My six siblings and I sat around my mom as the Dr. looked at us and regretfully said with a tremble in her voice “I am so sorry, there is nothing more we can do for you”. “Really?” I thought to myself. How could there be nothing more they could do for my mom? If somebody would have told me a month prior to this day that my mom was going to die with in weeks, I would have told them they were straight up crazy. My moms death can not be told in a single blog post. Her death started with the day she was born and maybe someday I will be able to write that story. For now, I want to share what we did on the day I found out my mother was going to die, and how it changed my life.
We sat motionless. The tears streaming down our cheeks brought the only movement in the room. There stood 7 adults that suddenly became heartbroken little children as we looked at our Mother’s eyes. I had never seen the eyes of someone who knew their time on this earth was about to come to an end, until I looked across the small room and saw hers. The sorrow is indescribable. The pain was unbearable.
The mood was solemn and I had little to say, even though my mind was talking a million miles a minute. My mom had a request. A request that was no surprise. She wanted to drive to the lake so she could find some solace in nature. We drove to her favorite little lake just minutes from her house. Passed the tall dark green pine trees lay the quiet waters. The lake stood still and glistened as we watched the sun set on the horizon. I went for a small stroll to gather my thoughts. As I walked back to the car I watched my mom as her eyes found joy in the beauty that surrounded her. I held her hand as I started to sob like a small child. “Please Mom, please, don’t die,” I was begging her, as if she could stop it. Here was this beautiful woman who was just told that she is going to die and the peace in her eyes I will never forget. “Bo, I will always be with you, I promise”. I made her swear. As we looked out into nature, the colors became bolder. The lake became a place of peace and the trees became a source of power. I have always loved nature, but in that moment nature became a mighty tool for me.
To use nature to heal anxiety and depression is very simple. There are two things you need to do when you are using nature to heal. Listen and feel. Do you know what I do when I feel powerless? I hug a tree. Yes, I am a tree hugger and will be forever. I’ll say it loud and proud. I love trees. They are powerful, they are old and wise. They have such purpose. I am so inspired by their strong roots and how firm they stand in their foundation. They withstand forceful winds, floods, and storms. They are so strong, yet so giving. They give us nourishment, shade, homes, paper goods and so much more. Trees are simply incredible, and I take from them their lessons daily. I came across some of the best advice from a tree in Hawaii last summer.
Trees look to the light for growth and comfort and I too look towards the sun. When I am having emotions such as low self worth, discouragement, or sadness I go to the earths light source for energy. I love the sun. Yellow has always been my favorite color and the sun is an energy source that I love to draw from. Sitting outside for just 10-15 minutes in the sun is such a huge mood lifter for me. I lie on my back, close my eyes and let the warmth of it’s rays soothe my skin and let the Vitamin D soak right in. I imagine the suns powerful rays soaking right into my energy source just below my ribs and above my naval. I continue to think of its beautiful light as it energizes my body. I continue to breathe in and out through my nose as if I was doing yoga. This is such an easy and quick technique and it’s so powerful. The next part to this technique is to pay attention to the rhythm of the earth. Have you ever heard it? It’s quite beautiful. The wind as it wisps pass your ears, the grass as it whistles in the breeze, and the leaves as they bounce off each other. God is definitely a musician and the earth is constantly playing His sweet song. If we can silence our minds, we can hear it’s melody. It is peaceful and it is always playing on repeat. It’s a song of joy and love. We only need to go outside, slow down, close our eyes, hear it, and feel it.
Hope on. Journey on.