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Below: Diana Londoño, MD asks you to pause and think of what you want in your life today, and what the future will be like.

When we feel stressed, people usually suggest we take a vacation.

We then begin to dream and think about our next vacation, perhaps laying on the beach. Just thinking of laying on the sand and listening to the ocean waves rushing in and out makes us feel relaxed.

 

What is it about connecting with nature that has that healing, calming, and rejuvenating effect?

If you follow Eckhart Tolle, he describes these moments when we are in nature, perhaps watching a sunset, which are times when we feel calm, peace, and joy.

We may not really know why we feel that way when we are there watching the sunset, yet we always experience the same awe and joy.

As he explains, these “moments” are moments in which we stop the incessant 70,000 + daily thoughts that burden our minds.

 

It is during these moments while we watch a sunset that we experience “stillness” of the mind, and we are present.

Fully present in the moment.

Not worrying about the emails we haven’t replied to, or anguishing over the fact you have two days left on your vacation.

We are simply present.

That presence and stillness are glimpses of times when we connect to our inner spirit/soul.

We don’t have to follow a specific religion to feel or know there is a sense of calm peace, and joy in the spirit. In such instances, we feel peace. We feel joy.

These moments can be fleeting, yet they are all around us. After all, nature surrounds us.

 

We don’t have to follow a specific religion to feel or know there is a sense of calm peace, and joy in the spirit. In such instances, we feel peace. We feel joy. These moments can be fleeting, yet they are all around us. After all,… Click To Tweet

 

You also do not need to travel to Bali to connect with the wonders of majestic nature.

It is all around us, in the flowers or trees that line your street.

Nature not only gives you these glimpses of peace or calm, but it also is filled with important lessons if you quiet your mind and see them.

 

We all have busy lives and long to-do lists.

Before we know it, areas in our life could have been overgrown with things that no longer serve us.

These lessons are in nature and thankfully were also in my backyard. A few years back when remodeling the backyard, we had changed the landscape and planted all new plants and shrubs.

At first, everything seemed great, yet I was looking at the plants in their small pots.

Little did I realize that, although things seemed to fit well, three years down the road, shrubs had overgrown, taken over the other spaces for the neighboring plants, and quite frankly, I no longer liked how it looked.

These can easily be metaphors for our lives.

 

Little did I realize that, although things seemed to fit well, three years down the road, shrubs had overgrown, taken over the other spaces for the neighboring plants, and quite frankly, I no longer liked how it looked. These can easily… Click To Tweet

 

How many times are we so busy that we forget to prune our lives of things that are no longer helping or supporting us but may actually be suffocating our growth?

This can be relationships, jobs, friendships, ideas, beliefs, or quite frankly accumulation of material things.

We get lost in the routine of do’s that we wake up one day and realize things are not where we wanted them to be.

You may stop, pause, and reflect on what you want. You may even dig deeper and get to the root of the cause…but what then?

What do you do from there?

 

How many times are we so busy that we forget to prune our lives of things that are no longer helping or supporting us but may actually be suffocating our growth? Click To Tweet

 

Do you stop at knowing the root cause and go back to rinse and repeat the cycle of life?

Or do you realize you can uproot the things you don’t like, choose the flowers you want in your life (or garden) and then plant them, water them, nurture them and watch them grow?

 

That is what is amazing about nature.

It is all around us and has so many lessons.

We must pause and connect with the moments of stillness, where the sunset is about to dive under the horizon, where we see the lessons in our backyard to feel what is truly our nature.

We are peace, joy, and stillness.

It is not just in the sunset.

It is within us. All of us.

 

We don’t have to keep living with ideas, beliefs, people, and circumstances that no longer serve us and are suffocating us.

We have a choice to pause, reflect, choose, and plant what we want in our life.

 

We don’t have to keep living with ideas, beliefs, people, and circumstances that no longer serve us and are suffocating us. We have a choice to pause, reflect, choose, and plant what we want in our life. Click To Tweet

 

We are the creators of our garden called life.

We can choose not only the seeds or plants we want, but we can also choose who will be helping us plant and grow our gardens.

We can choose those relationships that help us grow, or we can continue to keep those relationships that stifle us; suffocate us.

Perhaps because taking the time to do pruning may seem time-consuming.

Yet, it will be more work to clear up what has overgrown later down the road, than to start fresh and clean with the flowers you want to plant and see bloom.

 

In medicine, but especially as women, we have been taught to take care of others.

The needs of others stand before us.

That it is selfish, greedy, and unladylike to have needs of our own or to ask for what we want.

To want something different than what is expected by society, gender roles, or culture.

These are false beliefs.

As Dr. David Simon said, “Your ability to support someone else depends on your ability to take care of yourself. Only a plentiful well can quench anyone’s thirst.

Remember you serve others by being grounded, balanced, creative, and abundant.”

 

To be those qualities we must take care of ourselves.

We must take time to pause, reflect, and plant the things we want to see in our lives while making time to prioritize ourselves.

To hope for wellness in the world or others, we must be well ourselves.

Prioritize you. Prioritize creating time and space for stillness.

Prioritize planting the garden you want to see.

The fruits that it will bear will be exquisite.

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