Being Present in Nature
To appreciate is to “recognize the full worth of” or to “understand fully”. Being in nature versus being fully present and appreciative in nature and simply being in nature are two different experiences. Discovering the difference between these two states is also deeply important for recovery. Under the influence of drugs and alcohol, we spend many years of our lives simply being in our lives.
We aren’t fully present and we don’t fully appreciate what we have. Unfortunately, most addicts and alcoholics experience some kind of trauma or difficult life situation, even coping with the symptoms of co-occurring mental health disorders, which make it feel difficult to be appreciative. Dissociated and uninterested in the present circumstances of our lives we found solace in the mind altering effects of drugs and alcohol. Consequently, we spend long lengths of times simply being rather than being fully, and being appreciative.
Being Grateful In Your Life
Cultivating an internal culture and lifestyle of appreciation means learning the art of gratitude. Being grateful is a way to become fully submerged in the present moment. We spend a lot of time depressed and resentful toward the past, anxious and controlling regarding the future.
As a result, we lose precious moments of the present. Spending time in nature is a way to help recovering addicts and alcoholics discover the importance of being fully present, fully appreciating life for as it is in any given moment, and create deep spiritual meaning in recovery.
What Nature Therapy is Really About
One forest therapy guide explains, “There are people who say they’ve never really looked at the forest before…they go on a hike from here to there rather than simply saying ‘I’m here’. It’s not about finding something or getting here to there. It’s about being in the moment and finding out what is really on right this minute.” Nature therapy is less about therapy and more about developing and awareness and mindfulness for being in nature and being part of one’s own life.
For recovering addicts and alcoholics this couldn’t be a more critical lesson. Showing up to life is an ongoing challenge in recovery. The brain has long been trained to take a back seat to life and try to remove itself as much as possible. Recovery helps the brain heal by teaching the mind how to be more comfortable being present, being intimate, and surrendering control to the natural flow of life.
Lakehouse Recovery Center offers residential detox and treatment programs for men and women seeking life change from drug and alcohol addiction, in addition to dual diagnosis issues. Focused on wellness in mind, body, and spirit, our programs integrate recovery and non-recovery activities for a holistic approach to life. For more information call (877) 762-3707.