In Love With the World
Ever walk, run, drive, or cycle somewhere and not remember anything from Point A to Point B? Ever been to an incredible place in nature but spin your mental gears or focus on some athletic endeavor to the point you are not taking in what is around you?
Now think of a time you are/were in Love with someone and being with that person in a crowd could make everything else seem not to exist. This is the Love you can have with all of the natural world and I believe this is the Love that all humans had until we forgot.
1) Go toward a place that is attractive to you and make sure it remains attractive to you for at least 60 seconds. If the area does not remain attractive, move on to another space that is. This can become empowering over time because you learn to identify and trust your own natural attractions and to remove yourself from them if they feel unsafe or uncomfortable.
2) Ask permission from the natural attraction to help you with whatever connection activity you want to do. Doing this announces to yourself (and your surroundings if you choose to believe it) "I am an equal," "I mean you no harm," and "I respect you." Try it for yourself and see if doing this changes your experience in the natural world.
The photo above is a perfect example of how practicing these two steps work to enhance my connection to nature. I was frustrated for 30 minutes of trying to capture a photo of any bird for my book. They all flew off too quickly for my simple camera. Suddenly I remembered to ask permission. I silently asked all birds in the area if they would allow me the opportunity to take a photo. Thirty seconds later these young horned larks appeared and stayed in place for several minutes, one with a caterpillar in its beak.