Green 2.0: Learning to See, Part 2

14 09 2010

Now that we’ve discussed how to use your windows properly, let’s talk about what’s beyond them. Have you ever realized that taking the first step out of your house/apartment/hovel is the beginning of endless possibilities? It can be daunting or exciting or both. Have a little adventure with me today and try one or all of the following ideas to jump-start a connection with what’s past your walls.

  • Pause on your threshold and really look around. Is the view different than what your windows provide? What are the differences – slight or great – between experiencing your surroundings through them or this way?
  • Find a safe spot and close your eyes. How many smells can you smell? What feelings and memories do they bring to the surface?
  • Keep your eyes closed and count how many sounds you can hear. Are you surprised how many or what kinds of sounds there are compared with what you expected or tend to notice?
  • Finally, feel the wind and sun on your face. How does the weather feel to you?
  • Open your eyes and stroll around. Are you enjoying yourself? If not, that’s alright. Go inside and venture out another day. Maybe you need to go further afield, or try other things to spark some joy in nature.

These activities don’t depend on living in paradise. The concrete jungle has outdoor air, sunlight – even wildlife! (Just don’t try to feed the rats, please.) Part of learning to feel at home outside and to enjoy being there is recognizing how environments make you feel and what draws you in, as well as what makes you want to turn away. Knowing these things as a result of even a few moments outside can help you make positive associations with the outdoors.

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