focusing on the present is very important to our well-being. Time in nature slows us down and "forces" us to enjoy the moment. Meditation does not necessarily mean sitting still in a Buddhist temple. Meditations can be in motion. A walk through a forest is just as contemplative as sitting on top of a mountain pondering what will happen in life.
“Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.” – EO wilson
In my personal experience, I look back to analyze the powerful healing that has occurred in various natural environments. Swimming in the ocean cleansed my soul where as walking through the mysterious forest allowed me to let go of the things that no longer serve me.
Every type of environment was healing. The desert at Burning Man burned away many low self-esteem issues.
The power of the mountains and the bugling elk in Estes Park healed my heart from various heart breaks. Mother Earth grounded me and absorbed my pain into the soil.
The oceans in Australia cleansed my soul to awaken my spirit and let go of my childhood wounds.
Walking through volcanic lava fields in Iceland made me realize there is more to life than my work and job title.
The Spirit Rock Vortex in Tuscon, Arizona flooded my body with positive energy as I also sent light and love to many people in my life.
The angels in the sky in Utah sent me a message while pondering a question at the petroglyphs and while staring out of the window I asked, "Is moving to Germany the right thing to do?" and there an angel from the clouds emerged.
And I'll never forget walking the ancient forests on the Camino de Santiago from Porto, Portugal to Santiago de Compostela. The trees absorbed my heart break from divorce and finding freshly fallen beautiful green leaves on the ground reminded me that even that even beautiful things in this life fall, but not necessarily fail.
Nature is healing for those who respect the land and the spirit that reside there. So many people today use nature for their own glory or to gain superficial attention from Instagram.
“The contemplation of nature can free one of the ego – the great troublemaker.” – Eckhart Tolle
Has nature healed you? I would love to hear your story or experience.
This is one of those million dollar questions. Do you think people change?
I think yes and no. People can change, but it has to come from within. Like a budding flower, that burning desire has to come from within to want that seed to germinate.
Some people change. And some people will never change. To some degree, everyone has a baseline. It takes attitude, character and a non-judgmental analysis on your life in order to change. That is what self-actualization is all about.
You have to want to change. So many people in today's world are open to changing jobs, careers and changing their material status, but they are not open to changing their attitude, belief systems, character or developing themselves spiritually.
I think change requires a mix of spiritual and psychological analysis. If people took the amount of time they spend watching the television, playing video games or "flipping" through Facebook, on improving themselves, the world would be a different place. Some souls are here to change the world, but most of us are the regular Joes that keep society afloat.
Change is not a quick fix. It is a journey that is a process of highs and lows. It is self accountability.
The first step to change is to become aware. As you analyze your life, you will need self-awareness without judgement. Most people sabotage themselves because they are stuck in this mindset. Blaming other people for your problems or believing t hat change can't happen is a negative mindset. We are what we believe.
Some people are aware of their issues, demons, or problems but still don't change. Why is this?
Most people desire a quick fix. I see this in the diet industry all the time. Try this 30-day detox to lose 30 lbs. in weight." It's a hack, but not a permanent change. Humans need a no nonsense commitment to change. Most people today want hacks, not commitments.
it's the moment in quiet self-reflection that the higher and lower mind unite to make this commitment. It is the unity of the physical, mental and emotional body to realize that work must be done.
Change is not easy nor is it comfortable. It forces you to get out of the comfort zone. I am an advocate for balance, but depending on the change, some people have to go cold turkey. With the hardest addictions like drugs, sex, alcohol or cigarettes, most people can't live in moderation. They are not wired that way. A heroin addict can't just shoot up once per week. They have to go cold turkey and focus on the therapy that gets them healthy again.
Fear, rigidity and self-sabotage hinder one's growth process. Discipline and commitment is the hardest for most, which is why they slip back into old behaviors. And this very thought makes people wonder if change is even possible?
Genetics and environment plays a role on how adaptable one is to change. The older people get, the harder it is to change. It is still possible.
Spiritually, I've met people who had near death experiences come out of those experiences completely different and remove and walk away from the negativity in their life. It took nearly dying for them to "wake up" and change. Sometimes it takes a murderer in prison to read the bible, repent and realize how their life was changed because of spiritual teachings and finding God.
There is no one path to change, but it is possible. In this world. anything is possible.
What do you think? Do people change?
