Another Path to Serenity: Nature
By Mike Martin
Excerpted from Change the Things You Can (Dealing with Difficult People)
Most of us now live in cities or semi-urban areas, concrete and asphalt jungles with a sprinkling of trees in boxes or planters. Our lawns are painted green with a toxic mix of insecticide and pesticides. Our flowers are often exported from exotic locales and transported to us to recreate our own mini-versions of the Garden of Eden that we have seen on the all-shopping network. The few wild creatures that wander into our domains are treated as nuisances or destroyed by our garbage and toxic fumes. We drive our carbon dioxide spewing SUV’s and mini-vans into the “country” to get a breath of fresh air.
We live in a world of constant chaos and commotion. Almost nothing around us is natural. It is no wonder that so many of us are in inner turmoil as the natural world around us suffers so much. To reclaim our inner peace and serenity we have to find a way to reconnect with nature and the natural forces that hold the key to our individual and collective survival.
Luckily for us, all is not lost, yet. In the biggest and most powerful city of the world sits an oasis of hope and a signal to all others. Central Park in New York Citymakes the Big Apple not only livable but creates a perfect place to recapture serenity in the midst of the storm.Acreafter acre of trees and grass and squirrels and people intermingling in the sun and rain and snow. If NYC can do it then so can all the rest of us.
In every town and city there are parks and trails and naturally preserved areas. Walk, or if you have to, drive to the one nearest you. Stroll through the plants and trees and just listen. Listen to the chattering chipmunks and the mad-cap birds. Smell the green that’s in the air. Rest for a moment on the grass with your back against the sturdy arms of an old tree. Close your eyes and see the beauty that is inside you. Open them to see it all around you.
There are no alarm clocks or cell phones here. No traffic lights or exhaust fumes. No pell-mell rushing but the simple playing and resting and feeding and loving that is already present in our heart waiting to receive it. Take one last deep breath and let it flow down to your toes and back up into your addled brain.
Feel the release when you breathe out, like all of your troubles are gone, which they are. Don’t think about anything. Just be.
Mike Martin is a freelance writer and workplace wellness consultant. He has written and published thousands of articles about workplace issues for magazines and publications in Canada, theUnited States and New Zealand. He has worked in human resources for over thirty years and has experience both as a senior manager and a union leader. For the past fifteen years he has worked with dozens of small, medium and large organizations in the areas of workplace intervention and conflict management.
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