First, a little of my own story how I came to write this blog post.
I’m driven by my vision to create a ‘dwarf fruit tree forest’ which is connected to my bigger vision for co-creating a beautiful sanctuary that is a self-sustainable community. I’ll share more of that vision later.
But for now, the fruit trees are a new addition to my ever-expanding potted herb and veggie garden. Which I LOVE.
The greatest benefit of all is the deep spiritual connection I feel with myself through nature in my own yard and home.
So I am building a potted Forrest of fruit trees.
I believe they are the “gift that keeps on giving.”
I also view them as an asset.
And in a kinda weird way, they are an opportunity for me to fulfill more of my ‘mothering’ through nurturing them as they grow.
The community I connect with through this hobby and passion of mine is also awesome. I’ve met some awesome people with a deep sense of connection to self, others and the earth.
Recently I decided I wanted to seek out plants and trees from local growers to support them instead of the larger companies.
So this is how I came to meet Helena, who I just bought half a dozen trees from a few days ago. Our connection was instant, and her joy is radiant. She is also wide awake to the shenanigans in the world so we bonded even more deeply as we had a big heart-to-heart about what’s truly going on.
Her story is beautiful. Originally from Vietnam, and came to Australia when she was just six with her family. Now married and has two young children of her own, her core business is selling cafe blinds which are made locally in Perth. That business doesn’t excite her. It pays the bills. But it also funded the start up of her hobby to build her own fruit tree garden. Mostly consisting of beautiful tropical fruits that remind her of home. Quickly discovering that this hobby can add up and become expensive she started to source and stock up on fruit trees to sell. And while she tells me it’s not quite the cash cow to live of, it certainly does help her sustain her own passion for building her garden of eden while being of service to others and providing some very cool range of fruit trees that you might not source elsewhere (she stocks some of the good old favourites too). You can search for her on facebook marketplace (Helena Le Tan).
Modern living is packed full of stressors.
There’s also so much to juggle, too much to do! Kids to care for, people to please, tasks to complete, goals to go for, and avoiding fears and disappointments. It can wreak havoc on your mind, body and soul, and that can be just a normal day, let alone when poop hits the fan (or if you have kids, the wall, the floor or in their toys! Dear God, if you’re a parent, you know exactly what I mean, urgh!)
Often so focused on the to-do lists and others, we can so easily lose our sense of self - and worse, the connection to who we truly are. Who are we when we’re not so busy with the long list of chores to-do, chasing master two, or picking up his poo!? (Couldn’t help myself there, it rhymed and felt a little fun to type and be so honest).
And have you noticed that with the increased advancement of technologies in our personal and professional lives, and dominating our world, that it’s often overtaking our connection with nature?
We have been sold on the merits of technological advancement for the betterment of our lives; to automate our business, to work remotely (virtually), to delegate the things we no longer need to do, and so much more.
And it’s true, the technologies have done all that.
So why is society as a whole, becoming generally more and more disconnected with their true sense of self? Becoming more disconnected with the nature of who they really are? And becoming more disconnected with the ability to self-regulate and instead becoming more dependent on more technologies and man-made medicines for ‘relief’ and ‘feeling better?’
What if the answer to 'slow down to speed up’ is really simple?
What if it really is about a simple return ‘back to nature’?
You’re probably thinking “that’d be nice to do. But, life is so busy and too fast paced these days!”
When we feel so overwhelmed with life, it can be tempting to believe we need life “to just stop” for a bit, while we get off the hamster wheel. It can be easy to believe that we need to have a week-long holiday in order to catch up.
But the challenge with that belief is, in order to create that revitalisation period for ourselves for a week, it would most likely need to be planned ahead, often months in advance, to save for or most likely to organise the free time to “go away.”
The revival we need for our body, mind and soul to balance and re-centre can be so much easier than you think.
Here are five ways to “slow down to speed up” for you to enhance your spiritual connection to the natural world, in your own home, even if you don’t have any land to ‘plant’.
