Article #7


A few insights about my
book "YOU are nature"

#1 - Anna, after years of hard work, you set off on a trip to Africa to find yourself in the wilderness. Why Africa in particular, did you have a special connection to the country?

My grandfather was an adventurer who traveled to distant continents once a year to get to know indigenous cultures - I can remember a picture of him in Papua New Guinea performing a ritual with the tribe - it was a completely different world. I certainly picked up his enthusiasm for this from him.

But until the moment I came across the book about Africa and something inside me suddenly knew: "I have to go there!", I had no connection to Africa at all.

A shaman told me afterwards that there are so-called "initiation places" on earth, places that have a special energy, and as soon as you enter them, something is awakened in you - and there are many such places in Africa.

If I had to describe it in my own words, I would say: you can't go to Africa without coming back changed. Because something in you remembers that you are part of nature. For me, it felt like coming home, even though I had never been there before.

"A shaman told me that there are so-called "initiation places" on earth that remind us that we are connected to nature."

#2 - Is there a moment from the trip that you particularly remember?

Apart from the first night when an elephant ate from a tree above me and a hyena visited my tent entrance and I didn't sleep a wink, I remember one night in camp when we were sitting at dinner and suddenly a curious leopard that had been watching us for a while walked past us just a few meters away. At that moment I had absolutely no fear, just pure enthusiasm for this special animal and for the fact that it had given me this moment. The feeling of this encounter still lingers to this day, because it has sparked a desire in me to actively do something for nature. Personally, I don't want to live on a planet where these - and many other wild, wonderful animals - no longer exist and even less do I want to belong to a generation that will one day say: "I would have done something", but one that can say: "We did something!"

"I want to belong to a generation that will one day be able to say:
"We did something", and not "we would have done something!"

#3 - In your book, you combine the insights of your journey with 10 lessons that contribute to a more fulfilling life. Are all of these 10 steps to connecting with your own nature equally important in your eyes, or do you feel one is particularly important?

In the wilderness, I learned that the most important step is always the next one. If you don't stay in the moment in the wilderness, be mindful and conscious of yourself and nature, it can very quickly become dangerous.

In contrast, we in the modern world often overwhelm ourselves because we want to be at step 10 even though we're not quite there yet. For this reason, I have also described the steps as a journey. As a kind of development that only happens when we learn to reconnect with our nature step by step. And in this respect, the most important step is the first one, namely to seriously listen to how you are feeling right now, what your body and soul are saying. If I hadn't listened to my call back then, taken it seriously and followed it, I wouldn't have ended up in Africa and none of the other steps would have happened. Trust grows the further you get.

"In the wilderness, I learned that the most important step is always the next one: if you don't stay in the moment, it can very quickly become dangerous."

#4 - You live in Vienna, how or where do you find opportunities to recharge your batteries in the big city? 

Nature is everywhere. Since I have learned to pay attention to it again, I can also see it. But of course I have created my power places here: one at home, where I can retreat at any time and connect with myself, and one in the Donau-Auen National Park, just outside Vienna.

At home, there are lots of pictures of my tree friends, stones, plants and everything that my nature needs to feel good. I go to the national park several times a week and have my tree friends, like "Miss Mammut", an old tree that looks like it's from another time. And my "buddies", also very large, old trees that I visit regularly. Nature is like a relationship that you have to nurture, then it becomes a real friendship. 

"Nature is like a relationship,
that you have to nurture, then it becomes a real friendship!"

#5 - What advice would you give to people who are in a similar situation to you before you set off, but don't have the opportunity to take time out or go on a trip? What can they do in everyday life?

To take yourself seriously with all the feelings and needs that are there right now, whether that means "I'm tired", "I feel uncomfortable in myself", "I would like to visit a place". I know so many people who are stuck simply because they don't allow themselves to believe in their own dreams, joy and enthusiasm and to listen to themselves.

It's a myth to think that you have to throw your life away and change everything overnight and then everything will be fine. I myself have learned that opportunities arise when you give them the space to do so. For example, through very small rituals in everyday life: times when the phone is completely off or you consciously take time to ground yourself in nature. All of this can help you create more space for yourself. As soon as you have more space for yourself, new opportunities automatically arise. 

"It's a myth to think that you have to throw your life away and change everything overnight and then everything will be fine."

#6 - Who should definitely read your book?

Books are like ideas: you can't find them, they find you...

In this respect: All those who feel the call for it within themselves and believe that another world is possible.
One in which we don't have to trim nature and our own nature and press it into molds in order to be successful. Instead, we have understood that true success comes when we grow out of ourselves in contentment and balance.

Let's make nature great again!

You can find everything else about my book "You are nature" here!

If this article has inspired you, I would be delighted if you would share it with others,
and join me on my mission to create a new awareness of - our own - nature.

anna zemann circular fall white

Thank you for being here and creating your own rewilding story. I am happy that we are creating a new consciousness for the earth together!

This might also interest you:

#9 - Interview: What does connection with nature mean to me?
I can remember my first evening in the African wilderness: in front of me was the warm campfire, behind me the cool night, above me the glittering starry sky, and all around me the mysterious sounds of animals - although all this was new to me, it felt like coming home, because something inside me remembered it ...
#8 - Natural wisdom: What can you learn from nature for yourself?
When I started studying nature, I didn't realize how much we can learn from it for our own growth in life. But we seem to have a magical connection with trees in particular, because every part of them is also a part of us. They are the ultimate mirror for growth and exemplify what it means to move out of your comfort zone ...
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