I went to Bear Lake this past week, and I think it definitely makes it into the list of my most memorable experiences–and that’s for a variety of reasons, the biggest being the fact that nature is a healer. I’ve been pretty tired and put out about a lot of things in my life lately, and it’s depressing to reflect on the way things have turned out. But when I went to Bear Lake, it was like my willpower was replenished. We camped in cabins at Bear lake and spent the time stargazing, watching sunrises and sunsets, eating good food, swimming and boating at Bear Lake, visiting the Minnetonka cave, and just enjoying ourselves.
However, as I was going about the day at the lake, I felt, for the first time in a while, like I was whole. My last article about kindness talked about the concept of being broken, but there is a cure to help fix that: Spending time in nature.
It doesn’t solve all of my problems or make everything right, but it has helped my soul–and that hasn’t been just once in my life. It’s happened many times, which is why fitness and being outdoors are two things I’m pretty passionate about.
I’ve decided to list 5 of the ways nature can heal you, and how you can benefit more from taking the time to be outside, even if it’s just right outside your work office.
It helps you feel gratitude
When I got to unplug my phone for a just a minute (well, not really cause I love taking videos haha–but you know what I mean. I wasn’t checking social media or texting), I had the opportunity to really enjoy the people I was with and the beauty surrounding us. Bear Lake sparkled like turquoise when the smokey air cleared the skies, and I remember staring at it and feeling my heart well up with gratitude to God for the beauty of his creations. When we stargazed in the night, I felt even more gratitude for the kindness and good humor of the people I was with. Nature reminded me that I’m not alone and that God has given us so much to be grateful for.
The fresh air is good for your body
I really don’t know how this works, but I’ve walked outside of work multiple times to take a breath of outdoor air. I don’t know what it does, or why it works, but there’s something about breathing the air outside that’s different. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s not inside. Maybe it’s that it gives me a sense of freedom. If you can’t get out much, then just take a step outside to breath the fresh air (unless you live in a city then it’s a little harder and I’m sorry!).
The sun replenishes your Vitamin D
To be fair, it was actually really cold when we got to Bear Lake. The sky was hazy from the smoke (there have been many forest fires lately), and so I was a little bummed. About halfway through the day, the skies cleared and the sun beat down so hard, it was almost like a blanket of heat on your skin. I love that kind of sun. It’s probably what’s kept me alive most of my life–when I was in Hawaii, it kept me cheerful. When I was in the Philippines, it kept me good-natured. It was only when I moved to Utah and stayed through winter that I felt the withdrawals of Vitamin D, and a really mild case of winter blues came over me. The sun literally replenishes your body, but the warmth of it can also heal you spiritually. Just don’t stare at it for too long. 😉
It helps give you a sense of place
I took a jet skis out and sped as fast as I could to the middle of the lake. I killed the motor and just sat there, staring at the water. I loved that it stretched far as the eye could see. It was in that exact moment that I had an epiphany. What if this could be my life? Why did I have to go back to a 9-5 job? What was the point? And the fire in me started to burn even more. All the stresses and all of the feelings of being overwhelmed and inadequate just seemed to sink away from my body. I knew that I could do it–I can be a successful person so I can do what I want, when I want. And I can give back to those around me. I felt the need and the willpower growing in my heart to share my message about being an American-Hawaiian (I’m writing a book about it, so stay tuned!) and to share my passion about fitness and healing. Nature certainly reminded me of my place in this world, and that I can contribute and give back with the talents and the person I am and that I’m becoming.
I know this is a tacky way to end a post, but I would highly encourage you to take the time to be out in nature. It literally can heal your soul. It won’t fix any of the problems you’re having, but it does a lot to replenish your heart and mind. I like to think of us as broken and then being fixed piece by piece by taking time to spend in the sun, or breathing fresh air, or hiking up the mountain. In fact, I’m sitting outside on the porch as I write this. After a long day of work and sitting in the office, all I need is to watch the sunset and to breathe the fresh air. Mahalo ke Akua for the beauties and blessings of nature. Hope you’ll take the time to enjoy and allow nature to heal you.
P.S. I reread this article and debated on whether or not I should share this. It sounds a little hippy-ish but these really are the thoughts of my heart. I am so grateful to God for this gift he’s given to us!
Also, here’s a video of my adventures up at Bear Lake. It was a real treat to be with my ward family and friends. 🙂 Since my blog is about being Hawaiian on the mainland, probably the funniest thing on the trip was when one of the guys said to me, “Wait, you’re Hawaiian? You’re too skinny to be Hawaiian.” Wow!!! Hahahaaa 😛