Addictions is nothing new to the human race. In the past, when thinking of addictions, most people think of people have an addiction to drugs, sex or alcohol. In today's digital world, humans are experiencing various forms of addictions like never before, which have created many to become emotional high addicts. Once high, you need more and more of the source in order to fulfill the hormonal flow going on in the brain.
As mentioned in a former blog post, Is Love the Most Powerful Force on the Planet?, in the past, our ancestors only experienced highs from procreation, sex and child birth.
The sad and scary part of today's addictions, is that many of these addictions are warping man's minds, creating real-life monsters, psychopaths, zombies out of many people's souls.
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is, "a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.
Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death."
It is common for people to have more than one addiction today. In fact, some people trade in one addiction for another. I had a Dietician friend who worked in a bariatric clinic and had "arguments" with the doctors as she expressed this is a psychological, and not just an addiction to bad food. She found that post surgery, many of these people traded in their food addiction for gambling, alcohol, smoking or some other negative habit/addiction. Another example is that research has found that people who have sex or love addictions or trauma, also have eating issues / addictions.
The point is that many issues root to a spiritual and psychological warfare.
Here are some addictions that plague the modern man's soul that goes beyond drugs, gambling, sex and alcohol abuse.
"Gaming disorder" is a serious issue today, especially amongst techies. Introduced in the 1970's, games today are far from the origins of the "Oregon Trail." Today gaming addiction is seen on the same level as gambling. Now that games are available 24/7, most people are hooked, playing for hours everyday instead of once at the arcades.
Research is still trying to figure out as most believe gaming addiction is a type of impulse control disorder. Some have the thrill of winning which releases dopamine, a brain chemical that elevates mood and provides a rush of energy. Many question what games do the subconscious mind as most games today are violent and include mass killing. Games "encourage" a sedentary lifestyle, which further isolates people from humans. Some people can play games and never be addicted, but most people fall into the rabbit hole and get lost in, or addicted to, a virtual reality.
Porn is one of the major issues today, which affects more men than women. Today's porn is nothing like it was 20-40 years ago. For many, watching porn starts off as innocent but can eventually lead to a "dangerous" place mentally and socially.
Porn has four stages as noted from Diagnosing and Treating Pornography Addiction. Dr. Victor Cline provides a model of pornography addiction with 4 progressive steps:
When the final sexual fluids are released, the body secretes serotonin, which promotes relaxation and calmness. Overall, porn hijacks the brain and short-circuits the system.
We all dream of falling in love with Mr. or Mrs. Right. Some people, like adrenaline and outdoor junkies, have an addiction of falling in love. They love the high one gets from the initial stages of romance, but once the honeymoon phase wears off, they discard the relationship, in search for the next perfect person. Some love addicts put their partner on a pedestal and put more energy and attention towards them than themselves.
At the core, many love addicts have this fantasy that their partner will rescue them, and provide them unconditional attention at all times, resolving any issues or problems they have. When in love, love encompasses their entire existence. They have a fear of being alone or rejected. The excitement of new love, triggers the release of these neurotransmitters, stimulating the brain’s reward system. Most love addicts have issues from childhood trauma or a lack of love from their youth, which needs to be resolved. Some of this I believe has been programmed in our heads from chronic Disney fairy tales from our youth.
Consumerism was a great experiment, and guess what it worked. In today's decadent society, many people are addicted to shopping and finding something new. Compulsive shoppers experience a euphoria when purchasing new goods. However, like the hedonic treadmill, the euphoria wears off, but needs to be refilled with buying something else. Endorphins are released, which blots out discomfort.
It is said that compulsive spending or shopping affects about six percent, or 17 million people, of the US population. One root of the problem is the lack of control one has in their life or on their impulses.
Believe it or not, exercise can be addictive. There is a reason runners get addicted to running because of the "runner's high." There is a tipping point, when healthy exercise turns into an obsession for whatever reason. Some may exercise hours per day because they fear getting fat, or want to lose weight because they think they're fat. Some exercise because of control in their life where others use exercise as a replacement to some other addiction.
Marketers and modern day boxed foods have done a GREAT job at controlling the US population. Some people have a poor palate addicted to salt and sugar, but most have emotional eating issues. These issues lead to consuming high amounts of comfort food or actual eating disorders themselves. Whatever the root cause of the issue is, the brain is affected by emotional eating disorders / impulses.
