How to Harness Nature's Healing Power? We Ask 3 Followers of An Active Lifestyle How to Better Connect with the Present Moment

3 inspiring women from different corners of the world share with us how adventuring in nature has impacted their wellbeing.

Words: Meri Frig

1. Hannah Durbin, Marathon Runner & Motivational Speaker

  Image: Hannah Durbin

Image: Hannah Durbin

I love and connect with all forms of nature. This soul connection is something I can find almost anywhere: in the way the wind blows through the trees on a crisp fall day, or the way the sun sets over the ocean at the end of a summer evening. It doesn’t so much matter where I am, but more so what state of mind I am in, that determines my level of connection. 

These spots in nature - my favourite running trails, my summer morning meditation on the beach, my go-to journaling spot by the lake - provide me with a sense of deep serenity. It is a time when I am able to realise the immense beauty around me, within me, and before me. It helps me to put the world into perspective, and put my racing thoughts on hold for just a few moments. It brings me peace of mind. 

Running is my escape. It is the time when I feel the most deeply connected with the world around me. With each step, I feel my soul become more deeply embedded in the nature that surrounds me. I am able to breathe in the new air, and exhale that which does not benefit me. It is the time I take for myself to put the chaos aside, and focus on the beauty and goodness of nature.

"It helps me to put the world into perspective, and put my racing thoughts on hold for just a few moments."

  Image: Monika Mäkitalo

Image: Monika Mäkitalo

2. Monika Mäkitalo, Spiritual Wellbeing Coach

I like to walk along the beaches of the Lauttasaari island in Helsinki, as well as in the landscapes and forests around my childhood home.

In nature, I feel a strong connection with the universe and with the 'higher'. Being and moving in nature is essential for my holistic wellbeing (physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing). My body gets to move and exercise and inhale fresh air, my mind settles and thoughts clarify, my inner light strengthens. Nature is a great teacher and healer. It heals us with all the elements: fire, wind, earth, ether, water. 

If I feel a bit unbalanced or ungrounded, I will receive what I need from the nature. Sometimes I lay down on a cliff and just breathe, and after a few breaths I will feel grounded again. Likewise, if I feel stuck with negative thoughts, I acknowledge the wind and the sea, and allow all what is unnecessary to be washed away. It's enough to just spend time outdoors and it will do the trick. About 10 years ago, I was suffering from depression. What cured me was consistently, every single day, going out for a walk in nature, where the sun gave me light and nature an overall feeling of easiness. Let the nature heal. Whatever is going on at that moment – nature always makes me feel lightness and harmony.

"I was suffering from depression. What cured me was consistently, every single day, going out for a walk in nature, where the sun gave me light and nature an overall feeling of easiness. Let the nature heal."

Usually, I walk or sit silently on a rock. Sometimes I hug trees, or I pick berries and mushrooms. I am fully present. I look around, and follow what the animals around me, such as squirrels and birds, are doing. Animals teach us accepting contentment in the present moment.  

  Image: Jina Kim

Image: Jina Kim

3. Jina Kim, Surfer

I love the waves in Batu Karas, West Java, Indonesia. They are slow, clean, and kind, like mother.

The nature around the waves, the mountain and cliffs, are beautiful and the local friends are so kind.

No fight for waves. Only share with a thankful mind, good vibes only. They don’t have a fancy restaurant or café, but they have most yummy banana muffins there. I love to eat those and feel the good vibes. Only good vibes that you could never forget.