nature makes me mindful

I suffer with anxiety. The root of my issues is worrying about the future or dwelling in the past, which is the classic formula for hell. They say the key to mindfulness is living in the moment. To unlock this mysterious level of mental peace and happiness, I'm supposed to think about the present. What am I doing right now? How does it feel? What can I be grateful for? (I mean, I can't even think of any other hypothetical questions because I'm really un-mindful.) 

So here I am, an anxious millennial being told to chill tf out. But I just can't. Besides the 1 minute a day that my Apple Watch cues me to "breathe", I spend most of my day mentally constipated with anxiety. Except for when I walk outside...

Nature is breathtaking. Fall in Minneapolis is just stunning. The LEAVES are SO COLORFUL.

I HAVE ALL OF THESE FEELINGS ABOUT TREES.

But it's not just fall. It's summer when the sky is blue, or winter when I stomp around in the snow like a 2-year-old because it's a magical substance. When I'm driving in the car with friends, I shout, "Look out the window!! Look at the sky!!" and they laugh at me. They're right. I've seen it all before. But lately, I just can't get enough.

I'd like to think that my profound appreciation for the outdoors is a blessing. In a world where I can't escape my own brain, I find peace in moments reflecting on the HD skyline above the rush of traffic. I lose myself pondering the depths of the crystal blue lake, or the incredible hues of fall leaves. 

So if you think I'm corny, but slightly interested in achieving extreme levels of earthly appreciation, here are some thought-starters for the next time you're outside:

  • The ground you're walking on has been in existence for millions of years. Some horse-drawn buggy rolled through these streets. A Native-American probably pitched a tent here. A 1940's teenage couple probably snuck out of their houses to make out in this exact spot. The possibilities are endless. 
  • The colors of nature are trendsetters. Seriously, they were being beautiful centuries before any machine found a way to replicate them.
  • At one point, someone stumbled across this same land without a map. Imagine what it looked like undeveloped?? Forests for days!! The world is so vast and multifaceted. 
  • Nature is ALIVE. All of the trees, grass and animals are living beings that cycle through time like humans. We need the plants and the plants need us. How cool is that? 

I know. It's a lot. But the world is a beautiful place.