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being in nature – a dog’s perspective

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In my recent newsletter I was extolling the virtues of being in nature. I find it’s like pressing the ‘pause’ button for a moment and stepping out of the busyness of day to day life into a space of peace and calm.

So why is that? It’s because nature calls upon all of my senses to become fully engrossed in the experience and distracts me from other thoughts. You may have heard the phrase ‘being in the moment’ or in the ‘now’. This is what is meant by this.

dog on walk in nature showing being in the momentBeing ‘in the moment’ or the ‘now’ is something our animal companions do naturally. If you watch a dog when it’s out on a walk it is using all of its’ senses. Watch how alert they are to their surroundings. They may pause to sniff when they catch a whiff of something that’s interesting. Can you remember when you last stopped to sniff a flower you walked past? We don’t do this often as our minds tend to be elsewhere.

When we are in the moment we are fully focussed on the experience we are having. It means we are not thinking about the future or the past. We are not running through the conversation we had with someone earlier and whether we should have said something different. We are not planning what we are going to eat that evening or the list of jobs that we have for the weekend. For that moment we are fully and completely absorbing the experience we are having. With this immersion comes the space in which we can feel peace and calm, as we are free from worries of the past or concerns about the future.

We can apply being in the moment to anything from washing the dishes to talking a walk. It may be difficult to imagine this, but with practice we can bring it into more aspects of our daily life. The result can be a greater feeling of peace and calm in our lives.

Nature calls on all of our senses and so it provides a great training ground for being in the moment. Last week I saw a field full of poppies and cornflowers so vibrant I had to stop to catch my breath and pinch myself to check I wasn’t dreaming. I find when I start to examine things in nature closely their beauty becomes even more apparent.

I love dragonflies; I find there’s something magical about them. When I study them closely I am in awe of their intricate bodies and delicate wings. The sounds and scents of nature alert my senses too; the gentle buzzing of bees, wind rustling in the trees and the scent from jasmine on a warm summer evening as you brush past it.

You will have your own way of experiencing nature. Whatever the magic in it for you, it’s a great way of experimenting with being in the moment. Nature provides such rich stimulus for our senses. The more of our senses that we use, the fuller the experience we can have and the more ‘in the moment’ we are.

So, next time you are in the garden, park or countryside, you may want to pause for a moment and allow yourself to fully engage your senses and see how it feels.


Photo of dog enjoying a walk by Bev Lloyd-Roberts

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