“Receive life with much philosophy and nature…”
G. shuffled through life most of the time being far gone indeed. His mood being as dark as the grave, his face being as weary as the days of his past, and his voice as harsh as the hollow moaning of the damp unwholesome wind.
He was not yet past 36 and the earth and life itself seemed not his element anymore. The expression in his eyes was scarcely of his age or of the world. So many shadows from the past played about his face that G’s smile, above all, was the worst evidence of artless pain and misery.
The horrors of the war left no trace of the memory of a happier existence, long gone by and forgotten, vanished in the scenes of fighting and killing. These marks of cruelty and anger buried every trace of love and affection he had ever known. It seemed that nothing in this world would be able to recall any positive emotion in his soul. Darkness and nightmares watched G. as he slept and was awake.
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The sinking of soul and spirit is alleviated by an emergent field of ecopsychology. It awakens the remembrance of our connectedness to the web of life. We need to be careful about how we deal with nature as we are an inseparable part of it.
Blithesome environmental music and freedom in the landscape carry thoughts of recreation and peace to the hearts of people. Remorse may seem unavailing, but it creeps away when met with brightness and mirth in the scenes of brilliant sky, vast fields, and high mountains.
Our relationship with nature should be explored, and nowadays mental health practitioners pay more and more attention to the aspects of ecotherapy. The inner impulses of every person’s soul long to be connected to the environment.
1) Connectedness to Earth as the Core of Ecotherapy
G. was a true personage of an uncouth man with sharp eyes and rough hands. The fervent prayers, gushing from the hearts of his many relatives, overcharged with wild nature and simple close to deprivation and far from cruelty life, were his daily companions in his youth.
Exposure to the wet morning grass, cold fresh mountain air, and many animal-friends brought on belief in good, frank, and honest which hung over him till the first days on a battlefield, those reduced G. and his faith sadly. An effort to come back to his native place was the only way to recover his life force back again.
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The earth does as much for us as could be expected in an age when the population cannot afford to stay connected to it for nothing. Relationship among humanity is built on the principle of giving and taking and the same motto we tend to express toward everyone and everything. Nature, though, is worn with use, disheartened with selfishness, and tired of human contact.
We should attribute exceptional importance to the process of creation, the natural forces that govern life. Harmonizing with these systems, we may experience spiritual illumination, improved mental and physical health. Respect in every aspect of life is vital. To cherish nature as we cherish close, loving people is just as important. Love given to the human being revives life forces in that person, and the same emotion granted to the surrounding environment awakens its blooming essence.
Personal well-being is lost amid a host of every-day troubles, filled with artificial noises that stifle and destroy, it becomes empty and arid. To not let it slip away completely, we need to stay connected to planetary well-being. This feeling of union with a greater system of interaction makes a sense of weakness and captivity vanish. Only when seeing ourselves as a part of the world we can recover our balance and will-power.
2) Nature as a Tender Healer of Mental Fatigue
Only coming back home to his old and shabby house, senile forgetful mother, simple-hearted coarse childhood friends, and his ancient failing horse, he began, at length, by degrees, to get better. How deeply G. felt the goodness of his surrounding in his native mountain village, and how strongly regretted he that the ill-advised desire to escape in a search of a better life led him to the war.
Whirred, monotonous and tiresome as a clock life, words thrown out, conversations started, then the concert of mentally fatiguing angry emotions – this existence makes a wall against which one dashes in vain. To stop that deafening and blinding cycle, we need to walk in a nature preserve. No voices for lying, no faces to hide themselves behind – only the vastness of fragrances, nature sounds, and beautiful inspiring scenes.
The atmosphere of inhaled, tasted, touched, heard and seen satisfaction reduces the symptoms of depression. We feel less anger and more positive emotions. All senses participate in the recovering process. Engulfed in the brightness of green spaces, we have a greater capacity for paying attention, delaying gratification, and even less need in pain medications.
Simply calling flowers and plants into view positively affects creativity, productivity, and problem-solving skills. Over-wrought nerves, aggression, and agitation are waved away as if with the help of a magic wand in the presence of animals and under the exposure to the sounds of nature.
3) Activities that Add Variety to Life and Bring Back Glorification
Who can describe beauty and tranquility of a mountain river and snow-covered tops and hollows? Is it possible to imagine life without the pureness of that balmy air full of grass’ and flowers’ fragrance? The green hills and rich animal life, only touched by hunting in necessity degree and never in pleasure seeking unwise killing.
Life as it should be, love as it was created, and friendship as it was intended – healing emotions, and curing energies of nature didn’t wash away crowded, pent-up memories of the war, but a life of toil and peace in the atmosphere of pure, almost untouched plant and animal life made those memories Past, and not Every-Day-Haunting Nightmares of the present anymore.
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Nature can talk the language of healing and we can understand it with some guidance of a therapist or even without it. We all have a natural aptitude to comprehend it.
1. Fresh sensations revealed during meditation.
Even when it seems that the world had been turned upside down, a tranquil moment of abstractedness can put it right-side up again. We are able to come over to the positive way of thinking after reflection on the connectedness of all alive and breathing.
2. Horticultural therapy reveals to us the ability of the earth to give a sensation of maternal protection to our senses.
Garden-related activities of digging soil, planting seedlings, weeding garden beds, trimming leaves help to alleviate the symptoms of stress and burnout.
3. Animal-assisted therapy is at the service of reducing aggression and agitation.
Animals are able to pure out more of the treasures of our souls than we could even imagine. Often after the time spent in the company of wild or domestic animals, we feel intoxicated with delight and happy sensations.
4. Physical exercise in a natural setting brings us closer to the feeling of satisfaction with our mind and body.
We become more independent, more inspired and even more In Spirit – inspiration visits us while we are walking, jogging, cycling or doing yoga outside.
5. Increased awareness is reached when we are involved in restoring activities.
A sense of purpose and hopefulness, belonging and connectedness is born during the process of generous improvement done To and For the benefit of nature.
Read more in my books
G. started a chain reaction of a nature healing process, in which his own rejuvenated personality was the first link, by contacting his battle comrades and inviting them to visit his poor farm. G. could not even imagine the outcome of his good intention. Now the place is the most blessed, homely ecotherapy healing work-camp known so far.
People in mental struggle come from all over the world to find contentment and peace again. Working together, improving their life, cultivating earth and personalities, they share memories and feelings. Here again, they can feel themselves the most blessed and favored of mortals and have a touch of unmingled happiness.
True felicity of pure and most amiable generosity of people around; the warmest, soul-felt gratitude creates an attachment to the place and mental state of peace itself. The earth in her mantle of brightest green is glad to accept wounded hearts and treat them with a cheerful serenity that gives vent to the tears which now a person is unable to repress. And when the eyes are full of water, the remedial river is covering the troubles of today and the worries of the past.
The influence of flora and fauna changes the condition of our thoughts and feelings considerably to the better. Scouring the country revives the feeling of freshness and newness in life. Troubles seem not to hang as heavy on one’s hands when those applied with redoubled assiduity to the work of planting, trimming, weeding and watering – beautifying surrounding and purifying souls.
The sorrow and calamity of the world half closes, becomes more distant when you feel that you belong to the bright sphere of nature. There is no pursuit more worthy of the highest nature that resides in every one of us than encouraging the circulation of deep affection and gratitude toward nature. The sacred emotion of connectedness to the earth makes fears weak and selfish regrets feeble.