A Brief Theory About Life and Beyond
From Nature With Love
"We were all lost under the same sky. Together but alone, under the same sky. And the sky turned pink and everything else under its kingdom. The soil, your skin, the rock mountains, the broken china, my broken heart. We all synced under the power of a pastel sky." (Joshua Tree, January 2020)
Dear reader, my aim today is to share with you the ubiquitous power of nature, a source not only of knowledge and infinite energy but also a primary key-holder to unlocking our very own inner peace and happiness. In that sense, I’m here to share a pure message of nature to us. She’s full of signs, she’s a mother to us all, she’s life and she is infinity. She’s the one that brought us here and will take us away. She’s the reason we are breathing, the reason we feel the ground under our feet, the reason we feel the sun against our cheeks, the reason why we love animals and the reason why we are all equal under her sky. As I will be sharing later on this chapter, nature is the perfect school of life and it can be used as the perfect backdrop for life’s allegories and lessons. Following this pandemic, our challenge moving forward is finding our very own way to reconnect with nature from scratch, like it was day zero, through daily practices at home or outdoors.
We are all interconnected on this planet. All of us. All the time. And Nature can be our ultimate path to awakening, our ultimate guide to our very own enlightenment. And this is what I’m here to explore with you, right next to you.
Right now, at this given period in time, we are all forced to stop. And look. And stare at nature, from our own little cages we call home, cages that we have been metaphorically putting Her and all her creatures in. We have been confining nature for way too long and now it is nature’s time to finally breathe. So in order for us to free ourselves and level up as a collective, to raise our good vibrations, to slowly delete all these virtual filters that we as a generation have so meticulously crafted and eventually blinded ourselves with over time, let us start by taking a walk. Together. Today.
1. An Unnatural Life
Growing up, nature was something I always took for granted and somehow I believe I’m not alone in this. Although I was lucky enough to be born and raised in the beautiful country of Greece, as a teenager I did not aspire being with nature as an ultimate life goal. My dreams did not entail owning a farm or being submerged in the countryside. They did not include doing sun salutations facing a welcoming dawn on the daily, or sitting by the window and gazing at the ever mesmerising full moon, on the quest for life’s answers. My goal, as every other determined kid back then, was primarily to build a career and be part of the city life, of that hustle and bustle reflecting the pulse of urbanism, because that is where art, fashion, beauty and visions ‘bloomed’. My aspirations were utterly deprived of nature. And how terribly wrong I was. And most of us.
I think that my personal awakening came prior to my mum’s passing back in July 2019. I distinctively remember that night when she fell in a coma like state and without realising at that time, her staring at the hospital’s ceiling, that look, was all she was left with, deprived of her own voice or senses. That same night, on a desperate lookout for answers from a higher power, I headed to a pitch black sea, illuminated by the sheer light of the moon. I looked up cause I hoped ‘up’ was where all the answers would come from. And they did, and they do. And they will. I realised that up was how we would be communicating from now on, my mother and I. By staring in her moon, I would be looking right at her and she right down on me. I was looking for her in nature, and she would show up in signs and forms of animals. With her passing, I was forced to look at nature for answers. And reveal nature’s power on us.
You see, I realised that we have all been living into a type of dream (or nightmare) where we voluntarily let ourselves get drifted away by the glistering beauty of everything shining our way. We went for sparkling objects, fancy cars, designer clothes, extravagant lifestyles, more often than not at the cost of nature’s resources. And as if that wasn't enough, we even got to a point of altering our very own physical vessels, our very own faces and bodies. And then we took it further. We idealised these man-made artificial illusions and turned them into icons or gods, ever unobtainable and forever unnatural. We let them guide our lives and even let them penetrate some of our core values. We kept on building dreams and empires in an effort to expand our legacy and immortality beyond our humble, human mortality.
And during all this non-stop chaos of consumption, consumerism, power play and antagonism, we forgot to stop and stare at the biggest gift of all, our biggest source of inspiration, our very own mother nature. We not only forgot to appreciate Her, but we inflicted and are inflicting constant pain by destroying continuously our ultimate and unique source of energy. Not only on a physical but also and more importantly so, on a spiritual level.
