One of the many ways I’m healing my depression is through nature. I live in the city with lots of parks, canyons and the ocean, but it’s still mostly concrete, pollution and a constant rushing of life. Since I don’t have many opportunities to escape into the mountains I escape into the garden where I volunteer and “ground” or “meditate”. Here is a simple meditation I’ve been using for over a year now.
Find a spot. Sit down or stand still.
Look at your surroundings. Is this a safe place to stop and rest?
If so, find a plant or tree to direct your focus.
Notice your thoughts and tell them that it’s time for a break. Just focus on the plant or tree you chose. Notice the shape and size. What is the color of the plant? What’s unique about it? Imagine what insects, reptiles or animals might live in it or like to nibble on it. Just allow your focus to be totally absorbed by the plant.
Every time you start thinking, bring yourself back with the word “return”. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been on a train of thought, just notice that you are out of focus. Allow yourself to release any thoughts, especially those concerned with what you need to do or what is causing you pain. Imagine all the unwanted things seeping out of you and into the soil. Let your worries dissolve into the earth.
Just be present. When you feel ready to move forward with your day then gently return to the world around you. Bring with you the felling of peace that you cultivated today.
The first time I tried this, I only lasted a few minutes, but gradually with practice I can allow myself to sit still and be present for much longer. Practicing mindfulness and meditation is a core for healing. If we don’t take time to slow down and allow ourselves to shut down we will constantly be working on ourselves and that is tiring.
If you’re suffering from depression I strongly encourage you to seek help. If you can’t afford a therapist find a supportive mentor, teacher or healer who can help you discover inner peace. Healing is possible IF you are open and willing to commit to a self-care plan.