I spent yesterday morning wandering along Boulder’s creek path. Benches here and there gave me a place to pause and make notes about upcoming projects. Walking and writing seem to help me access insights and ideas more easily.
I’m not alone in relishing time in nature to keep me creatively fueled. Many of my clients report that nature helps them feel more calm, relaxed and connected to the bigger picture. Nature is abundant with inspiration, and I love these three ways to treat my artist to nature’s gifts: Forest Bathing, Long View and Water Inspiration.
The Japanese have a concept called ‘Shinrin-yoku’ or Forest Bathing. The idea is that contemplative walks in the forest reduces stress, anxiety and anger. Inhaling the natural oils of the trees can help us relax, allowing clarity and creativity to emerge. I personally love the cozy feeling of being in a forest, where the trees shield me from the sun and inspire me with their elegance.
When I ask my clients what they get from being in nature, many of them refer to a sense of connection, peace and restfulness. Gazing at the horizon, scanning the night sky, viewing mountains or the ocean can bring us a sense of feeling part of something bigger than ourselves. Oddly, this doesn’t diminish us but instead can give us a sense of peace and connectedness.
This kind of space inspires us to take the long view on our projects. Stepping away from minutuae and looking out and up can help connect the dots.
Many people report insights and ideas arrive in the shower or bathtub. Studies about negative ions in water show that the abundance of negative ions found in running water contribute to positivity and creativity.
I don’t need a study to know that being near water helps me feel more relaxed, calm and joyful. I grew up swimming and skiing on a lake in Michigan, so water feels like my natural element.
There are many ways to spend time in nature. From plants and flowers in the home to visits to a local park to escapes to remote locations, time in nature fuels us.
Which of these three gifts from nature do you prefer? Perhaps you have another favorite way to bring Mother Nature into contact with your inner artist? Let us know in a comment below.
I’m grateful that I get to take weekend hikes here in Colorado. I’m also grateful that I get to teach in other beautiful locations. In May, we’re going to the stunning Banff National Forest in Lake Louise, Canada.
We’ll spend four days together at the Fairmont Chateau, where I will lead my Capture the Wow workshop. There will be the perfect blend of group time and solo time, when you can wander around the gorgeous glacial lake, hike in the forest, or simply rest on the terrace absorbing the view.