Getting Back to Nature

Living as nature intended, being in favourable conditions, supported by our pack and having a reasonable load.

As I sit here writing , I am looking out of my window at the garden, taking in the flowers still in bloom, the salvia, roses, calendula and kaffir lilies (one of my favourite at this time of year) and watching the birds land on the bird feeders, hearing the sound of the lawnmower on the grass. I find it hard to work where  I can't see out of a window or have a view and this is true for so many of us. In my book " Breaking Free", I talk a lot about how doing things "unnaturally" , against the grain of how we are meant to live and we go against how nature intended us to live, at our peril. We are born to thrive, it is every living creatures' default mode. When conditions are favourable, organisms thrive, whether it be on the coral reef and sea, on the earth or in the sky. It is only when we are put into conditions that do not suit us that we start to struggle and eventually collapse with exhaustion. Conditions can suit one person and not suit another, just as some dogs love the water and others don't, but everything is designed to live in nature and to find their niche. It is so, so, obvious that we wouldn't put a rose into Artic conditions or put our dog in with a pack of lions and yet so often, we humans live in conditions that don't suit us. We work (or live) with unbearable bullies, people who are not our tribe, who do not nurture us or we carry on as if we are the pack horse, climbing Everest, no matter how harsh the conditions. 

It is often the drip, drip effect of never ending little things that affect us; it is that one more little thing that is the straw that broke the camel's back. Most of us don't get out of the rat race, the endless adulting or harsh conditions because we don't have time to think straight. It is only when we succumb to heart attacks, cancer, chronic fatigue or other conditions that we STOP. Julia Bradbury in her book " Walk Yourself Happy", recommended on the newsletter this week, only stopped when she had cancer and had to have a mastectomy. 

Why do we do this?? We do it because we have an inner life force, propelling us through life, keeping us going with an extraordinary resilience. We are by nature unbelievably robust and can keep going for years and years in harsh or unreasonable conditions. Selye (1936) called this the Resistance stage of General Adaptive Syndrome (GAS), when we carry on keeping going even though life is full of stressors and hardship. Since then a huge field of science ( often called psychoneuroimmuniology) has found evidence for the effect of unfavourable conditions ( physical, social and emotional) on our heart, our immune system, gut and nervous system. Indeed, every part of the body is adversely affected by inappropriate environments or our perception that they are too hard. So next time you stroke your cat, feed your dog, look after your children or tend to your plants, give a thought to yourself and think " if I can care for everything and everyone else, why on earth wouldn't I care about my wellbeing too?". In the current series of webinars for participants on the Reset to Thrive programme, we are exploring how to change aspects of our environmental conditions and load and then looking to see how we need to be different and respond differently to stay robust. I am also delighted to welcome Gavin Andrew, Director of the Heartmath Institute UK, to our webinar on 21st December- an early Christmas gift to anyone who is interested in exploring how the body physically changes ( including heart rate variability HRV) in different conditions and what we can do to correct it. Check out the website for how to join the programme. 

I hope you take time to Stop, and Think before you Proceed - just like the traffic lights exercise in the book and the Reset to Thrive programme. Sometimes keeping going and being resilient isn't the most useful thing to be doing. With love and roses, Jan.

This rose is called " The Lovely Lady" in memory of a lovely lady, from David Austen roses. 

Categories: Healing, Nature, Thriving, Wellness