Slow Down for Winter

Winter is upon us. Even here in California, there’s frost on the ground, the days are nippy, and darkness falls sooner. Winter is also within us. Do you know that your winter body is not the same as your summer body? Maybe you feel a bit inward, more slow-moving, and even depressed as winter deepens? […]

Swing Low, Sweet Hammock

Few things symbolize deep relaxation better than a hammock. Just seeing a photo of an outdoor hammock makes my muscles relax and my breathing slow down. And to actually rest in a hammock… in a beautiful place on a warm day… ahhh… Ever since I learned how to get into a hammock without flopping out […]

Awakening to Greenery

What’s the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning? How does it make you feel? I never thought much about the morning view from my bed—until I stumbled into a delicious one. It was the view to the outdoors from my bedroom in a suburban cottage I rented several years ago. […]

Escaping out the Back Door

Until recently, it meant a lot to me to get away. I’d head out for camping trips in the Sierra or the Southern California deserts, or road trips to the Southwest or the Northwest, propelled by a need to escape the city and the demands of my daily life. I especially loved to cut loose […]

The Mulberry Lamp

Getting a good night’s sleep—in harmony with the sun’s cycles—is a central part of coming home to nature. But many of us technology-driven folks find it challenging to turn off our devices and lower the lights as bedtime approaches, allowing our bodies to gently relax toward peaceful sleep. I enjoy every trick I find that […]

Sleeping in Mother Nature’s Arms

Direct experience teaches me a lot about what my body craves from nature. Several years ago, a friend and I went camping at a beautiful California State Park called Sugarloaf Ridge, above the Valley of the Moon in Sonoma County. Our campsite was nestled between meadow and forest. The weather was warm, and our setup […]

Places that Heal

The late environmental psychologist Anita Olds created a process many years ago that I find stunning in its implications. Anita specialized in the design of environments for health care, and she often led audiences through this simple exercise:   Recall a time when you were injured, physically or emotionally. Now think of where you were […]

Your Senses, Your World

Here’s a fun and easy way to learn more about yourself, the world around you, and your relationship with your surroundings. Just pause and tune in to your senses one at a time—wherever you are, in lots of different environments. It will awaken you to experiences and truths you’ve probably been ignoring. You can tune […]

Body Rhythm, Planetary Rhythm

When we think of being in nature, we often think of places we love: ocean, forest, meadow, desert. But living in harmony with nature also means allowing the cycling movements of earth, sun, and moon to set our own body’s rhythms. Many researchers believe that being synchronized with natural light-dark cycles is the basis of […]

Sensory Nutrition

If you want to thrive, you need to feed your senses just as much as you need to put good food in your mouth. This became clear to me early in my decades-long exploration of the optimal environment for human beings. Your senses evolved over millennia, in surroundings that long predated buildings and cities. You […]