The more I tune in to the deepest expressions of myself, the more I realize how much guidance nature, our true home, can offer to us. We go to great lengths to separate ourselves from our natural selves, but ultimately that path is more destructive than supportive. How can we not feel a primal connection to nature? Nature is the reason we are pulled to the ocean and long for the mountains. It’s the reason we love our domestic animals and have such an embedded curiosity in the wild kingdom. We are all one. All forms of nature are distant cousins to us, and by recognizing and honoring this understanding, we can discover an effortless way to balance ourselves.

Nature is the most perfect expression of balance there is, and we can gain so much from following its example. This time of year, I find myself not only following the beautiful guidance of nature but also depending on its lessons. I love summer and appreciate how gentle and healing the energy in those months is. As summer flowers in their magnificence surrender to their autumn wilt, I feel sadness in letting them go. I catch myself trying to hold on to their beauty. I feel resistance to accepting the change. But what nature teaches me is that as one expression of beauty leaves, another inspiring manifestation shows up.

As I release my tight grip on wanting things to stay the same, I get to see the amazing breath of life move in and out. It is this type of balance that teaches me to move with confidence and surrender my natural self from one change to the next. And if I forget how to do this, nature’s brilliance will be patiently waiting just outside my door to offer all the guidance I need.

Ayurveda and the Art of Balance by Janelle Salzman

Ayurveda, the oldest holistic and preventative medicine in the world, is also known as the “Science of Life” or “Wisdom of Longevity.” This beautiful practice follows the laws of nature and their effortless flow and ease of transition. As we know without question, the sun rises and sets daily, radiating its warmth for all to thrive on. The birds fly south when the cold months approach and the squirrels gather their nuts to feed on throughout the deep chill of winter. Mother Nature and her creatures know what to do to sustain balance.

We humans with our intellect and egos fight with our natural born instinct for self-care. We partake in what is known in Sanskrit as prajnaparadha, or “crimes against wisdom.” We know better but do not always do better. We brush over our natural urgencies to do what is best for us and only us. We lose our way and get off balance. Prajnaparadha has been practiced by the human race for 5000 years. I think we all can agree that it’s time for a break!

When we slow down, breathe, and take a few moments to check in with ourselves, we tap into our own wisdom and the answers come. We start to understand which foods our bodies will receive best. We know when we must rest and rejuvenate. We identify who we should surround ourselves with to maintain support and inner peace. This knowing comes clearer the more we pay attention to the subtle messages our soul speaks.

Ayurveda teaches the balance of the opposites. Start simply: if you are cold, warm yourself up with blankets or hot tea. If you feel sluggish, go for a walk or apply stimulating essential oils to your body. If you are feeling down, surround yourself with loving people or inspiring music. If you are unsure of how to reset, submerge yourself in nature. Ride the coattails of the earth’s powerful instincts. This is how we tune in. Slow but sure, and always remember to be kind to yourself.