Connect with nature, connect with yourself

Flowers

Welcome to the real world

If you live in countryside or somewhere in the mountains, you can probably skip this article, as most of what I could say, is probably obvious to you. If you’ve lived all your life, like me, in a big city, it can be entirely different. City life can be exciting – there possibility to meet new people, go for all night parties, immerse in fascinating job projects, go to cinema, concert, art gallery and so on. Everything in beautifully architected buildings, wonderfully designed grid of streets, pavements and colourful lights. Furthermore, some beauty can be even found in post-industrial buildings, partially destroyed, covered by graffiti, reminding of past years of greatness. All the world people created, built and are proud of.

Outside of that brick, concrete and tarmac world, there’s another one – made of trees, mountains, rivers, lakes and more. The world created by Nature – place where big city rules do not apply. Where’s no need to rush, to seek artificial excitement, to chase after money and be actively engaged in all activities known only in towns. Like watching TV to get frustrated about politics or your football club losing another match. As there’s no politics or football clubs in the nature, simple.

When we go to such places, we lose all benefits of civilised world, what can be really frustrating at the beginning, as we can feel we lost something we used to have. On the other hand, we also lose all problems known to civilised places. Like traffic, pollution, stress, anxiety, “rat race”, politics, crime and many more. Go to any place not inhabited by humans and you realise all those issues are non-existent there. Fot that reason, wherever you find a place which isn’t man-made creation, which is there as it used to be for hundreds or even thousands of years, you realise you can feel absolutely free there. That’s the real world given to us by this planet.

Connect with nature, disconnect from…

Should we all leave cities and move to some remote locations then? Possibly. But that would be quite radical step, which only a few are either brave or desperate enough to do. Most of us, including myself, wouldn’t. If we aren’t ready for such revolution in life, we can still benefit from the wisdom of the Nature. Anything needed is just to find a spot outside a town, or at least a closest park. Stop and observe. Maybe sit down, disconnect from any problems of daily life and just observe. Start to realise how do we feel about what we see. Start to realise WHAT we see. How any other life on this planet is similar or different to ours? Start to understand how connected or disconnected we are from this entire world.

Connect with yourself

When we begin to notice entire life around us, we’re starting to be more focused and more present. So we’re getting opportunity to forget, at least for a moment, about all our problems rooted in the past. Or related to the future. We’re able to cut off this stream of thoughts filling our heads with constant problems, solutions, memories, plans and any kind of internal chatter. It just happens – we begin to connect with our surroundings. We’re more aware and we’re more here. That’s what some people call mindfulness (find something about it in article Be here, be now. Why mindfulness is bad for you).

When we are more integrated with our surroundings, there’s one interesting side effect – we’re getting more connected with ourselves. Consequently, we’re getting more conscious of our presence here, of our thoughts and feelings. Also, more or less consciously, we feel somewhere inside that we are integral part of this world. We’re closer to our true selves. And overall happier.

Be sceptical

I may be right or wrong – unless you’ve got similar experience, there’s no real reason to believe in all written above. Be sceptical. Go outside and try this yourself. Try a few times to be sure. And if you can spare a few minutes, leave a comment below, to share your findings.

Fighting my nature vs finding my nature

Finding my kite

I want to be a better person

This thought comes to many of us at some point in our lives. Sometimes not just once but in many different circumstances and on multiple points of lifetime line. An idea to improve, to fight all the weaknesses, to set targets and do everything to get what we want. If these goals are positive, all our efforts seem to be right. We’re working on being better than we are right now. Sounds good?

Myself in the future

When we get into that mindset, all our thoughts are focused on the image of ourselves in the future. On the person we want to become one day, in the next month, a year or 10 years from now. Someday I’ll be perfect. I’m learning, improving, doing one million activities to be that amazing, wonderful human being. Some day. Does it still sound good?

