A few days ago, I woke up in a different house than I normally do, and was confused by the noise around me. I thought my meditation app had turned on a nature sounds track on loudspeaker… but it was actually just nature sounds. It had been so long since I had been awake at sunrise in a coastal rural town and the cacophony of sound from the birds in the bushland and beaches nearby had confused then delightfully surprised me. A burst of joy!
I finished reading the book Grounded by Ruth Allen, sitting on the front deck taking in some fresh autumn air and the sounds of cicadas as the sun set somewhere behind the mysterious grey clouds after a particularly painful afternoon. I needed the cool breeze to clear my foggy brain, energise my body, and to get out of the house for 5 minutes. Whenever I am in pain or have low energy, I tend to automatically stay indoors as the first means of rest and recovery. I forget how much being in nature can have that effect too. This book was a reminder of what nature can do for our wellbeing.
Grounded: How connection with nature can improve our mental and physical wellbeing by Ruth Allen is one of those books that reminded me just how much we need nature for our wellbeing, and that without it, we are weakened. Reading every page this book made me crave being in nature so much: dipping my feet in the river or walking barefoot on the beach at the edge of the waves, listening to the birds in the trees, feeling the rain fall on my skin, picking up curious leaves and feathers, admiring pretty flowers, breathing in the salty sea air or the mountain air, or just plain fresh air. It didn’t feel appropriate at all to be reading it inside!
“You seem very grounded. How do you do it?”
With time, I have come to realise that only a few are asking for the basic instructions for grounding. What they are really asking for is the secret to becoming more present, resilient, calm, balanced (and many more things besides) within the broad context of their whole lives.
They are looking for a solution to the problems of stress, anxiety, worry, busyness, responsibility, loss, loneliness, disconnection, pain, or constant change. They are looking for purpose, meaning and direction. They are looking to hold on to a sense of themselves when everything is awry. They are looking for the best part of themselves. They are looking to feel safe and secure enough to commune joyfully with what is.– Ruth Allen, Grounded: How connection with nature can improve our mental and physical wellbeing
When we think of feeling grounded, we usually refer to feeling solidly stable and secure in ourselves mentally, emotionally and spiritually and how we interact with the people around us. It makes us more connected with our planet, with ourselves and each other.
Grounded is explained through 8 themed chapters: Presence, Connection, Movement, Stillness, Solitude, Wild, Mystery and Perspective. Each part explains how we interact with nature and how both ourselves and nature itself can benefit from it too. Throughout the book, Ruth Allen shows us ways that nature can heal and transform us in ways that are similar to traditional therapy, if we are open to it. A lot of the techniques used in therapy are even more accessible in nature, including mindfulness and meditation, changing perspective of how we view things, reclaiming our wild intuition, settling into the mystery of life, the uncertainty and change in events.
There is so much to dive into in Grounded (I don’t want to spoil this gorgeous book for you) and I really hope you do pick it up to read it and explore more about how you feel in nature.
Take good care, Readers. I’ll Keep the light on.
You have probably seen Morgan Harper Nichols all over social media with her gorgeous artwork and poetry. Today we are highlighting her amazing portfolio of work in our Book Therapy series!
Calm book is the perfect companion and inspiration for mindful activities and is written by the co-founder of the super popular and my personal favourite meditation app, Calm.
One of my all-time favorite people to recommend is Brooke McAlary and her new book, Care, helps us work out what to do when the world’s problems feel too big and we are burnt out from trying, and we need to restore ourselves so that we can continue to care for things.
Growing Up Disabled in Australia is a diverse anthology of the very best kind!
We have all been in that place where something awful happens to someone and we are petrified of saying the wrong thing or not sure how to help. This is where the book ‘There Is No Good Card For This: What to Say and Do When Life is Scary, Awful and Unfair to People You Love’ by Emily McDowell and Kelsey Crowe comes in to save us!
Let me introduce you to the beautiful human that is Charlie Mackesy and his incredibly empathetic book, The Boy, The Mole, The Fox & The Horse. If there was ever a time when we needed Charlie Mackesy’s drawings, it would be over the last year.