In focusing on building the tomorrow, we forgot to live in the today.
But my dear reader, we will die. This is as far as human nature goes. And it can happen today or tomorrow, or in 40 years, it doesn't really matter. What matters is the today, the now, the present. And it is clear by now, that nature, just like our inner peace and higher consciousness, need us to be present today, not tomorrow or in 20 years time.
Nature: Our Ultimate Source of Knowledge
Lately, despite the strict rules of confinement internationally, I found myself lucky enough to walk by my area’s nearby mountains as my daily douse of hourly exercise. This reconnection with nature brought me to a new, natural level of high. And the more I kept on walking, the more I realised that by focusing on the material and the artificial prior to this pandemic, we had actually reached a low. A low level of collective consciousness and of existence in our effort to be super human. However what if now is the perfect time to get back on the same level with nature? For example, notice how nowadays we are getting more dependent to nature’s various antics.
When it is sunny outside, our feet can’t hold us down or when it is rainy or cold we tend to feel weaker, when fresh and floral odours fill up our room, we remember of what is to come, what the beginning of spring smells and feels like, almost like a distant memory from the past. My dear reader, we are all capable of perceiving nature’s wonders, but somehow along the line we all forgot to stop and smell the roses. Literally.
But humans have always turned to nature to progress. We looked at the stars and created astronomy, we decoded the DNA of our ancestors and defined the science of evolution, we got hit by an apple and understood the law of gravity. We went to space and experienced the law of anti-gravity, we saw thunders and understood how sound travels, so what if we need to relook and work with and not against nature for yet another time?
What if it is time to finally stop adapting to the artificial environments we so carefully constructed and sync once again with our natural environment, the one that helped us evolve hand in hand throughout history?
Nature: A Simple Walk Outside
I recently read that scientists have coined a new terminology for nature’s healing powers: ‘ecotherapy’. They have started to clinically prove that a long immersion into our ever-healing nature can indeed resolve and appease chronic cases of depression. Although these findings are great, they highlight a little fault in our stars. We are so eager to rationalise, to justify what we have all known intuitively for centuries. When I need to sort out my thoughts out, I go for a walk. Simple as that, simple as a beautiful walk in the forest.
If there’s one place that we shouldn't get all cervical about it, is in the cradle of nature’s blessings. The only place where you should walk with your heart first.
When we see a beautiful landscape, we get emotional. Some of us tear up. That’s a fact and there’s no need to justify it, back it up with data. It’s the ultimate proof that reminds us of our very own home, we get back to our most profound of roots and for that we feel bliss and eternal gratitude for being in the now. For it is by simply observing nature and blending with it that we can raise our consciousness and vibrate from within, propel those good vibrations. And right now, Mother Earth is calling us to do exactly that. Raise our vibrations to her standards. Follow her energy so we all flow from the same fabric, at the same level, at the same time. Just like those very first humans that felt happiness or bliss the time they stumbled upon flowers, we need to feel that same happiness again.
2. Nature as the School of Life
Nature is our ultimate school of life. Not only where we birth and where we die but also where we learn. My theory is that nature can be our perfect canvas for answering life’s questions. I am a strong believer that when you have unanswered questions within you, the best way to solve them is to get lost alone in nature and the answers will magically surface when they are ripe enough. And as per magic, all your worries will get dissolved like each wave dissolving on a golden shore.
Let us walk again hand in hand with nature. Cause I have been there and I have found my answers and I believe you can too. You can get inner peace by simply staring at nature, how beautiful is that. Feeling united with our earth’s heartbeat, that should be our life goal. I know that my day will be simply better after a walk in nature. And I also know that the sky and the clouds will last longer than I and I am fine with that. Our mission is to find our role, be grateful to this earth, be contributing to our community and rest in peace.
Nature is here to literally ground us and by focusing on her wonders, we can stop distracting ourselves from fake news, ego demons at play and the need to own everything. Cause by being with her, we have everything.
Come take a walk with me.
During my walks, I have collected some thoughts, small fables if you like inspired by nature that can be quite telling for life’s purposes and for a positive frame of mind.
