Creating Connection in Recovery
Being outside and creating connecting in recovery through nature is exceptionally restorative.
Spending just a few minutes in nature at a park, strolling along a walking trail, tending to a garden, being close to a body of water, or taking in a view of green space through a window can aid us on the path of recovery.
Breathing the fresh air and viewing the natural scenery are beneficial, but that is not all – research has shown that nature has a significantly positive effect on a recovering individual’s coping skills, their relationships with others, and their physical health. Simply being in nature has also been shown to enhance emotional wellbeing and alleviate feelings of social isolation.
Taking a sacred pause by spending even just ten minutes in nature can help us to reduce stress and leave us feeling more regulated, rooted, and connected in our lives.
We don’t often consider our relationship connection in recovery with nature.
This connection is one that can be unwavering and especially healing if one has not had secure attachment with caregivers growing up, or experienced dysfunctional relationships later in life. While it doesn’t replace the reciprocal connections we can experience in a welcoming and supportive community with fellow travelers, professional supports, mentors, and loved ones, the support that Mother Nature has to offer us is unconditional and transcends language. There is wisdom without words in the woods (side note: did you know that trees, just like us, can have harmonious yet complicated social lives? Check it out.)
A great way to explore this connection with nature is through practicing the Green Breath.
Introduced to me by Seraphina Capranos, a herbalist, homeopath, educator, and founder of The Center for the Sacred Arts, this practice is an exceptional way to connect with nature on an energetic level. This intentional experience can turn your time in the forest, garden, or park into a truly healing exercise.
Consider this – human beings need oxygen to survive.
Trees and plants provide us with this life-force. Trees need carbon dioxide to survive, which is what us human beings exhale, it’s an exchange. The Green Breath practice is simply acknowledging the life-sustaining, reciprocal relationship we have with Mother Nature. Take a moment to breathe with a tree…and thank it! Recognize the beauty in a flower, and feel gratitude for its existence. This is something that truly needs to be experienced to understand.
We can use the Green Breath exercise any time we need to remind ourselves that we are inextricably linked with nature, that the health of the Earth and our own is reciprocal, and that we can nurture both.