From drinking cider in the fields to hugging trees, the evolution of my nature journey

nature journey

From drinking cider in the fields to hugging trees, the evolution of my nature journey…

Picture this, you’re 14, your ma just bought you a brand new Helly Hansen jacket and silver hoops from Jot Silver in the Inn Shops in town. A fresh pan stick has been purchased (essentials for any teenage milly in Belfast) and you just got your pocket money for the weekend. You are ready to rock. You flip open your pink Sony Ericsson and fill it with the latest tunes in the hope that your crush asks you to infra red some of them to him later. You text your mates “meet you at the winemark in 15 mins” and you head on your way. 

You spend that pocket money getting a stranger to go in to the off licence to get you some form of cider and 10 Richmond super kings (sorry mum) and off you and your mates go to the field. 

So you land at the field, there’s about 30/40 of you there, fire lit, tunes on and you’re all getting ate alive my midges but you don’t care because it’s great craic. No thought is given to the beautiful surroundings you’re in, your mind is only focused on having a laugh, drinking your cider and fighting over ‘left a smokes’ 😂. 

Looking back, me and my friends spent most of our free time in nature, even a lot of the time when we were meant to be in school – we ditched it and spent it in nature (don’t do this kids). Did we ever appreciate it’s beauty? Nope. Did we ever sit and think and be in awe of the outstanding living and breathing scenery around us, absolutely not. 

Fast forward to this day and nature is now my therapy. People have their own wee ways of dealing with things and my number one way is being on my own in nature. Any time there is adversity or hard times in my life, I’ll go straight up and out into nature and in fact when life is going amazing, I’m up and out into nature. It helps me so much. 

I’m actually writing this now at 5.00am, getting ready to get up to watch the sunrise because I need a lil pick me up and as I was getting ready I was so excited and knew the sunrise would lift my mood. So I wanted to explain this to others and maybe how they can use it to their advantage too! Will probably miss the sunrise now like but sure, all in the name of a good blog. 

I remember doing this deep meditation and it asked me to find my safe place, the first thing I seen in my imagination was the forest, it was beautiful and there was a big fallen tree surrounded by bluebells and it was so peaceful. That was now my safe place in my head, sitting on this tree in the middle of the forest. If I ever needed to destress, calm down, have some chill time I could mediate and go to this forest, sit on the tree and just be (all in my mind, how cools that). 

I remember going out for a walk and actually found the exact place I imagined in my head, my jaw hit the floor, I ran and jumped on the tree like a big kid and just sat there completely over the moon, embracing the present moment and the fact that I had found my safe place in my head, in real life. I go here regularly now.  

I would really recommend finding your own safe place. Try out this meditation and see what pops in to your head, it doesn’t have to be a place in nature, it could be your granny’s old house, a place you find comfort, your childhood back garden – literally anywhere. And when you find it, anytime you are in an difficult situation you can close your eyes, and spend some time here in your mind to relax and calm down. 

I feel like everyone is out in to nature now more than ever because of lockdown, and that makes me so happy. It’s scientifically proven to boost your mood and lots of other things. 

Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. I could talk about this for hours! Make sure to go barefoot in nature too (absorbing the electrons radiating from the earth do some pretty amazing things for you). 

So instead of coming home from work and watching the tv, go hug a tree 🤣 (also scientifically proven to boost your mood), sit by the water, watch the sunset, go walk barefoot at the beach, go make daisy chains in the park, go find that sticky plant that you used to stick on everyone’s back at school and stick it on your mates – even having a bag of cans in nature counts (just make sure to bring them cans home with you). Mother Nature is amazing – go get ittttttttttttttttt 👌🏻🌳🌻

P.s this is the place that came into my head as my safe place during meditation that I found in real life after. Crazy what visualisation can do, give it a go ❤️

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