12 Mantras for Connecting with Nature
Tips for a grounded & artful year
January Mantra: Nurture Yourself
(Scroll to the bottom for a Mantras Poster download link.)
Last year I collected a set of mantras to inspire my year. It seemed a good companion to my art calendars, so I shared them on my blog. I did find, that when I remembered to use a monthly theme, it helped me focus and let extraneous things fall away, at least some of the time. For 2023, I mapped out a new list for this new year, coordinating with the seasons and some upcoming projects. It can be quite handy, especially when things are busy, to have a list of options for mindfulness, health, and getting outside.
So here are twelve prompts and tips for our shiny new year that can be used to help you pause and connect with nature each month.
January: Nurture yourself
After quite a few festivities from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, I’m ready to focus more on health and hydration than libations. I don’t do resolutions though, which is another reason I started creating mantras. To kickstart 2023, how about making a small commitment to take care of yourself: add a daily 10 minute neighborhood walk or an indoor yoga session near a window. Drink plenty of water, eat lots of plants. Make a date to see or call a friend you missed over the holidays. Take a nap when you can. These are good any time of year, but January is a great time to reset.
February: Remember to Look Up at the Stars and the Moon
It’s still dark early, so if it’s clear remember to peek outside and say hi to the night sky. Stargazing is another way to connect with the natural world. I’m no purist, so a little tech can be a fun add here. My daughter loves identifying the stars with my smart phone; and finding ways to engage children in your mantras can be a boost for the whole family. Use an app (such as the free SkyView Lite) to identify stars and constellations in the sky above you.
March: Progress is More Important than Perfection
At the precipice of spring, I like a good reminder to keep moving, keep working on the projects and themes I started just a couple months ago. So, how about a little self-encouragement to keep going. Did we get everything right? Probably not, but let's celebrate the progress made!
April: Let Nature's Colors Inspire You
Take a moment each day to observe spring’s rebirth, to see the changing colors, smell the new life emerging. This is a great time to pull out a lovely notebook, dust it off, and record your observations, sketch new spring growth, or press a blossom into the pages.
May: Plant Seeds & Watch Them Grow
Now you could take this literally, or figuratively, or both! But a literal way to connect with nature is to find an empty patch of soil in a garden bed or pot, dig in the soil, and plant a seed. Connect to the lifecycle of another living entity. Look forward to the blooms or vegetables that may come forth in coming months!
June: Count the Flowers
Make the time to notice the bounty of the season. Pick a spot, find the blooms, count them. Should you get lost in thought, that’s ok or perhaps to be encouraged! While you’re at it, bring a little nature indoors - create a bouquet from whatever's growing in your yard, grab a farmers market arrangement, or add a floral art piece to bring nature with you when you're back inside.
July: Let Nature Restore You
For me, an artist with a daughter in elementary school, summer is the time we have a more flexible schedule. It’s time for a field trip! Hit the park or beach for a picnic, head further afield with a tent. Wherever you go, remember to breathe, be in the moment, smile.