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Inner Peace

Exploring the outdoors can offer empowerment, inspiration and a sense of self.

If you are feeling out of balance, you can relax knowing that nature isn’t.

Nature has a balancing tendency and offers intentionality. That is why we feel at peace in the natural world. The combination of balance and intention is powerful, and when we step into nature, it has an immediate effect on us.

In these natural environs, you can reset your compass and find a new direction. It is where you can release the past and stand on new ground. It is where you can gain insights, and find a solution to a problem. It is a place where you can become inspired, feel empowered and start to find yourself again.

As an active person, I find sitting meditations difficult. Instead, here are two practices to follow in your explorations outside.

Inner Compass Reset

To reset or orient your inner compass, stand facing north and focus on the elements of earth, rocks, or soil. Feel the earth beneath your feet. After a minute, make a quarter turn to the right to face east and focus on the element of air. Breathe it in and feel it on your skin. Now, make another quarter turn to the south with a focus on fire. Imagine the fire within—your passion—or the intensity of the sun and its power. Finally, turn to the west and focus on water and its refreshing and cleansing qualities.

This process tunes your senses into nature in a new way by seeing, feeling, smelling, or hearing each of the elements. You’ll find yourself feeling more in tune with nature and more focused on the fluid dynamic that is your life.

Walking To Resolution

If you have a problem to solve, try this option. As you start walking, your mind will be busy. But after 10 minutes or so, your mind will start to slow down; you’ll realize you are no longer thinking of worries and concerns. Instead, your attention will be on the trees, plants, animals, and insect life. In this state of mind, you will be more prone to creative thinking with the potential for solutions to play out unconsciously.

If you have a problem, say to yourself that you want to find the solution at the end of your hike. Then start on the trail and let the outcome go. The solution may come to you on the hike or it may be realized later—or even better, it may resolve itself seemingly on its own. But guess what? That’s the subconscious mind and nature at work, naturally.

Valerie Grimes is a clinical hypnotist at The Flow Center in Dallas (theflowcenter.com), the creator of Hypnotic Trip (hypnotictrip.com), and the host of her own podcast, Nature—The Drug of Choice (anchor.fm/valerie-grimes3).

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