Join me in a game of nature and nurture?
You’ve read about nature versus nurture. Well, today my friends, we are welcoming and exploring both nature and nurture. By Claire Tamplin
As we enter autumn, with crisp, crimson leaves falling from the trees and Mother Earth’s soil rich with rainfall, we often hear a lot about letting go, resting and hibernation.
You see, nature has many mirrors for us to witness. For instance, I am a ‘tree person’…random, but true! I literally love trees. We can learn so much from them. Their uniqueness, their desire to stand tall and yet remain grounded. Their innate ability to evolve and grow through the cycles and seasons without resistance. Trees are the epitome of simply ‘being’.
‘The Book of Dharma’ by Simon Hass describes beautifully how ‘in nature, an oak tree pushes out acorns, it doesn’t try to push out lilies.’ It doesn’t try to be anything else, it is complete just as it is.’ If only we could feel this, accepting we are who we are; like nature, embracing and embodying this, powerfully.
Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed or that inner critic is chattering away in my ear, sowing seeds of doubt, or reminding me of past failures and mistakes, I know to immerse myself in nature. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Spiritually. I am humbled each time as Mother Earth allows my true essence to emerge once again: unapologetic authenticity. Victorious vulnerability.
I take time to observe how the wind rustles the leaves momentarily and remind myself how, like the breeze, our thoughts and feelings pass. I watch in wonder as the leaves fall elegantly and almost purposefully, as the branches intuitively whisper: ‘it’s time to let go.’
There have been countless studies on the benefits of ‘grounding’ or ‘earthing’, either walking barefoot or open water immersions.
One study on the benefits of this practice on inflammation and our immune system is fascinating as it finds we are able to tap into our living matrix, connecting and healing cells. Nature at its finest.
So where does the concept of ‘nurture’ come in? Sure, we are nurturing our bodies, minds and souls. However, my exploration today is inviting you to dive deeper: to awaken and walk hand in hand with your inner child.
Like observing nature, children can teach us so much. I recall only last week looking at the garden and creating a mental to-do list, “well, that needs sorting/tidying …” as my inquisitive four-year-old son stopped me in my tracks, squealing in awe: “Wow! That ant is carrying a leaf, come see mama!”
Children are present. Sometimes, as parents, we painstakingly have to pause the flow of life and go moment by moment and when we have places to be, it can feel frustrating. Yet when we really slow down and mindfully take a moment to be completely present, we too notice these small magical marvels that our world has to offer.
Being around children and being more childlike can evoke and evolve a host of emotions.
Nurturing that purity and innocence we felt, connecting with what we used to enjoy, even talking gently to our inner child, has such profound and powerful calming effects.
I wonder what you used to do as a child that made you feel joy? I invite you to take a moment to revisit that memory, or even to be brave and take a leap of childhood silliness and adventure and do it again. Swap comfort for courage and notice how it feels in your body.
Recently, I took this very opportunity.
Protected by the wise towering, tree trunks. Surrounded by the amber and auburn autumn delights. Basking in the crisp, morning sunbeams. We danced in nature. We nurtured a community of children and our own inner child. We were curious. Silly. Wholesome. We were present.
Fearless to try new challenges, we moved mindfully as we roared in lion’s pose and wobbled and giggled in tree pose.
In this moment, we epitomised nature and nurture, a glorious balance of the two, overflowing with energy, joy and gratitude.
So as we welcome autumn, perhaps you’ll take my hand and welcome a game of balance in nature and nurture too?