Be A Butterfly
What if we were to see our current confinement not as a prison but under the same prism that we would use to look at the evolution of a beautiful butterfly. Right before a butterfly spreads its wings and flies for that very first time and shows the world its most beautiful colours, each butterfly is confined in its very own cocoon. Let us treat this phase as our very own human cocooning time, our magic hour to heal from within. Where we nurture and form and develop our very own inner wings, the same wings that will help us awaken and see the world from a new angle, that will guide us make the right choices, fly towards the right values, attracted by the right and purest of scents and the richest of pollen. Cause a butterfly will be there, in the garden to remind you of our magical lightness of being. And unlike Kundera, I am a strong believer that the lightness of being is not unbearable but it’s blissful. Just like a butterfly’s flight and for a flickering moment called Life, we get to experience the beauty of life in full blossom until we go back to the ground and become one again with Her.
Embrace Cold Water
When you dive into the sea’s cold water on a bright, early spring morning, and following a good swim you come out to dry, everything seems warmer; you appreciate the warm rays of sun, the light wind that suddenly seems slightly more heated, you can even feel the warmth of the smile of a complete stranger on your way back home. And you are content. You see life can be like this. Sometimes it takes for one to swim in cold deep waters in order to appreciate life on the beautiful shore every single day.
Fly With Me
The other day I was on the mountain and at least 15 flies were on me. At first, I thought my bright coloured jumper was the reason for this unwanted attraction. Little did I know, that over time, the number of flies doubled. And with that my impatience doubled too. And I was upset, I was annoyed, I felt I was doing something wrong, I was frustrated and with every buzz I was adding another layer of anger on me. But then I decided to switch my frame of mind and saw it as a lesson, as a great metaphor. It’s always up to us - will we give all the attention to the surrounding flies? Or will we sit down accept it and look at the bigger picture and see nature in full? In its full phantasmagoria, a landscape full of wind sounds, flowers and birds flying and singing their own song. In other words, let us not let the flies or the negative people or thoughts consume us. Let us be superior. Don’t fight it or flight it. Just be. And eventually their noises will quiet down and the beauty of nature will reign again.
Be Your Own Gardener
A wise friend once suggested the following rhetoric as a good life compass: if we were to die tomorrow, did we leave this place better than how we found it? Our mission on this earth is to grow our very own garden and once the fruits in it are all ripe we will be able to not only feed, nourish and comfort ourselves and our own appetite, but we will be able to feed our loved ones, and in the long run if we expand that garden and work on it daily and with dedication we could feed a whole community. If your soil is rich enough, eventually trees will grow. They will all be able to provide shadow not just for your loved ones, but for any bystander, for any passenger that might need to find comfort under your trees’ shadows. And right now, and for us not be a burnt generation under the current burning world, we all need to be able to get protected, to cast that shadow over our heads and hearts and those of our fellow travellers. To be able to use words of wisdom, poetry and other arts as our ultimate natural shield. So before further ado, learn how to be your very own gardener. It’s an art that requires nothing more than understanding the richness of the soil, understand how much water your inner plants need, when do those trees blossom the most and under which conditions. And once you are ready to share, open and invite them all, like an endless supper. Open your garden to all and only more bees, more pollen, more wisdom, more love will come and expand and create life anew.
3. Take Away Practices
I’m here to reassure you that no matter how hard a stage of life we think we are in, the scent of an orange blossom or that floral summer nights or the feeling of the sea-salt at the beach will never leave us. And eventually it will calm us. And it is up to us to get more enriched and create memories anew. When the time is right my request to you is doing exactly that. Get in touch with nature. That is the number one way of healing ourselves and the collective. If you have a plant grow it with your heart and water it with your caring words. See its blossoms come to life.
I know that all this might sound overwhelming dear reader, there might seem out of your realm, out of reach and completely irrational vs a hardcore reality. But remember, life is a walk on a sunny day, and I’m right here beside you, holding your hand. I’m not asking you to leave your jobs, run away from city life and abandon all science. What I am suggesting is for a synergy, for a cooperation between us and the Earth. Finding the right ways to slowly re integrate nature in our daily life. The following steps might help concretise and help you get one step closer to nature. These practices might be used as a beginner’s guide in ways you can expand and improve your relationship with nature, decrease your carbon footprint and increase your natural consciousness.
