Personal Development: Nature’s Nurture

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What I like, and frequently recommend to ‘coachees’ is to take time to go for
a walk or a ride, alone or with partner, and to simply smell, feel, listen and look at nature and its beauties.

It also provides an opportunity to concentrate on feelings. Look at your inner you: do you feel renewal in your body, life and soul? Have the lengthening daylight hours, warmer days and blooming of the trees and flowers had a positive effect? So why not just enjoy it? Forget, for a moment, those when, why and where questions; get out of your daily routine
and those overheated offices and homes. Discover the green world outside and take some time to care for yourself.

WALK OF LIFE: It is well known that when you have a problem, taking a walk of at least
15 minutes helps to distance yourself from the situation. It means that you’ll be able
to look at it from another point of view, like a spectator and then easily and clearly define the problem, the obstacle(s) and eventual solution(s). A short stroll is also a good habit to get into before important meetings, presenting a conference, or taking an important decision. You’ll be able to focus on your area of concern, and put the rest into perspective.

Elvis Presley, for example, would always put his dressing-room trailer a 1,000 yards away from the stage or arena to allow him a small walk and put him in a confident frame of mind before the show started. It’s also interesting to link this with the power that endorphins have on your state of mind – these are the natural opiates that your body produces to control pain and generate pleasure.

They are naturally released when you exercise. But, because they are neuro-transmitters, they also create more connections in your brain, so they make you more intelligent – why wait ? Go for a walk, preferably outside, to breathe some fresh air and to feel nature’s rebirth. You’ll discover a new you.

CHERRY PICKING: In Japan, the coming of the cherry blossom is a very important celebration and is an official bank holiday – from early March until April, the Japanese eagerly await the official announcement of the opening of the flowers. Once the sacred moment arrives, they rush to the parks to celebrate Hanami, spending the day under a cherry tree, eating, drinking sake and singing with family, friends and colleagues. Companies send out new employees to reserve the best places under the trees. So, what could be so important for a nation to celebrate cherry blossom when they only have ten official holidays? Could it be the magic of Spring and nature, perhaps?

So, does walking now seem an obvious thing to do ? I’m glad to hear it. Enjoy, and remember that in Belgium we celebrate Spring by offering a small bouquet of sweet-scented daffodils.

THE WRITER: Muriel Troonen is a professional life and job coach. She works with people to develop happiness in their private lives and jobs. Her favourite expression: “Be kind to yourself and pamper yourself.”