Health & Happiness: Inspired by Nature

By Camille Keith

During the longer days of summer there are more opportunities to spend time outside. Being immersed in nature often leads to a feeling of awe. Awe has been defined as being in the presence of something vast that transcends our understanding of the world. Experiencing awe has been shown to help us feel a sense of fulfillment and connection to things outside ourselves.

Recently I had the opportunity to visit a local lavender farm. Getting out of the city helps remind me of the vastness of the earth. This was also a chance to engage all of my senses. Not only is the scent of lavender known for being relaxing but looking at the rows of flowers was also peaceful. There were also opportunities to pick flowers to take home and taste tea and honey flavored with lavender. Tuning into our senses helps ground us in the present moment.

When you experience a sense of awe there is a sense of being fully present. All that matters is right here, right now.

Try to spend more time outside. Even if you aren’t able to get out to the country, take some time to notice the light filtering through the trees in the park or look up at the moon. Allow nature to inspire you. You will likely notice a greater sense of well-being.

Make time to reflect on your experiences and be open to more moments of awe in your daily life.

Camille Keith, MS, NCC is an LPC Intern under the supervision of Tara Sanderson PsyD, and provides individual counseling to help you clarify your values and maintain your sense of self in relationships. For more information, call (971) 295-1547 or visit