The American Addiction Center states, "The brain is designed to react to a specific amount of dopamine, researchers say, and when it is provided with a dopamine signal that is too big, changes can result. The brain can turn off dopamine receptors, to muffle the next overeating onslaught, and that means people might eat even more during the next session. Dopamine feels good, and a rush feels wonderful. People who want that rush might need to eat more to get it.
This is the same cycle of dopamine flood and response seen in people who take drugs like heroin or OxyContin. These people also need to take in more to feel the same rush, and these people find it hard to stop taking drugs. Similarly, people with a long history of overeating might also find it hard to stop, due to the brain’s changes. These people are not making the choice to overeat. They are dealing with damaged brain cells."
This is a tough addiction to identify because some people are born to work and make a difference in this world. Some people's lives and identity revolves around work. They don't have hobbies and everything else in life is secondary. Some work so much because they are security junkies. Some workaholics are perfectionists and are their toughest critics. When work controls the life of someone, it is important to step back and analyze how your job affects your life.
Have you suffered from addiction? Do you know of any "uncommon" addictions that are becoming more common in today's digital age? In college, I suffered from exercise and some form of food addiction, which is in part the reason why I wrote, "Finding Om: An Indian Journey of Rickshaws, Chai, Chapattis and Gurus." so people can heal, discover pieces of their psychology and find the connection to their spirit all while enjoying this crazy thing we call life.
Is your mind playing tricks on you? Or are you really, truly receiving a message from God? First in order to understand where I am going with this post, we must read the "Parable of the Flood," story.
A terrible storm came into a town and local officials sent out an emergency warning that the riverbanks would soon overflow and flood the nearby homes. They ordered everyone in the town to evacuate immediately.
A faithful Christian man heard the warning and decided to stay, saying to himself, “I will trust God and if I am in danger, then God will send a divine miracle to save me.”
The neighbors came by his house and said to him, “We’re leaving and there is room for you in our car, please come with us!” But the man declined. “I have faith that God will save me.”
As the man stood on his porch watching the water rise up the steps, a man in a canoe paddled by and called to him, “Hurry and come into my canoe, the waters are rising quickly!” But the man again said, “No thanks, God will save me.”
The floodwaters rose higher pouring water into his living room and the man had to retreat to the second floor. A police motorboat came by and saw him at the window. “We will come up and rescue you!” they shouted. But the man refused, waving them off saying, “Use your time to save someone else! I have faith that God will save me!”
The flood waters rose higher and higher and the man had to climb up to his rooftop.
A helicopter spotted him and dropped a rope ladder. A rescue officer came down the ladder and pleaded with the man, "Grab my hand and I will pull you up!" But the man STILL refused, folding his arms tightly to his body. “No thank you! God will save me!”
Shortly after, the house broke up and the floodwaters swept the man away and he drowned.
When in Heaven, the man stood before God and asked, “I put all of my faith in You. Why didn’t You come and save me?”
And God said, “Son, I sent you a warning. I sent you a car. I sent you a canoe. I sent you a motorboat. I sent you a helicopter. What more were you looking for?”
Often times we have thoughts in our heads, or prayers to God that we may not realize is truly be heard from the unforeseen world. The key to understanding signs is to know whether the sign comes from the light or the dark. So many people experience synchronicities, which they believe are messages from God. I agree, but at certain times of my life, I experienced these synchronicities that I believe rooted from darkness.
When logically analyzing the messages, you have to see what you are experiencing and how your intuition reacts to that experience. Some people with karmic bonds will experience synchronicities, but this situation or experience is merely a test to see in what direction of life you'll go into. Some karmic bonds are invitations to do shadow work, and though signs were there, that person or experience is not for your higher good. The "sign" is to walk away, bless, forgive and let go.
Signs come in many shapes, sizes, directions, thoughts and feelings. Mystical and religious people have different view points on signs. I've known many Christian people who say signs from animals or nature are mere coincidences meanwhile other philosophies believe nature communicates to humans and are messengers from God.
We live in a logical world, and most people can handle logical signs from God. If people had visions of spirit beings they would most likely freak out, not able to handle the intensity.
So many people crave divine signs or experiences that is so "explosive" it looks like it comes out of a Hollywood movie. It doesn't work like that.
I will share one story. A person I knew was financially struggling. She kept having conversations and worries stir in her brain about needing help. Low and behold, within hours someone comes to her door and provides a bag of pet food as this woman knew she was strapped for cash.
