This final stage in the connecting experience – Re-store – is about the outcome or benefits of connecting with nature/Nature and deeper aspects of your being. There is a spectrum of experiences associated with connecting. Some experiences of connection will be fleeting and aesthetic while others will be profound regardless of duration. The experience will be very much dependent on the type and depth of engagement experienced during the session. If the mindfulness is focused and consistent, gratitude and humility is felt and you feel a sense of relational well-being then it is highly likely that you will feel a deeper sense of connection beyond the surface world. Even without these approaches it is possible to experience being part of something much greater than your self – to a landscape, the planet and/or the numinous divine. I call this process and outcome re-perspectivising – gaining a broader sense of self following a deeper psychological immersion within your lived world.
Restoring awareness of your inherent connection to nature is the antidote to not just disconnection, isolation, but to your amnesia about who you really are. We come into this world with amnesia, we live much of our lives in a kind of sleep walk and thus one of our primary goals in life is to remember who we really are beyond our ego personality, our roles and responsibilities, our thoughts, emotions and beliefs. During the depths of nature connection, and this depth can happen at any time during a nature session, we can begin to lift the veil of amnesia to intuit our higher or deeper natures, the deeply connected and immersed Self. Often it can be a flashing insight, other times it can be a slowly dawning realisation bubbling to the surface during the session.
Restoring connection or rather deeply feeling the interconnectedness of life and spirit and consciousness leads to benefits of inner harmony, heightened consciousness, broader perspective and greater life meaning. I find that the first three immediate benefits of a nature connect session give rise to a more sustained sense of greater life meaning, that there is more to life than meets the eye, that there is an underlying spiritual intelligence in our world and this provides the knowing that helps build the inner platform of resilience. This for me is the most important benefits of a regular ritual for experiencing connectedness, the capacity to withstand daily stresses e.g pressure, threats, anxiety, abuse and maintain your equilibrium, to not be knocked down but to maintain an inner stability of emotions and sense of self. Being resilient is often difficult to maintain but essential to not lose or forget the connectedness that binds all things.