Don´t just look at the flowers, feel the beauty instead
Are you a fan of hiking?
Lately, we went on a hike in the mountains. It was a perfect day: ocean blue skies, no clouds and the sun beaming warmly at us. It was early June and the farmers had not mown their land yet; all different kinds of field flowers were blooming on the meadow. An intense sent of herbs and bittersweet blossoms guiding us along the way. It was a beautiful day.
Smell the beauty around you
When was the last time, you went for a hike in the mountains, or just strolled through a forest or park nearby? Have you seen the different types of green surrounding you? Have you smelled the fresh air, the musty aroma of rotten leaves or dry weeds in the warmth of the sun? Have you enjoyed your walk with all your senses?
Enjoying nature is not only about moving your body, following the path to a pre-defined destination. It´s about appreciating the way with all your senses.
The beauty of your senses
The five human senses are not only made to take in our surrounding or warn us from danger, but also to gain information and deeper knowledge. We see, hear, touch, smell, and taste to become a better picture of our environment, but also to make new connections and to learn.
A nature walk is a perfect way to reconnect to our senses and to stimulate our brain.
Setting our feet consciously from one point to the other, feeling the sensation of moving the body, while the nose is taking in the different smells around us and the eyes are aware of the colors and the light can be more brain stimulation than doing a logic riddle.
We are creatures of habit. Ever so often, we are moving along the well-known paths and not realizing were we set our toes. Same holds true for our brain. Once we know, where we are going, it sets its functions on autopilot. Let it be the drive to work, cooking dinner or running our track twice a week. We have to consciously break the habit to gain new insights, be more creative and walk through life with a heightened sense of awareness.
Cognition practice: take a walk consciously
Intentionally placing our feet does not only help us to train our cognition, but also to practice present moment awareness. If we are centered in the present moment, we are able to see, smell and taste at the same time. Going for a walk is an easy exercise to train our senses and with it our brain functions.
One of the best ways to do this, is to walk barefoot. Feeling the soles of our feet, while placing one foot after the other. (Training awareness with meditation)
- Is the ground wet and cold or dry and stony?
- Can you feel the warm summer wind breeze through the little hairs on your arm?
- What do you smell, what do you see? Are there flowers around you? Blue, red and white? Have you noticed the zillion tones of green on the leaves? From sunny-grey light green to deep forest dark green.
- Can you taste the sweat on your tongue or is your mouth dry, because you´ve already walked a while and got thirsty?
- How far can your eyes see? Can you spot a paraglider in the far distance or do you prefer watching the ants carrying way to big leaves from one side of the pathway to the other?
There are millions of things happening around us. The more we keep our eyes open, taking in the beauty of nature with all our senses, the deeper the experience will be.
Step outside, go for a walk. Maybe you seize the route you always take but try to see it with different eyes. Or you head in a new direction, one that you never took, but always wondered where this will lead to.
It is not important in which direction your heading, it´s the beauty of the journey, which makes all the difference.
“Roads were made for journeys not destinations.”