Discover the Magic of Biophilia.

Discover the Magic of Biophilia.

March 08, 2019

I’ve always been drawn to nature. When I’m communing with the vibrant world of flora and fauna, pressing my bare feet into the soil, and breathing in fresh air I feel alive and connected. This communion is essential for my ability to live wholly. And I’m not alone. This innate pull to be in nature, and connect with living things (beyond humans) is a phenomenon that’s so common it’s garnered its own name: biophilia.

The philosophy behind biophilia is slowly trickling through society, reminding our species that we must forge relationships with, and champion the health of, all the inhabitants of our natural surroundings. And this is not a selfless act, when we give love to the natural world it opens the gates to creativity, physical healing, mental clarity, spiritual exploration, and so much more. It’s one of the most important relationships we’ll ever have. I feel the truth in this on a visceral level every time I step out my front door.

But, it’s become harder and harder to honor our connection with nature as technology has taken over. While there was once a time when being in nature was a given in our day-to-day lives, many of us now have to make a concerted effort to foster our relationship with Mother Nature.

Because I feel so much more whole, vibrant and centered when I’m saying yes to regular dates with nature, eating pure, giving love to animals, and ensuring that clean air is flowing through me, I wanted to share some of the ways that I nurture my biophilic nature.

  • Asking, “Where does my food come from?” As I’ve become more attuned to how food impacts my body, mind and spirit, I’ve developed a deeper respect for where my food came from, and all that had to happen to get it to my plate. This respect and awareness has enhanced my desire for my food to be connected to the earth. So, as often as possible I purchase food from the local farmer’s market, eat at farm-to-table eateries and veer away from processed foods.
  • Being creative with how I get outside. My move from Los Angeles to Ojai was largely inspired by biophilia – I needed more unrestrained nature in my life. And yet, I became frustrated when I first moved to Ojai because I couldn’t find a yoga class I resonated with. My frustration persisted until I had the ah-ha moment that I was no longer meant to get all of my exercise in an indoor space - Ojai was pushing me to shake things up and get outside. I followed that instinct and it deeply supported me, as I found my way to the practice of many activities in Nature.
  • Running. Feeling my feet pounding into the ground, as my heart rate increases, my lungs accept crisp air and my skin starts to sweat is essential for my connection to nature. Running almost immediately plugs me into a state of interconnectedness, as my mind quiets and my five senses begin to absorb the stillness of the trees, the sensation of leaves crunching beneath my feet, the warm sun kissing my skin, the scent of oranges, the taste of the breeze, and the sounds of blood pumping past my ears. The feeling I get when I’m even just thinking about going on a run is medicinal – it energizes and heals me.
  • Forest bathing. Have you heard of this trending concept of walking through the woods? Forest bathing, which was developed in Japan in the 1980s, consists of walking slowly and silently through nature (preferably with bare feet) and fully connecting with everything around you. This experience isn’t about exercise, or going x amount of miles – it’s all about forging a union with the natural world. Maybe this “bath” will consist of you pressing your hands against the bark of trees, watching squirrels and crows battle it out for an acorn, noticing the path a stream takes around a boulder, or anything else that piques your interest.

Potential health benefits of forest bathing include decreased risk of heart attack and cancer, protection against obesity and diabetes, enhanced energy and mood, deeper sleep, decreased inflammation, healthier skin and relief from muscle soreness.

  • Swimming in the ocean. While I adore the mountains surrounding my new home of Ojai, I miss my regular rendezvous with the ocean near my old Venice, CA stomping grounds. The minute my feet would sink into the sand I felt grounded, and then, when my head would dip under the cool waves of the Pacific I felt renewed as the negative ions of the seawater brought me back into my body, and triggered the process of healing.
  • Saying yes to adventure. I enjoy a forest bathing walk or run through nature… but what I adore is flying past towering pines as snow blasts my face. Skiing. It’s one of my greatest loves and something that connects me to the wild side of nature, the side that offers us opportunity for grand adventures, and demands courage as we push ourselves past our comfort zones.  
  • Planning outdoor family outings. I’ve been pleased to find that I’m not the only member of my family who craves the outdoors. When I take my daughter outside, even if we’re just playing in our backyard, she lights up – it’s one of the most joyful things to witness. And luckily, my husband is also a fan of the wild unknown, serving as the catalyst for many nature-based family journeys.

To dive deeper into the wonders of building a kinship with Mother Nature by simply walking on it, check out the upcoming film created by dear friends in Ojai, Josh and Rebecca Tickell. The move is call “Down to Earth”.

With all this said, I know I’m in a unique position living in a location that’s surrounded by thousands of acres of undeveloped land. But what if you live in the city? Can you still practice biophilia? Absolutely. Noticing the trees as you walk down a city street, spending time in a park, tending a rooftop garden, eating at a farm-to-table establishment, spending time at a water source near or in the city… There are seemingly endless ways to connect with nature, regardless of where we are, as long as we choose to seek out and experience nature with all senses.

Beyond the activities I mentioned above, here are some prompts that can help you deepen your awareness of, and connection with nature.

  • How do your five senses come into play when you’re in nature?
  • Does your connection with nature help to deepen other connections in your life? For example, your connection with yourself, partner, child, or other important people in your life.
  • What are lessons we can learn from observing animals? Especially animals in the wild. For example, patience, presence and grace.
  • What are activities you typically do indoors that can be moved outdoors?

The organic harmony and expansion that occurs when humans are immersed in nature is one of the key reasons we choose the urban utopia of Serenbe as the site of our upcoming Attune gathering. Serenbe, located outside of Atlanta, Georgia, deeply honors the philosophy of biophilia by having designed a community that is a living part of its natural surroundings, instead of something that was built at nature's expense. In addition, they have three farm-to-table restaurants, a local CSA (community supported agriculture) program and weekly farmer’s market – they walk their talk. Enhancing Serenbe’s exceptional energy is the fact that it’s located on 1,000 acres that have never been fought on – peace and compassion for all living things is profoundly embedded in this space.

Every time I have the privilege of staying at this majestic haven, I feel nourished and uplifted. It’s beyond enjoyable to wander through the grounds witnessing the animals, the mesmerizing labyrinth, the sprawling farm, kids running down the trails that connect their homes, and the unfettered foliage. It’s one of my favorite places in the world, and a destination that I truly believe changes everyone who walks across its soil.

With great respect,

 

p.s. Join us for a biophilic immersion at Attune from November 8 - 11, 2019. We will connect with Nature, get inspired with world-renowned speakers and cultivate relationships with like-minded women + men on the path to radiant health - inside and out. EARLY BIRD pricing ends on March 15. There is limited space, confirm your spot!

use promo code: lwlovesyou



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