Spending Time Outdoors

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All of us can benefit from spending time outdoors.   Natural settings seem best, but even walking outside in a city will expose you to sunlight and fresher air than indoors.   One of my masters once told me that the easiest way to cultivate your life force energy (Qi) is to treat yourself to plenty of sunlight and fresh air.    It exposes us to nature and allows us time to slow down our lives and to feel rather than think.   Feeling allows us time to relax and be aware of our surroundings.  And outdoors provides simple stimulus to our bodies.

I invite you to take a few minute break from whatever you are doing (or whatever you are avoiding doing) and go outside right now.   Allow yourself to enjoy the sensations of any breezes on your face and skin.  Feel the warmth of the sun or the coolness of the shade.  And simply become aware of any sensations.   You may hear an occasional bird or animal sound.  There may be smells that catch your attention.   Your eyes may be attracted to or repelled by certain things or people.     Allow your awareness to slowly gaze and expand and notice things in all directions, even behind..   You may become aware of more than usual. Don’t forget to look up and see the sky, clouds and sun if it is daylight, or stars, planets and moon if it is evening time.

Allow your breathing rate to slow and be aware of how you feel.   Take the time to gently move in any way if you feel like moving.  Are you feeling tense or tight?   You can change how you feel, by tapping, patting or rubbing and stimulating all parts of your body that are asking for your attention.    Does that make you feel better?

You may become aware of patterns and currents on many levels.   This clearing of your mind by feeling may allow for solutions to problems become apparent.    Other perspectives or approaches may seem possible.  Anything can happen when we open ourselves up to receive the messages of our universe in the present time.

Connecting with the outdoors and observing nature reminds us that we are simply animals ourselves and we can benefit from doing what all of the living things on our planet do.    Connect with the Earth where all plant life and animals get their nutrients, minerals and water.   Feel centered and grounded in this connection and enjoy it.     Become aware of the heavens, the source of the solar energy that all growing things stretch towards.  In many disciplines like Yoga, or Chinese health practices we can draw the prana, Qi all natural energies with deliberate postures, exercises and movements.   Or we can spontaneously move in any way we wish and synchronize our bodies and minds with all that surrounds us at any time.     Dance, move, or connect with your surroundings in stillness.  It’s up to you.

I have just had a Qigong Platform built in the white pines, loblolly pines and oaks, so all classes that I’m teaching are outdoors as long as the weather permits.

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