LAND / a noun and a verb.
We are grounded on the land, we also come to land from the air.
For most of us who live busy lives, predominantly indoors, the transition between our life indoors and our time outdoors can be difficult. We might not have much time, and feel anxious about that. We might feel pressured to make the little amount of time we have, work. We might simply be too overwrought with what’s going on at home and work to know how to relax sufficiently into enjoying our time outdoors.
I see this a lot.
Time outdoors is a great idea. Time outdoors to support your wellbeing, an even better one. But how do you make the transition outdoors a fruitful one? After all, you don’t need it to cause you more stress.
When it comes to walking outdoors for wellbeing, or spending time in nature in any other way (be it sitting mindfully by a river, getting ready for a swim in the sea etc.) I follow a simple personal practice that brings me out of my busy headspace indoors, and grounds me to the present outdoor environment. This is how I start to tune in to my inner voice and wisdom, how I start to really hear what’s happening outside of me, and beyond me, and begin to hear what it is I want and need in my life.
At the core of wellbeing is taking responsibility for self-care. Being able to discern for yourself, your needs in the direction of health, healing and wellness. So this is a way to ease into your time outdoors but is also a tool for self-coaching.
I've made it easy to remember too. LAND. So, next time you're heading out for a mindful walk, or feeling harrassed, stressed or generally in need of time-out try running through the following stages in the first 10-15 minutes of your time outside; extending the steps for as long as you need/want to:
Listen – what can you hear? what is happening around you? What noise fills the outer space? And what about the detail - can you hear the tiny things? And now, what is happening inside of you? How are you feeling today? What aches? What feels good and healthy? Can you hear your pulse? Your Breathing? Be gentle and curious.
Attune – this is where we acclimatise more deeply to our surroundings. We are becoming aware and receptive to where we’re at both inside and out. Now is the time to begin blocking out the unhelpful inner and outer noise, by turning your attention to what is natural. To breathe deeply. We are making ourselves harmonious with the outer world. We are finding a rhythm.
Notice – now we are beginning to pay attention to the specifics of what’s starting to happen. What is your mind and body asking of you right now? We are starting to take note of whatever is coming up in the quiet space. This is where we begin noticing our needs. Noticing what the inner voice might be saying. Noting our intuition and gut instinct. Noticing the small voice inside of you. We are putting our minds on notice for what’s ahead.
Discern and Do. – we have listened, attuned and noticed, and now we are in the right space to discern what we want and need, and from that awareness are in a better position to act. To find movement. What do you need to do? What’s going to change? What doesn’t need to change? What do you want more of? What is this time outdoors doing for you? What comes next?
This is a helpful way of running through some of the important stages of becoming more present to yourself and nature, but it doesn’t have to be linear and sequential. In fact, it’s not! It’s a circular process, and sometimes you might not get beyond listening. Each stage has it’s own benefits and gains starting from the simplicity of just hearing what is happening in the world beyond you, and listening to what your mind and body is telling you. The DO might not come till later.
Please do not republish without permission. For personal use only. Copywrite White Peak Wellbeing 2018