I am not known for being the outdoorsy type, but on a recent weekend camping excursion, I found an unexpected lesson in the solitude that only nature can provide. There I was, standing still. The only thing that existed was myself and the surrounding environment. I took a deep breath as I gazed out on the rolling hills covered in a body of tall grass that mimicked the ocean’s waves. Another calming exhale allowed me to notice the white clouds blotching the indigo sky, the leaves of the oak trees rustling gently in the breeze, the quiet comfort that filled that moment.
In that instance, nothing else in the world mattered, and everything was beautiful.
Our lives have become busy, we’re always plugged in, with our awareness trapped in screens. The simple act of stopping to look around, to take in our natural environment as a means to cherish the moment, is now an act that requires intention. We’ve lost a connection to the world around us and have replaced its intuitive grace with artificial means of enchantment.
When was the last time you appreciated the way a sunset paints the sky as a sign of acceptance to start over? Or noticed how the gold horizon of the sunrise is an opportunity for a new beginning? Can you recall when you last enjoyed the rush of a cool breeze against your face? Or even just honestly sat to acknowledge the world around you?
This is why the inherent simplicity of nature is so powerful. Nature has the ability to ground us, and in doing so provides the necessary moments of stillness that lend themselves to reflection and appreciation. When we step into nature, it’s hard not to embrace the silence, to just to enjoy the act of observing a serene environment.
A genuine connection to life’s simple pleasures is born out of self-awareness. Self-awareness is defined as one’s ability to not only be conscious in an environment but also the capacity to understand your purpose within it. Being aware of yourself is a realization that the outside world and all its experiences are not only a part of your own personal experiences but also a reflection of who you are.
When we engage in self-awareness, we understand that we aren’t woven within the fabric of life, but instead, the structure of life is made up of us. It’s our calling to find meaning in awareness, not only of our environment but in our own selves, and with that meaning will come connection rooted in gratitude.
Through stillness, we become both the observed and the observer, a reminder of our being and oneness to all things. With this shifted perspective, our everyday trials and tribulations can begin to feel minuscule in the grand scheme of things.
At its core, the experience of being alive in the world is glorious, enriching, and fulfilling, if we open our awareness to all it has to offer. To be completely aware is to instinctually value the simplicity of life itself, which can turn each day into an enthralling experience. When we allow ourselves to appreciate life’s natural, inherent beauty, we begin to understand the simple things while simultaneously having an enhanced appreciation for the things that are already so captivating.
If your eyes are blinded with worries, then you won’t be able to see the beauty of the sunrise and sunset.