I swear I thought of it first. But I’ll never be able to prove it. Well, actually, I don’t think I thought of it first. I just had it as an idea for a blog and didn’t act on it. In the meantime, there’s been another ground-swell of interest.
In what? In getting into nature in order to enliven creativity and improves one’s general well-being. Everywhere from Huffington Post to the Wall Street Journal as well as the prominence of the excellent work of Jonah Lehrer have brought these ideas into the public eye again.
As if computers were not enough to keep us glued to the phosphor and inside, the increase in smartphone and small electronic pad (iPad and it’s competitors) use keeps us connected to technology more than to nature. Yet, studies mentioned by Lehrer indicate that the most basic contact with nature (such as hiking) increase creative thought. So, as much as the smartphone and mini-pad may provide us with tools for our artistic work, nature can provide us with even more if we will just get outside.
I have the good fortune of having a beloved dog as a member of our household. At least three times a day, he needs to get outside and “do his business.” Even these short meanders into the outdoors — which sometimes involves nature — provide me with just the breath of fresh air that my day often needs. I can no longer count on my fingers and toes the number of times that walking the dog has made the difference in my work, creativity and relationship. As I walk by the vegetation and pay close attention to this little being by my side, my breathing and then attitude so often shift. My perspective changes and that changes everything.
Hiking and kayaking are other ways that I enjoy getting into nature. While these are not as regular as I might like, they are also a way to provide an important shift during a weekend. I am reminded in these moments how much I appreciate a sunrise, sunset, clouds, scampering critter, birds of prey and so on.
What would really be great is hearing from you about your experiences with nature. How often do you get into the outdoors? When you do, does anything change? Do you find nature inspiring?
I look forward to hearing from you. Not sure what to say? Take a walk outside…