At the root of Ambient Oaks are walks in nature that have benefited my holistic health and wellbeing immensely. I have found the three personal practices listed below to be the most impactful. I aim to inspire you to reflect on and discover how nature connects with you personally and us collectively. We all have different strengths, obstacles, and needs. What has proven to be beneficial for me may not directly translate to your life or experience. The varied relationships we all form with nature is part of the beauty of the wild and the adventure.
Attuning to the wild
Nurturing the mind
Embracing our existence
Directing my attention to the wild and natural world helps me stay grounded, present, and positive. Natural elements that live in my surroundings offer me familiar comfort when I'm feeling anxious or disconnected. Noticing and interacting with my environment engages my senses, increases my body awareness, and helps me stay mindful. I am less likely to drift into negative thoughts or an overwhelmed, distracted, or disconnected state. Because I find nature to be fascinating, attuning to the wild keeps me away from negativity while also directing me towards something positive.
The forest provides a space where I can explore aspects of myself that I often suppress or avoid sharing with others. Labels that are used to define myself and my qualities, such as "weaknesses," dissolve, and I  appreciate qualities of myself without the challenges that come with societal structures or expectations. For instance, the unpredictable nature of the wild encourages a natural curiosity and keeps me on my toes. I am eager to catch a glimpse of an occurrence that may only appear for a short time. Being prone to distractions isn't something we typically celebrate. However, when you are birdwatching in a thick meadow or searching for mushrooms in a wooded area, the natural tendency to have your attention drawn towards movement, sounds, changes, or other captivating aspects of your environment can be rewarding and advantageous. Reframing this outlook has helped me cultivate a more positive connection with myself and the wild.
On my walks, I engage with a tiny fraction - only a glimpse - of the diversity of life on this planet. Yet, it's still incredibly diverse. My perspective expands like a camera lens. I feel what it means to be a part of a large and complex web. I am reminded when I see the beauty in moss growing on a fallen tree and share a moment of curiosity with a fawn in the woods. I recognize the strength, comfort, and responsibility that comes along with this connected web. Personally engaging with other forms of life in the wild, versus solely appreciating the essence of my existence based on how well I fit into the context of modern society, has helped me take to heart the value of my being and our collective existence.
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