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On Day 14 of our 30 Days Blessed at Christmas Challenge, we’ll talk about giving thanks for the beauty of nature and the miracle of life on this planet.
Do you ever marvel at the perfect balance of conditions that sustain life here on Earth?
Do you ever think that water is the main reason we’re here, existing in our lives?
No other planets in our solar system have an abundance of water as we do. The beautiful, life-giving water that covers our planet and serves so much purpose in our lives for health, pleasure and utilitarian means.
It can be fun and illuminating to expand your consciousness to the most miniscule creatures, seen and unseen, that exist in our natural world. Next time you take a trip into the deep dark woods, think of the tiny, strange beings living a complex existence beneath the ground under your feet.
Are they that much different from us? Are they better, for instinctively knowing that the best way to sustain life is by cooperating and communing with Mother Nature?
It can be just as enjoyable to expand your mind to the edges of existence that can never be reached. The endless heavens above, the tiny points of light that fill the night sky… the rain that collects into our oceans, rivers and lakes, then cycles right back up into the atmosphere to repeat this miraculous process all over again.
Consider that giant ball of fire in the sky – our sun. The thing that nurtures life into being here on planet earth, along with the rain that quenches and the soil that nourishes.
Exercise 13: Return to Nature and Be Grateful
For many people in our modern world, technology and the virtual reality ex has removed us from our place in the natural world.
Being outside in nature doesn’t have to be some exotic and unusual experience. All you have to do is step outside to once again experience the grounding effects of sun beating down on your shoulders,
Be thankful for all of our modern experiences, but not at the expense of forgetting about the wonders of nature which have existed all along and brought us to this beauteous Eden of Planet Earth.
Exercise: Explore the Wonders of Nature and be Grateful.
It’s not so hard to get back into nature as one might think. The first step is to take a hiatus from looking at your smart phone.
Next time you have a spare hour or two, head out into the natural world and feel your worries and preoccupations slipping away as you drink in the peacefulness all around you. (Remember to follow protocols and social distance if necessary!)
- Pack a lunch and enjoy it slowly and mindfully while sitting by a lake or stream.
- Walk in the rain. Leave your umbrella at home.
- Find some good hiking trails. Choose one that matches your ability level so you’ll be relaxed and refreshed after your journey.
- Plan a family vacation to someplace where you’ll see some spectacular natural wonders.
- Go with your children to explore a cavern beneath the ground, with its curious-looking stalagmite and stalactite stone formations.
- Plan a camping trip. Sleep beneath the stars while crickets serenade you. Cook food using fire. Sing songs. Tell stories.
- Shake off your winter blues – go out and play in the snow, bask in the intense sunlight and breathe the crisp, clean air.
- Take a trip to the seashore. Behold the great ocean and all of its alien-like life forms – crabs, starfish, jelly fish, mollusks of all kinds.
- Explore the amazing world of bugs. Nurture caterpillars into butterflies. Collect fire flies in a jar, then let them go free. Observe the behavior of dragonflies. Say hello to a ladybug.
Mary Oliver is a famous poet who captures the miracles of nature in her words. If you’d like to spend some time communing with nature and reflecting on the beauty of the world around you, you might bring along a book of her poems for inspiration.
Also bring along a notebook of your own. Spend some time doing as Mary Oliver does. Reflect on the full sensory experience of nature and the peace brought about by quietly observing God’s creatures.
30 Days Blessed Challenge
- Day 1: Attitude of Gratitude
- Day 2: Accentuate the Positive
- Day 3: Slow Down
- Day 4: What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger
- Day 5: A Cup of Self-Reflection
- Day 6: Give Thanks for the Simple Things
- Day 7: Hard Times Help Us Appreciate the Good
- Day 8: Nourish Your Soul
- Day 9: Surprise Gifts
- Day 10: Celebrating the “Moments between the Moments”
- Day 11: Take Your Cue from a Child
- Day 12: Appreciating the Wisdom of Our Elders
- Day 13: Grateful for Your Family in All Their Beautiful Imperfection
Loving Life — The Reboot!