Was this a sign from God? Absolutely. We must be grateful for each and every gift from the divine. A million dollars or a winning lottery ticket just doesn't pop into our lives. In my analysis, that sign is a message from God saying that you've been heard, and I will take care of you.
Maybe your soul is crying inside from overworking, and then you keep seeing the words or advertisements about Yosemite, and you've always wanted to visit that park. Maybe its a sign to take a break and book a vacation. Or put your soul's desires first by visiting the park, which is your dream.
One client once lived in Hawaii. His aunt has been ill. One evening in Seattle there was a double rainbow that lasted over an hour. He got the inkling that his aunt just died because this was a sign in Hawaiian culture about rainbows being a bridge to heaven. Later that evening he got a call that his aunt indeed passed away that day.
Signs are signs. They are guiders, but are not strict rules. Some signs are prophetic, others are just divine messages trying to guide you into a certain direction in life. If something is meant to happen, it will.
Remember the divine has no timeline. Some signs and synchronicities occur for years before something actually cultivates.
You must check with your intuition and see what feelings arise when the signs come. Just don't miss the boat because you are expecting something that originates from a fantasy.
People who do not have a spiritual foundation do not understand the purpose of our souls being here on earth. Most people think of planet earth as a playground to enjoy life an in the material world. Now this is not to say that we shouldn't have fun in life, but we are here to grow and evolve our souls. Every soul has a mission and chooses it's life in order to grow, evolve and conquer hardships. But the main reason for our soul is to understand love.
Our souls are here to understand how to give and receive love and learn how to forgive themselves & forgive others.
Each and every soul has a different mission in life. Many forms of spirituality speak that love is the main reason for us being here. We are here to understand love from various angles and lenses. We need to love ourselves (not to the point of narcissism). We need to let people in to show us love. We need to share our love with others. We need to love our home and our planet.
The Bible contains great wealth of information and speaks of love 64 times.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. — 1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. - 1 John 4:8
God loves his children. And we are children of God. God is love. And love is a complex energy. There is a light and dark side of love. All of God's love comes from the light, which also includes understanding forgiveness.
When you know, understand and experience love, you know God. We often equate love to romance, which is where we learn most of our lessons, but love is a relationship of all kinds. And this is why community and the family nucleus is so powerful.
In today's world of independence, we see people trying to receive love in many forms. Throughout my time of being single post divorce, I notice so many people bury themselves in work, projects, school or additional hobbies to receive some form of love and acceptance.
Love, like anything in life, is a choice. You can choose to give love, and be open to receiving it. Love is selfless and should not have expectations, though reciprocity is necessary for long term growth.
Planet earth is a ghetto, and we will endear many hardships in this fallen world. One of the greatest forms of love is through forgiveness of other people's actions and to release feelings of anxiety, revenge and vengeance against the other person.
In this digital age, and age of social isolation, it is easy to find acceptance and fulfillment through online communities, artificial intelligence and pornography.
Nothing is stronger than the human emotion, and nothing can replace real life intimacy physical, mental, emotional, intellectual and spiritual intimacy.
Knowing love is knowing yourself and having awareness of your actions and what affects you. Knowing love is respecting everything on this planet from the earth to animals. Knowing love is understanding we are here to serve and uplift ourselves and humanity.
God is love. He wants you to love Him, and trust in Him. He also wants you to spread love on the planet. Love yourself. Love your home. Love your parents and others even if they disappointed you.
Some research states that it takes men 8.2 seconds to fall in love. The heart has no limit in its capacity of unconditional love, but we must also use our head in order for that to not be taken advantage of, or our kindness used against us.
What do you think about love? Let's Connect! Check out my other YouTube videos!
The corporate candy and confectionary companies have disconnected us to the true meaning of our holidays. Today, sweeties around America spend boat loads of cash on Hallmark cards and fancy dinners without ever questioning where Valentine's Day actually comes from.
If you've followed me for sometime, you know I see repetitive numbers. For years, the number 214 has been a part of my daily existence. Many moons ago, a spiritual person told me that part of my mission in life is to understand various forms of love, and that I would help people in this life in love. I remember crying in my counselor's office during the dark times of my divorce telling her, "I feel like God put me through this to understand the pain and anguish of the heart and that I needed to experience divorce to understand the power of love."
So today, on 2/14, I encourage everyone to "root" to the real reasons on why Valentine's Day exists.
Prayer to St. Valentine:
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com