Wander How to Realign Yourself With Mother Earth Find connection and introspection through mindful outdoor activity. By Zuzu Perkal Photo by Kylie Turley When was the last time you stepped out? Not just a scurry out the door and into your car for work, or a quick glance at the sky above, but the last time you really stepped out to revel in the natural landscape around you? When did you last savor the smell of fresh flowers, the cool breeze against your skin, or the beauty in the contrast of the clouds resting against a blue sky? When was the last time you listened to the secrets of the wind through the ancient trees or opened your ears to a songbird’s melody? Nature is our playground and humble home. If the message above speaks to you, it’s time to discover new ways to reconnect with Mother Earth. The benefits are limitless—when we tune in to the natural elements, we begin to reveal our potential to increase awareness and find creativity. Make time for yoga, dancing, eating local foods, art, hiking, and swimming in nature. Collect leaves and stones. Reconnecting with nature can be as simple as grabbing a book and enjoying your patio or backyard. Start small and work your way up to wild adventures as you learn the value of taking the time in the outdoors. Below are some of our favorite activities to encourage a connection to the arts and the outdoors. Open the door and start to play. Mountain Biking Grab your mountain bike or rent one from a local bike shop and hit the trails. This can be done solo for a bit of soul-searching, or with a group of friends or co-workers. Luckily, most public parks and recreational areas have an abundance of trails suited for all levels of riders. If you’re new to bike riding, stick with an easy route and work your way up to the more difficult routes. Make sure to bring water and a snack for your journey ahead. Bike riding is not only good for the soul, but it has tremendously positive effects on the joints, improves posture and coordination, decreases levels of stress, and gets your energy flowing freely throughout the body. The surrounding trees, spring flowers, sunshine, and native creatures will also heighten your senses. Hop on and enjoy the ride. Setting Intention Through Clay You can use the earth to create art. Clay is a wonderful, culturally-rich material that has been used for hundreds of years in order to fashion one-of-a-kind jewelry. Use clay to create homemade beads, pairing the pieces with your personal astrological chart, current planetary transits, and mythology in order to make a work of art that is unique to you. Feel the Earth in what you wear. In all of your art, consider beginning the project with a meditation and intention. Use this energy to fuel your creative fire. Think of setting intentions like karma. What we think, speak, and do vibrates out into the Universe and we begin to manifest the things we truly desire. Beginning with a guided meditation will calm the mind while creating a balanced flow of energy throughout the body and open the heart to new positive intentions. Chose an intention that makes you feel good to strengthen those creative pathways. As you build your beads, feel the clay and focus on the intention. Infuse your pieces with this energy, and you’ll find you can tune in to this intention every time you wear your piece. Wall Totems from Nature If you’ve never made a wall totem, welcome to your new favorite mindful activity. Totems are spirit beings, sacred objects, or symbols that serve as an emblem for a person, family, clan, lineage, or tribe. Creating your own totem can be an incredibly soothing experience, especially when you combine it with the forces of nature. Invite Mother Earth to your creation by using crystals, semi-precious stones, feathers, wood, bone and found objects. Natural objects hold sacred energy and power to sustain positive, protective vibrations in your environment and within in yourself. Create art from the greatest source of art on this planet, nature itself. Time to Shine We could go on for days about the wonders of spending time in nature or working with natural objects. Connecting with the Earth is one of the most valuable things we can do to reconnect with ourselves. Take the time to step outside and breathe in the beauty and life that surrounds you. It’s time to shine from the inside out. — Zuzu Perkal is an artist, photographer, yoga instructor, blogger, and pizza lover. Born in San Diego and currently living in Austin, Texas, she lives for creativity and connection. In 2010, after studying Creative Advertising at the University of Texas from one of the nation’s top rated portfolio schools she chose the path of travel, exploration, art, and inspiration; wild and free. Fall down the rabbit hole… ihavepinkhair.com and @zuzubee.