Myself now

All that focus on self-improvement to achieve those ambitious goals have often one common characteristic – we are not entirely happy right now. The more unhappy we are, the bigger need for change. We may want to improve our look, physical strength, want to be healthier, get a better job, bigger house, be better partner / parent and so on. Although all that seems to be right at the first glance, it often comes from our internal feeling that we aren’t good enough in these areas. In other words – we don’t accept who we really are at present moment. But we’re going to be perfect one day and we’ll be happy.

Fighting my nature

If all mentioned above is true, if we don’t accept our imperfect nature, we put ourselves in the constant fight. Fight against ourselves. But the nature of every battle is that someone must lose. If we undertake the battle against ourselves, who will eventually lose that skirmish?

Finding my nature

Have you ever met one person who was entirely perfect? Not for a moment but perfect all the time?

What would you say about one crazy idea to switch focus from weaknesses to strengths? To all our positive sides, everything what’s good in us RIGHT NOW? (I wrote about here and now in previous article: Be here, be now. Why mindfulness is bad for you.) What about other crazy idea to accept that all those weak points as simply part of our nature? Like we accept that day and night or Summer and Winter are part of the nature around us. The truth is, we are entirely complete with all our traits – if we want to get rid of unwanted ones, we risk losing our internal integrity. With acceptance of our true nature, we have that completeness. We’ve got happiness – not some day but here and now. There’s nothing more to do, really.

So, would that mean self-improvement is a wrong idea?

Yes. When we think of it as a way to change ourselves because we don’t accept who we are and try to be someone else. That is illusion, something distant and unreal. We can chase that entire life and live in misery forever.

And no. When we undertake any activities in line with our nature, not against it, any efforts can just multiply joy and happiness we already have. We’re improving then naturally, it’s no longer a fight but fun. If you do anything like playing instrument, painting, programming, blogging, running or anything else just because you like it, go for it. Enjoy it. Improvement will come as side effect, but your happiness will no longer depend on it.

Be here, be now. Why mindfulness is bad for you.

Finding a Tree

Be where? Beware.

Have you ever walked looking into your mobile and almost hit someone or something accidentally? Or maybe, if you’re not so attached to this small device – did it happen to you that your thoughts were so far away that you barely noticed what was around you? Just be honest. It happened to me, it happened to everyone, at least once in a lifetime. Or let’s be really honest – that happens more often then we realise – during long journeys, boring meetings but also during many usual activities which we tend to do on autopilot. The point is, we’re not fully here at those moments. Physically – yes, mentally – not at all. Our thoughts are in much more interesting places.

Here.

All those places where our mind wander have one common characteristic – our presence there is not real. For some reason we choose to be in these imaginary locations, forgetting entirely of the place where we really are at the moment – here. That would mean, we’d rather be somewhere else, with different people, doing something we don’t do right now. And we keep thinking about that, thinking that it could make us happy. The biggest trap of our mind – illusion, that we need to keep searching for happiness, as it’s always somewhere else. Never here, never now. And never truly real. Beware.

Now.

Do you remember that time when your life was wonderful? Or, if you think it’s never been – do you imagine that it could be in the future (find something about planning here: Planning is great, but…)? Have you ever spent time thinking of these past moments? Dreaming about future happiness which could appear one day? Another biggest trap – illusion, that whatever best for us already happened or hasn’t happened yet. In both cases, it’s definitely not now.

Mindfulness.

If you’ve decided to read this article, it’s quite likely that you’ve already started to be aware that something with this mind wandering is wrong. So, mindfulness is all about that awareness. About being present. Realising that the only reality we’ve got is here and now. And that here and now absolutely nothing is wrong. It may be hard to believe but I’ll give more light on that in other articles. Or, if you’ve got some experience in this area – leave a comment, reading them is always inspiring.

It’s bad for you.

If you decide to live here and now, you can lose all that extraordinary times and places where your mind feel comfortable. You’ll detach yourself from the bright future and wonderful past and from all those amazing places and activities you’re thinking of. That’s a lot to sacrifice and majority of people are not ready for it. I’m not entirely sure if I am myself.

Or is it?

Changing our mindset to be always focused on present moment can lead to amazing discoveries. It allows to realise that we don’t really need to look back or wait for miracles to happen. That we can be happy just now. That we’ve got everything we need, although we tend to ignore that. It’s about opening eyes and starting to notice what a great world we’ve got around – just now. Is it worth to give it a go?

