Updated: Feb 20
"I believe the world is incomprehensibly beautiful - an endless prospect of magic and wonder."
— Ansel Adams, American landscape photographer
Since the dawn of my brain retraining, the concept of “Hardwiring” kept popping out to me in every neuroplasticity book and Ted Talk I intellectually grounded my DNRS practice in. Through Rick Hanson´s explanation of the negativity bias in the brain, I was confronted with what I had been seeing everywhere almost my entire life: paper tigers. I also learnt how to change: by taking in the Good. I had always loved movies, so I focused my attention on comedies that shifted my energy to mind-blowing happiness quickly and effortlessly.
“We can be hardwired for anything we choose from the vastness of possibilities in space. It´s up to us," I thought back then, while marinating my brain in the bliss from all the miraculous changes in mood and beliefs.
Now, two years later and having experienced so much light and healing in my rewiring journey, I am aware that all the Goodness from this key realization was just a portal to a new world meant to be whole. It was the beginning of something even more profound and meaningful than happiness: MINDFULNESS, LOVE and NATURE.
I had this new realization the other day, when I read an article on Forest Bathing in the National Geographic: “we are hard-wired to affiliate with the natural world,” it stated, and I asked myself: “Are we?." It made me wonder why and how I got to hardwire a transcendental Love for Nature that absolutely rocketed my recovery implementing the DNRS programme. After all, I had hardwired happiness by focusing on mood-elevating comedies, but I never put my attention on the Natural World. It had never been on my mood elevation list, unlike for many other friends on the same healing Journey, because it just didn't feel natural to me.
Ironically, I grew up amongst green pines. In the Eighties, when the Japanese embraced Forest Bathing as an art and found their last best cure from stress in what they called “shinrin-yoku,” I was a child playing in lush meadows and chasing butterflies. Rural landscapes were my surroundings even well into my adulthood. Nature was present but I was not present in Nature. It is clear to me now, this was an early and lasting manifestation of separation and disconnection from the Oneness we are with the Earth and the Universe.
Reading about Forest Bathing also showed me a natural approach aimed at awakening the senses through the immersion in the power, peace and beauty of forests. Relaxation and restoration for mind and body is the goal. Scientific studies confirm its therapeutic value for reducing stress and all the cascading effects, where phytoncides, essential oils exuded by trees and plants, take the credit. Aha! This didn’t work for me though.
In challenging times, both before and during brain retraining, going to the woods was an activity I occasionally did for the benefit of others and always on autopilot. I was not only immune to the magician trees making scented potions, let alone the beauty of the green scenery, there also came a time where my brain turned this disconnection into reaction. I went on rewiring, concentrated on other areas of retraining while experiencing by surprise unforgettable moments that made me fall in love with the Natural World. As described in my first blog of the series, the elements through which this first manifested were the light in the sky and the glance of a whale on television. Eye-opening glimpses of enlightenment were the consequence of having hardwired and being inspired by Happiness. This conscious evolution prepared me for Mindfulness. I got to meet Presence and it was Love at first sight. This is how transformational DNRS is.
Watching nature documentaries showed me a deeper true meaning of beauty in a world I could finally get to appreciate, and by making animals the protagonists of my DRNS practice I experienced the splendor of this primal Love that is the source of all the good emotions of the soul. The power of focusing on the wonders of the Natural World was so profound that opened a new retraining phase full of bliss and progress. When I finally ventured into the woods, it was a walk in the park. I was rewired, but healing had become secondary, almost a byproduct of resolving the manifestations of negative subconcious beliefs, thoughts and emotions.
For me rewiring means an awakening process of spiritual evolution embodied in Happiness, Mindfulness, Love and Nature. My divine essence, the powerful human being I am, displays in all its glory when I am outdoors. I once heard Gregg Braden affirming that we are deeply connected to our bodies, to one another, to the Earth, and that the fundamental model of nature is based on cooperation and mutual aid. This is never more clear to me than when I am by a river or a creek, lost in misty landscapes or walking down a tree-made aisle with the light of the sunset dancing through the web of their branches. The simplicity of life amazes me. I am present, supported and loved.
Being loved by the Earth is like being loved by a Mother.
Rural landscapes in Galicia, Northwestern Spain
THE NATURAL BRAIN: Focused in the Healing Power of the Natural World and (Re-)discovering Nature with New Eyes.
Next Edition: March