- Forest bathing: referring the act of plunging/diving with all your senses in a forest, an activity favourited by the Japanese. Looking at the trees with eyes of love, look at the light games and shadows, the plethora of magical sounds, the layers upon layers of green, look up and see the distance and the sun beyond, look forward and see the depth in nature and within you.
- Under the sea: being Greek and a Pisces I always believe in the soothing, healing and rebirthing power of water. There’s a feeling reminiscent of a foetal in the womb, going back to our origins, so next time you are under water, close you eyes and hug yourself in the foetus position, you will hear your heart and your whole existence vibrate. Alternatively, float tanking seems to have a similar effect, leaving you directly with your thoughts alone.
- Running, walking, or hiking in nature: most heavenly experience, once you are fully immersed with your whole body and spirit, it can feel like nature’s plants are literally applauding you
- Cloud gazing one of my favourite activities, trying to identify shapes or hidden messages. Whether it’s a reflection of our inner psyche, or just imagination, it’s a magical way to awaken the child within.
- Raise of sun or sunset hour: sun salute and take in all the colours, notice how the rays enlighten part by part the earth. One of the most magical sunrises I experienced was a 6am sunrise somewhere in the Death Valley USA, where each mountain peak only came to existence once caressed by the sun’s beaming light, almost like a choreographed performance. If you are not an early morning person, go for sunset. The purple skies, the soft pink hues - notice the soothing soft glow on your skin or that of your partner’s, a good sunset is one of the most breathtaking experiences by far.
- Gardening: grow your actual garden or a little green eden at home, the attention to natural needs, will open you up.
- Tea: look no further than your tea. Taste nature and its herbal or botanical powers, just by sipping. Each time try to go beyond the feeling of hot water and try to enrich your palette by picking up the different flavours offered to you. It is no coincidence that so many cultures have their own tea ceremonies and traditions.
- Practice tai chi or yoga in nature: breathing and flow movements will ensure a spiritual and physical energy that can do wonders.
- Crystal understanding: something that came only recently to my sphere, crystals have healing powers or at least they are said to. What I do know for a fact is the soothing feeling I get when I stare through them. Remember crystals, were once heavy, opaque stones that had their nature transformed as if enlightened. Crystal sound bathing is definitely another very serene experience worth trying at least once.
- Weed: although still a taboo territory, weed, if used in moderation and with the right intensions, can help unlock frustrations and is said to even fight malignant types of cancer.
- Going vegan: personally haven’t gone all the way, but already cutting out meat and processed food helps take off some heaviness. I sincerely wake up easier in the mornings and you tend to have a shaper focus, more long durations of concentration and efficiency
- Pet your pet: playing and bonding with your favorite animals is said to release oxytocin (a hormone that is said to create bonding, trust and altruism) and can also you help another soul.
- Painting a natural portrait: I have zero skills in drawing but staring at nature, I came to understand how artists like Monet saw nature and led to their extraordinary world, seeing gradients of lights within gradients of blossom.
Our aim by the end of this book and by the end of each chapter is to get a little bit closer to creating a perfect vision of our inner eden. Like a quiet lake during the sunset hour, where the water is calm and reflecting the clouds and where each stone drop no matter how big or small, won’t create waves or a ripple effect, because the water within is infinitely at peace. And that water is you and your ability to appreciate life in perfect harmony and neutrality forever and for the long run.
And remember: whatever trail you choose to follow, whichever hike you choose to climb, always wish for the journey and the road to your very own private Ithaca to be long (Cavafy, 1911) because it is the journey and not the destination that we should cherish the most. Each day is a new blessing, a new road and it's only in the now that we are and can be. After all, our Ithaca is only an illusion. There’s no final destination, no finish line worth waiting to achieve my friend so as to start feeling happy and at peace. Hey, we already made it till here and today is already enough. Have a really really great day my friend. See u on the other side.