Finding my Nature

Finding my nature in Lake District
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New blog? Finding my nature?

Yes. I’m experimenting with writing. Sometimes. I’ve always thought that as human beings we need some form to express our thoughts and feelings. Writing is one of those forms. And now it takes shape of the very first article on “Finding my nature” blog.

I like to talk a lot. Sometimes. I thought that blogging would be great a idea then. So, there was an idea to create “Fashion but how?” blog. Little bit of fun, little bit of business, little bit of serious stuff – everything. That blog died in year 2018 when I promised to not give up. But I did.

Or maybe not – I’m still alive, typing here.

My journey, our journey

We spend our lives doing a lot of different things – some of us have clear vision where we want to go, have clear goals and plan how to achieve them. And life consists of ticking off all boxes on that plan. Easy stuff. Some of us are experimenting, trying new things, evaluating what’s really important, looking for deeper meaning in all of this. Complicated stuff. On that journey we either know our inner nature or keep searching for it. And keep finding it.

Inside

When I realised that not everything in my life is as it should be, that I didn’t fit here or something here was totally wrong, I started to look around. And I wasn’t happy about all the World around me. As I’m a man of action, I couldn’t just wait for changes, I made changes to happen. Some of them were small, like trying to survive without coffee (https://findingmynature.com/10-days-without-coffee), some quite radical, like moving to other country. All of them were directed outside. So, effects of those actions were only outside too.

Then I realised that true changes must happen inside me, and I started to put more attention into my inner self. Into my thoughts, feelings, intentions and my real nature. I discovered that I really need to find and understand what’s inside me. So, this was beginning of true changes. Beginning of finding my nature and attempt to live according to it. Not trying to change the World around me anymore.

Outside

My other discovery appeared during time of writing previous blog – I could have no fresh ideas for new articles but I continued with associated Instagram account. Blog was intended to be about business, but Instagram ended up as collection of pictures of our beautiful nature around us. And I realised that’s what I really enjoy – contact with nature, amazing places and photography a form of art. To not be always too serious, you can find there some selfies as well. So, this is another dimension of finding nature – the one around us as.

Old blog?

I moved some articles here although my views have changed slightly since the time of writing them. But that will be topic for another article.

What next?

Spiritual journey and pictures of nature, as simple as that.

How to achieve inner peace and calm?

Ship on calm sea

If you’ve ever tried to search for answer to this question, it means that you’re aware that you need it. I was not. It took me long time to realise this is something important in life, something necessary to be really happy. And I want to be happy, because it’s much better then being unhappy. Believe me.

So is it really needed to focus on inner calm?

There’s not so much talking about that but a lot of talking about everything on opposite side – stress, anxiety, lack of motivation, anger, overthinking, sleepless nights, and a lot of other negative feelings and nasty effects. This is that wrong side, so obviously there must be some right one as well. And that’s happiness, love, passion and all things positive. They all start somewhere, and this place is not so distant. Actually, it’s not distant at all – it all has source within ourselves. This is good news – it means, we’ve got 100% control on it. Next step is to learn how to use this control but it may come with steep learning curve.

Achieving inner peace and calm is starting point to boost any positive energy within us and with this, we can do everything. Literally – we can do and we have will to do something, to use this energy in any creative way.

I was struggling to find enough good energy within myself, so I asked a question – what could be the reason for that? What drags me down, doesn’t allow to fully use my potential and fully enjoy my life? And why I hardly could achieve inner calm? I needed to clear my mind and search for answer in a place I was never looking for answers.

Meditation

Within myself.

That’s the place where all answers related to ourselves are stored. But it’s so difficult to get there. I needed to clear my mind and forget about all external factors – it’s always easy to blame people around, complain about bad luck, rainy day, unsuitable conditions etc. I put that aside and looked much deeper. Call it meditation, if you like. During that session I realised that there is connection between our body and mind. And if there’s anything wrong with one, it gets reflected in other. We’re all aware that if we’re under stress, we feel tension in muscles. Or we can react with stomach problems to experiences we don’t like. But other way round?

