day fifteenth (of thirty)

nature and comparing no more

today i am grateful
for my relationship with nature

i often feel self-conscious
about my relationship with nature
(especially since moving to boulder, co
and dating men who live to be outside)

i do not live to be outside
i have more than once
gone more than a week
without leaving my house
spending the majority of that time
in one room of that said house

i don’t like the unknown
i don’t like unpredictability
and nature seems to be both
of these in heaps

which is not to say
i don’t appreciate nature
i do, deeply
but in a different way
than so many of the people
around me (it seems)

growing up
i was a rather prolific artist
and my favorite subjects
by far and away
were landscapes and plants
i have painted and drawn
hundreds of landscapes
and thousands of flowers

i studied at the impressionist painting school
and we would get up just before the sun did
take our easels and canvases down to the shore
and paint for hours
switching out canvases
each time the sunlight changed
doing our best to capture every nuance
of how the light hit the world
making everything shimmer and colors differ
moment to moment, teaching me to appreciate
such subtlety (often having twenty different paintings
in progress at once, each one reflecting a different lighting and color scheme)

and i was obsessed with flowers
i loved traipsing through the many
sanctuaries and gardens i grew up near
and spent hours doing my best to capture
their incredibly delicate striking beauty

art was my gateway to appreciating nature
and it has me relating to the great outdoors differently t
han my friends who exclaim
about their love of the earth regularly
and i have always felt so very self conscious about that
like there must be something wrong with me
for not feeling at home lying in the grass
or finally at peace swimming in the ocean
but i don’t
i just don’t

but i do
feel something
something different
something that when i don’t judge it
for being different
from what i think i should be feeling
feels really very good to me

and i felt it this morning
on our hike off the path into the woods

i felt honored by its beauty
and respect for its volatility
i felt admiration for its strength
and humility in the face of its power

and it had me in awe
and i felt quiet
and at ease
being a little uneasy

comparison has always been a default for me
i measure myself against others often
and it’s a constant practice for me to not do that
i have made great progress
in some really big ways here
and still it sneaks in
when i am least expecting it

i was comparing
my way of relating
to nature
to someone very close to me
who feels most at home outdoors
in ways that are actually anxiety producing for me
but that doesn’t mean
i don’t have my own relationship
that is just as significant
in its own way

and so today i am most grateful
for nature
and for noticing when i compare
and when i can appreciate
and celebrate instead

yes that
that’s what i am thankful for today
on day fifteen of my gratitude journaling
nature and comparing no more

❤ Emily Joy Rosen

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Emily Rosen is the co-owner and CEO of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating where she oversees business development strategies, student affairs, marketing and public relations, and keeps a pulse on the fields of eating psychology and nutrition to ensure the Institute’s position as a leader worldwide. Emily makes things happen. Her passion for health and transformation has provided her the opportunity to speak and present internationally and be at the forefront of a new generation of women leaders committed to making a heartfelt difference in the world. Her tireless work and faithful commitment have touched the lives of millions of fans and followers worldwide.