Being Close to Nature

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“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” ~John Muir, 1913

John Muir’s life and work has inspired people all over the world. John Muir was an explorer, mountaineer, conservationist, botanist, amateur geologist and writer of distinction.  Born in Dunbar in 1838, John Muir emigrated with his parents to the United States where he campaigned for the preservation of the Yosemite Valley in California and helped create the world’s first national park system.

I grew up very close to where John Muir was born although a few decades later. In Dunbar in East Lothian, Scotland we have much that is named after this amazing, nature loving individual.

In my work as Coach and Mentor I have been privileged to walk with my clients on part of their life’s journey. I have  often asked

“So what or where gives your life meaning?”  ” Where do you feel most at peace?”

The answer so often is indeed what John Muir said in the leading quote of this article. Being close to nature is a  place of solace, a place to connect not only with nature and the wider universe but that unique, deeper connection with self.

Each day of my own life, I know that the importance of the natural world around me has held me in a place of sanity through troubled times. The wonderful connection with growth, the seasons illustrating natural transitions and the amazing learning that comes from observing, still fills me with a strange sensing of all that is their for our exploration.

Inviting clients to step away from their offices into a place of retreat  is so rewarding. Incorporating that with nature, the use of mindfulness and the techniques from coaching has assisted so many find themselves —– whilst in nature.

Another of my favorite quotes is: “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe”. ~ John Muir

As in mindfulness we repect that everything is interconnected and that we all survive in systems in this great universe. This can bring great meaning and purpose to clients in this frantic world, where religious beliefs no longer sustain them.

Sitting in a quiet seat somewhere you most love, is a wonderful way to stop and BE in nature. Close your eyes and listen. Listen to all the sounds around you, at distance and close by. Sense the air on your skin and observe everything that you are touching, smelling and seeing. Be mindfully aware of the connections and lessons to be noticed. For stepping out is surely going in.

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