How much our body influences our mind?

When someone is visibly sick, got flu for example, such person is unlikely to smile and be full of power. This power goes somewhere else – body uses most of it to fight sickness. Other good example is hangover – after heavy drinking we feel awful next day. This is our body fighting toxins. In both cases our bad mood is closely related to bad energy coming from virus or toxins – anything our organism doesn’t like and fights with. Once that fight is won, we feel better again – both physically and spiritually.

Let’s go one step further.

Examples above show that there’s direct link between toxins in our body and how we feel. So if that’s the rule, then in most cases our negative feelings can be related to presence of offensive substances in our organism. In my moment of enlightenment I realised following:

  • In order to feel good and happy, we need to achieve harmony within ourself.
  • Spiritual being is always aligned with physical being.
  • Bad mood is usually reflection of bad physical health.
  • In most cases that’s caused by viruses and toxins in organism.

Conclusion:

Getting rid of toxins from the body should be the first step on any spiritual journey.

First step to achieve inner calm. I set this direction for myself and results are surprising. I’ll continue my story in future posts, watch this space (or just hit follow 😉 ).

Planning is great, but…

Devon Landscape with River

Let me tell you a story. It was years ago in a small town in Wiltshire, when I had one Friday evening without any plans at all. And was just walking with my friend around the town. Without any special purpose. Suddenly appeared option to come for weekend to friends in Bristol. So I was asked if I wanted to go and informed that if I did, then train to Bristol was expected in 5 minutes, so I had to decide quick.

It was nice weekend. Other surprise was that after night in Bristol we went to Devon for 2 days.

Waterfall somewhere in Devon

We went completely unprepared and it ended up to be quite nice time. I even tried surfing for the first time in my life.

In business, every professional book says that everything should be planned. Business plan comes first, followed by plenty of detailed plans, strategies and all sorts of formalised TO DO lists. The same applies to professional blogging – scheduled posts and tweets and lists of topics to cover for next half year are common.

It is all good.

But… When unexpected opportunity appears, f**k schedules and go ahead! There’s no such thing like coincidence – if something appears in our life, there must be reason for that. Don’t overthink such chances, just trust your feelings and make use of them. All in all, deep inside we always know what’s right.

10 days without coffee

Addictions are good. They give sense of live, help to cope with everyday problems and can be powerful motor for all our actions. Being addicted to anything for years, it is difficult to imagine life without our favourite magic. It becomes lifestyle, part of our daily routine, something we cannot live without.

Or can we?

I decided to undertake a challenge to give up my last, the longest and strongest addiction – caffeine. 10 days trial.

First day – terrible headache was killing me. Ordinary painkillers didn’t work. It was Thursday and I was at work – multiple complex problems to sort out with headache and without help of coffee, just perfect day. But I survived.

Second day – half conscious, but no headache. It came back little bit on Sunday and much worse on Monday. Kept me entire day. I thought about helping myself with little bit of tea – there is caffeine in it as well. But I finally decided – no cheating. When I drank tea, it was strawberry one or something similar. I Survived.

Through the next few days it was getting better, although I didn’t realise that initially. I realised however that it was giving up this habit was really hard, especially going through withdrawal symptoms and low mood – that was really discouraging. Believe me, for me it was much harder then giving up smoking years ago. Additionally, I lost this wonderful feeling of being fully awake in the morning after first cup.

So why bother?

After ten days I realised I don’t really need caffeine. It takes me longer to be fully awake but also takes me longer to get tired (so no need for extra shot of coffee every few hours). I was also told by someone close to me, that I became less nervous and shouted at people less often 🙂 Indeed, I think I started to better cope with stress. Actually, it’s  something more – many situation somehow became less stressful.

Addictions are good. They make us strong and powerful when we give them up. That’s the only real benefit they come with. At the time of writing this I must say, those initial 10 days planned extended to 3 weeks and will extend even more. I just feel better 🙂