Finding natural joy in an upside down world

A woodland with a dark blue cloudy sky and brown scrubland, winter sunshine on the bare trees tops makes them appear golden.
The late afternoon winter sun at Highwood nature reserve in Earley, Reading [Copyright: Nature Works Wonders]

The third Monday of January is often referred to as ‘Blue Monday’ and this got me thinking recently about joy – how it’s easily lost and how tuning into nature you can help you find it.

You see this month I’ve been in a reflective mood. For me, the time between Christmas and New Year is for rest, a chance to reset and restart the New Year afresh.

I’ve also been reviewing what I do and who it serves (more on those another day) and most importantly, does my work bring me joy?

In pursuit of joy

If you’ve watched Inside Out, the children’s film, you’ll know that Joy, the emotion, is one of the leading characters. She’s the positive one – the emotion that ‘lights you up.’

The film focuses on the five basic emotions of an 11 year old girl named Riley – Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger – and how they control her actions. If you’ve not seen the film, I’d recommend it highly, whatever your age.

I haven’t watched the film for a while, but the word ‘joy’ keeps appearing to me, in articles I read and conversations with friends. I love a bit of synchronicity.

Whether it’s the ongoing pandemic or my struggles balancing ‘school’ with family and work, I realised recently that I’d lost my ‘joy’.

But I didn’t want to tell people. I didn’t want to admit I was finding life hard. I’m an introvert – I don’t like a lot of attention and I don’t always want to share or admit how I truly feel.

But I’m sharing this now because I want you to know who I truly am.

One of my core values is authenticity and if I’m not being honest with you, well then, I’m also not being true to myself either.

Living in a topsy-turvy world

I want you to know that it’s OK if you feel something similar. It’s hard to step into that place and feel all the emotions around it. I struggle with this too, often on a daily basis.

Sometimes, the bravest thing you can do

is to just show up

Brené Brown

I’ve found it hard to stay positive in these darker days. Some days I’m just muddling through. It’s a topsy-turvy world out there!

But life carries on. The world keeps turning. I’ve realised that when you live life ‘in tune’ with nature, there will always be seasons and cycles.

And some cycles of life are almost predictable, like the ‘force of gravity’ my youngest is currently learning about – ‘what goes up, must come down!’

I’m listening now as Earth’s gravity pulls me down to her core. I’m taking baby steps to rekindle my joy and boost my mental health. Surely the only way now is up?

Going to ground

So the other weekend, I literally got my hands in the ground to (finally) plant out some new bulbs. It felt great to work in the earth again. And the right time to try out some new essential oils to support me emotionally. Wild Orange is currently lifting my mood.

This quiet time has also made me realise that I’ve come full circle. My ‘why’ remains the same as before, and feels even more important this year:

To reconnect people with the beauty and wonder of nature

so they will want to protect the world for future generations.

NAture Works WONDERS

And as the days go by, I’ve started turning my attention outwards again. Looking up a little more. I’m noticing how the winter sun makes the trees glow gold. I’m finding joy in the small things under my foot, on the days when I tend to look downwards.

I even saw my first daffodil and snowdrop of 2021 earlier this week. Spring will be here before we know it.

And in the end, even the gratitude has returned. It feels good to simply be alive.

Stay well and safe everyone.

Do contact me if you’d like to go on a 1-to-1 mindful walk in nature or explore how essential oils can help you through these difficult times.