5 Ways How To Connect With With Your Spiritually Through Nature In Your Own Home (Even If You Have No Land To Plant In!)
Get some dwarf fruit trees
I always say “the best gift is a fruit tree.” Why? Because it’s the gift that keeps on giving! You can harvest the fruit for many years for yourself, family, neighbours and the community at large. You can eat the fruit fresh, cook it, can it, dehydrate it, and freeze-dry it. You can even sell it or trade it. It’s an asset. But it’s also an incredible way to nurture a plant that will nurture and nourish you. And you don’t even need to have land to plant them. You can use pots, even if you are limited to a small patio. I connect with my fruit trees daily, for a conversation, for leaf-hand-holding, for blessings, for meditation, for contemplation, and most of all… for rejuvenation. I always feel more calm, and centred when I walk out my door to my yard and enjoy my trees and plants.
Set up a herb garden
Do you notice how much better food tastes with fresh herbs? Do you notice how yummy fresh herbs make you “buzz” with more energy? Do you also notice how good you feel in your body when you simply smell the scent of freshly crushed, ‘smacked’, or cut herbs? Yum!
Growing them is easy too. And you can use pots, white foam boxes with drain holes punched in the bottom (go to your local grocer who discards these after stocking up the fruit and vegetables on the shelves), or even mobile planters which you can purchase and put together yourself. Add some good quality herb and vegetable potting mix, and plant your seedlings, and enjoy watering them regularly while you watch them grow. Picking them and using them from ‘garden to plate’ is one of my great joys that not only helps me feel centred and balanced, but truly connected and grateful for nature and how beneficial fresh herbs are to our health.
Plant vegetables in pots or planter bags
Using the same options or combinations of containers to plant in as mentioned above for herbs, you can grow your favourite veggies, and enjoy fresh seasonal foods to eat. Packed full of flavour from the density of minerals and vitamins (if you’re using good soil and nourishing your plants) they are also better for you if you are growing with organic methods. Choose not to spray pesticides or herbicides full of nasty chemicals, and instead research options for home made natural methods to keep the pests at bay. I also enjoy the daily ‘meditation’ of grooming through my vegetables to keep the caterpillars at bay and the moths away. The time to slow down, be with myself or even have my child (and the neighbours kids) who often help me with this activity is a beautiful bonding experience with nature for all of us. It really is a type of meditative practice that I enjoy. Maybe try it out for yourself.
Kitchen seed sprouter
If growing a potted fruit forest or herb and veggie garden seems “all too much” or really doesn’t excite you, then consider getting yourself a small seed sprouter and growing your own sprouts - alfalfa sprouts are the most common variety to grow, probably because they taste so good with everything! But you can grow many other sprouts such as: mung bean, mustard, lentil, and radish as just a few more varieties to mention. They are quick growing, so deeply satisfying (and a fun ‘science project’ to record with the kids), plus they are packed full of essential micronutrients with plenty of health benefits and the ability to lower the risk of many diseases.
Even if you’re living in the top tower of a high story building, all you need is a small seed sprouter (I have a “Mr Fothergill’s Kitchen Seed Sprouter”) and the sprout seeds of your choice. No soil is required. Just quality filtered water and a well lit area inside preferably near a window for the sunlight to activate your seeds.
Non-edible plants or Flowers --- in pots or vases
I’m a big fan of edible gardens.’ But if your preference is plants or flowers, then bring some of nature into your home, your office, your bathroom, and your living spaces. Make it a ritual to give them attention, enjoy them, talk to them, appreciate them, and learn more about them.
Whatever you choose, or maybe you will use all five ways, to bring more connection with your spirit through nature into your home and living space, the benefits you gain will be worth it.
Plants, especially the edible kind, not only lower levels of anxiety, help you feel more calm and relaxed, help to clear toxins in the air, but they also increase attentiveness and memory, increase your productivity, reduce stress and boost mood, and truly help to spark creativity.
There is so much of ourselves we can connect to and enjoy, when we connect with nature. Connecting to nature and feeling balanced and rejuvenated doesn’t have to require us going on a nature retreat or ‘out’ for a hike, or ‘off to’ the beach. While these activities are enjoyable and can aid a lot of benefit to our lives for balance and enjoyment too, the fact is, you can bring nature back into your daily life, into your yard and even your home, to make it a daily positive experience, or even a ‘nature retreat’ that you get to live with, instead of that once or twice a year vacation you yearn for “off in nature”. Connecting with nature in your own home can help you create a better life RIGHT NOW, instead of “later when I’m not so busy.”