Article #7


What does connection with
nature actually mean for me?

#1 - What does connection with nature mean to you?

I can remember my first evening in the wilderness of Africa: in front of me was the warm campfire, behind me the cool night, above me the glittering starry sky, and all around me mysterious animal sounds - although all this was new to me, it felt like coming home, because something inside me remembered that I was a part of it all. That's what nature is for me: an inner feeling of connection to all life on earth. An awareness that the earth does not belong to us, but that we belong to it, and that nothing exists separately, but that everything is inherently connected. I see myself as part of it and my own nature as a mirror of the wilderness itself, a place of unlimited possibilities from which everything can grow.


#2 - What experiences in and with nature do you particularly remember?

The question should rather be: which one isn't 🙂 But there is one memory that has left its mark on me to this day, and that was one night at a camp in Africa. We were sitting at dinner when suddenly a curious leopard, who had been watching us for some time, walked just a few meters past us. 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 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!"

I was just in Costa Rica for a few months ...

... and spent every evening there on a pristine beach by a reef on the Pacific. All around me and on top of me, little crabs scurried around, chasing each other, stretching out their antennae and making the sand look like it was moving, while behind the sea the monkeys in the rainforest roared and even made the air vibrate with their cries. In front of me, the herons, just like me, enjoyed the last rays of sunshine on the stone slab and finally flew off into the sunset to the rhythm of the waves ...

... for me, there is nothing more beautiful than being in a living ecosystem. To experience the rich diversity of the earth. To feel the abundance of life in my own body, to feel it deep in my soul, and not to understand, but to sense that this abundance is always there. That it lives not only in me, but above all through me. That it becomes bigger and more beautiful when I make my contribution to the ecosystem. To see myself as part of it. Live my nature. To go out again, into life, back into the great whole that vibrates in a single great harmony ...

In intact ecosystems, I always feel best of all how life flows through me. How nature becomes me and I become it. How the rain becomes the sea and the sea becomes the rain. How light becomes trees, and trees become shade for others. How everything is visibly and invisibly connected. How all life communicates with each other, speaks, exchanges, enriches ... seeing and feeling this in myself in the most diverse moments, whether in Costa Rica or at home in the forest, is one of the most valuable and unforgettable experiences in my life.

"For me, there is nothing better than being in a living ecosystem. To experience the rich diversity of the earth."

#3 What can we learn from nature?

We can learn everything we need for our own healthy and successful growth in life from nature: The wilderness shows that true abundance arises when we grow freely and carefree from within ourselves, without limiting ourselves, restricting ourselves, pressing our talents, enthusiasms, gifts into forms, but simply letting them grow wild and free and pure and real and raw, because that is exactly how the most beautiful potential can unfold.

From trees and plants we can learn how real growth always lies outside the comfort zone, not under the earth but above it, where it can be rough and uncomfortable, and that the experiences that challenge us the most are also the ones that help us to progress and blossom the most.

We can learn from the seasons - especially in a performance-oriented world that strives for perpetual growth - that real and healthy growth also takes place in times of rest, and that breaks (winter) are not a standstill, but on the contrary an essential step in growth itself.

We can learn from water what it means to stay in the flow, because the only constant in life is change. From the earth, we can learn what it means to be there for others, to give unconditionally time and time again. The ecosystems show us - especially in our dealings with nature today - that it is not just about taking, but also about giving, so that the balance is maintained.

And above all, we can learn from nature that we are always enough as we are, because in a relationship every living being makes its valuable contribution to the greater whole, exactly as it is by nature, not otherwise.

For me, nature is our greatest teacher of all. A mirror for ourselves and a mentor who is always at our side. All we have to do is listen to her again. 🙂

"Nature is our greatest teacher. A mirror for ourselves and a mentor who is always at our side"

#4 And of course: How can we learn to reconnect with nature in the first place?

Standing barefoot on the earth with both feet, closing your eyes and imagining that roots are growing out of you - this is a mini exercise that not only connects you with nature, but also allows you to reconnect with yourself. Rooted in our own ideas, joys, enthusiasms and the feeling of security that we are always well looked after on earth so that we can go our own way without a care in the world.

For me, connecting with nature begins with connecting with our own nature. It means finding access to yourself again: your inner voice, all your joys, enthusiasms, feelings, hopes, talents, excitement, your own intuition ... and yes, even your fears or needs, which often have no place in the fast-paced world. The point is to become honest again, to become aware of your own limits, resources, meaning & being. And it all starts with a small question: How am I feeling today and what do I need to feel good? Giving a truly honest answer to this is the first step and the connection to nature is a consequence that follows the stronger the connection to yourself becomes, because: mindfulness of yourself is the beginning of mindfulness of everything else!

Tip: If you want to feel the connection to nature on the outside, I can advise you to look for a national park, an untouched forest or an ecosystem that is as untouched as possible; stand in the middle of it, with both feet on the ground, on the earth, close your eyes and feel what it does to you. After a short time, something changes in your body and soul, and it is precisely this good feeling that you should not only have in the outside world, but also find within yourself, anchor it and feel it everywhere - even in the biggest and noisiest city.

"For me, the connection with nature begins with the connection with my own nature. Finding access to yourself again."

#5 Where do we need to open up, where do we need to realign ourselves and what do I do if I live in a big city?

What I believe in is that we can create a more beautiful world if we not only "reintroduce" nature, but above all ourselves. And no one has to live in the jungle of the wilderness or like thousands of years ago to do this, on the contrary, it is much more important to let nature grow again exactly where we are in life. Because whether you live in the big city or somewhere in the outback, the questions remain the same: What do I give back to nature for what I take? How mindful am I of my resources and the earth's resources? Do I keep my nature small, or do I let it grow freely? Do I see myself as part of nature, or do I place myself above it?

"When I get stuck and lose myself in the restless world, I always ask myself: What would nature do now?"

#6 According to studies, taking a little time out in nature can make a big difference: How do I take the time to do this without ending up feeling even more stressed by yet another to-do on my list?

At this point, I always ask myself, what would nature do now? And knowing her, she would probably advise: do as much or as little as you can. Take the steps that feel good. Take yourself seriously and don't let yourself get stressed. No matter how small you start, all of this will bring you closer to yourself and therefore closer to me! PS: Make "Done" lists instead of "To-Do" lists and you'll realize that you get a lot more done every day than you think.

Connecting with nature is not a switch that you can simply flip, but a journey; a constant trial and error, moving forward and sometimes falling back again. For example, I started turning off my cell phone 10 minutes later every morning and being in silence with myself instead. This eventually turned into 30 minutes and today I spend a few hours in nature several times a week. What nature gives us above all is silence and time for ourselves - it's better to take 10 minutes for yourself at home than to rush off somewhere. I have also learned over time that the better practice is the realistic one, not the perfect one. Finding what really suits you, feels good and can be integrated into your life. Here too, it is important to listen to your nature and follow what it tells you.  

Let's make nature great again!

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!

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