Home » Articles » Spirituality and Leadership » Slow down to speed up – Part 3

Slow down to speed up – Part 3

1.     Time with Nature

If you want fresh air and positive energy, sit under a tree or better yet, hug one. Trees are the best source of relaxation and studies have shown how trees and landscaping helps reduce the level of fear. Sit in a park, try to attentively listen to the outside sounds and you’ll discover that the frantic mind has calmed down; your focus will shift from the inner problems to the outer sound. The attempt to hear the sounds in nature makes one quieten the boisterous voices within. In that stillness, you can see your mind rest. Nature then revives your physical and mental health.

In his 2005 best-selling book ‘Last child in the woods’, American writer Richard Louv coined the term, ‘Nature-deficit-disorder’. He argues that modern humans have become disconnected from nature and that this has negative consequences on our physical and mental health. Besides the environmental benefits, spending time with trees has tremendous psychological benefits.

An interesting quote I read in this context said: “Life is not a one-hundred-yard dash but more a cross country run. If we sprint all the time, we not only fail to win the race but never even last long enough to reach the finish line.”

Way back in the 1850’s Henry David Thoreau wrote Walden, a reflection of living with nature. Interestingly, the book recounts Thoreau’s experiences when he lived alone for two years in a forest. He claims that spending time with nature helps one gain a more objective understanding of life, through personal introspection. Considered as one of America’s most celebrated pieces of literature, Walden, according to many is that one book which surpasses everything America has had in its history! The wisdom of the book is simple – Thoreau exposes the materialist and consumerist culture as dangerous and offers a happy alternative of living simply! He encourages readers to be ‘alert’ and hear that which is not obvious; by connecting to oneself, rather than seek pleasures through an extravagant lifestyle and pursuits of carnal pleasures.

The message rings so true even today, 160 years after the book was written.

Just take a look at the sunrise or the sunset. Is it sudden, or is there rhythm and balance? Things happen organically in nature, slow and steady. When we want light, we flip a switch and in a sudden flash, we experience light. We may marvel at our expertise and human progress to create light but on deeper introspection, you’ll realize we live an artificial and ‘fast’ paced life that’s not aligned to nature.To be continued…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *