As some of you might know, I am a city boy and have always loved the fact that I am such. I was born in Paris, have lived in Boston for a few years and then London for several more, and there is nothing about living in the city that I don’t love! In a nutshell, you are close to everyone, everything and this at any time. The bigger the city, the truer this is. But all that being said, I have learnt to appreciate my time away from the city increasingly. Whether in the English countryside or somewhere like where I am right now in Provence, nature has so much to give you that missing it would be missing out on the most essential elements in life. I have tried to be convincing in giving you the top 10 reasons why you, my friends, should do it too.
1. To appreciate the irreplaceable connection with Mother Nature.
You don’t have to be a fan of nature to appreciate its beauty. You don’t have to be an expert in botany. In fact, as human beings, our body benefits from being surrounded by trees and plants. As scientific studies have shown, when people swap their concrete confines for a few hours in more natural surroundings they experience increased immune function. There is a poetry about being connected to nature that goes beyond scientific explanations, Mother Nature if we listen to it has a way of helping us let go our obsessions leaving space inside us for the raw and genuine essence of life.
2. To perform every task with increased focus.
Isn’t it everyone’s dream to achieve maximal focus? As far as I know there is no method but to just do it. Your life has to become a meditation, and what a better place for this than the silence and natural surroundings of the countryside? Life starts revolving around you again when you set for the country, as opposed to urban conditions where life seems to constantly prospect itself around society, others, noise, or some unknown power. Focus is about giving your full awareness to your activity and this is just what nature offers you.
3. To sleep better.
No need for scientific studies to know that you will sleep better in the countryside. Not only that, the awareness that the next morning, no alarm clock, grey horizons and busy agenda are waiting for you, gives you a night’s sleep that you can enjoy in full freedom. I tend to wake up earlier when I know I am not doing it for a work meeting or to rush to an office.
4. To develop internal communication.
Most people do not seem to have internal communication, at least not anymore. And it is unfortunate as we would benefit a lot from thinking more before we act, and sometimes before we speak. Not to mention the many times we can hurt people out of negligence for lack of watching our thoughts and words. Internal communication helps you reach that beauty of soul inside, that eventually shows through all your actions.
5. To focus on relationships.
Nature is not a place to be selfish. In fact, when your internal self is at peace, and in full control, you start focusing on others. Relationships are all about having the time to dedicate yourself to others, and while you retreat you can rethink how you plan time. There is no next appointment apart from an appointment with yourself and these can always be moved over. Nature helps you make others your priority in manageable way.
6. To refill yourself and make a pause.
No matter how substantial and how fast you are growing in life, a pause is always going to be beneficial to your growth. This is as much true on a short term level as it is on a long term level. In fact, high achievers are known to know when to act and when to retire and refill themselves. Nature offers you just that.
7. To rid yourself of negative energies.
In nature, there are no negative energies. After a long period of time in the city, you can tend to get saturated and things can get blurry inside your mind. Sometimes it becomes hard to solve even the simplest problems after a while. At least, from my experience, a trip to the country has always fixed that and I’ve always come back not only refilled, but also more inspired and with more positive energies than ever.
8. To rehearse before action.
Every day is a new chance to make a difference, and as far as we know, we don’t get a second chance each time. So it is imperative that we are able to act at the top of our shape. Living in harmony with nature helps you be at your strongest self by simply keeping that awareness that we are beings in a greater universe, we are at home and we are always able to refocus and to simply give our very best.
9. To get back into shape, on all levels.
It is in the mountains where the air is the purest that we see the healthiest people and the greatest life longevities. Without pollution, without stress, we live younger longer and stay in shape. The same applies to eating habits. In the city there are so many temptation to spoil a healthy diet while the countryside offers the raw ingredients that are the simplest but also the best for your life. Shape has many levels: physical, mental, creative… All those levels increase in efficiency when you have time to unwind in a natural setting.
10. To see the world from above.
Not because you are in nature you are bound to stop working. In fact, I do the most work when I am away from the city. With an internet connection today, the world really is at your reach. When in the city, I mostly do lunches, meetings, dinners and social events, it is only outside of the city that I start having the time to actually do things rather than just attending appointments and following an agenda. And from this standpoint, I can start seeing the world from above, you can start shaping directions for your life, the way you really want it.
Whether it is an hour in the park or much longer periods of time away from the city, we are all connected to nature. Being aware of it helps us capitalise on it and we can leverage our potential through the awareness that after all, we are made from nature and we will go away in it, we depend on it more than anything else.