Today, I turned off my phone.
It was pretty hard. But I wanted to fully connect with the Earth around me. And so, in order to do that, I knew I needed to fully disconnect and instead focus my energy on nature, and on my lovely hiking partner.
And our hike was incredible. We saw ducks and waterfalls and deep valleys- relics from thousands of years ago. We heard birds singing and water bubbling and our own echoes against stone walls. We smelled flowers. We breathed dust.
We were immersed in nature and nothing else, beyond our daydreams. It was a relief.
Don't get me wrong; I love my city and I love living there. But when I get the chance to escape, I am always drawn to natural beauty, and this hike was no exception. It was serene and rejuvenating, which is just what I need when I am surrounded by honking buses and skyscrapers day in, day out.
So I encourage you to go out and find a little piece of nature for yourself, too. Even if you don't have the opportunity to fly across the country, it is possible to enjoy the Earth no matter where you are. I know here in Chicago we have a great lakefront path (perfect for hikes), expansive parks (perfect for picnics), and great botanical gardens with plenty of flora (and maybe a little fauna). Wherever you live, scout out a place where you can find your peace of mind.
For a different experience, try an activity I love called listening point; find a nice spot in nature near you, and commit to sitting down there for an hour or so. Make sure you will not see or hear another human during the time you commit. Bring a book, or a journal, or some poetry, or bring nothing at all. Your mind will wander and daydream and relax.
Whether you have access to gorgeous mountain ranges or not, make it a priority to do what you can to connect with nature.