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How I healed my relationship with nature (my biggest recharger)

I used to marvel in awe at nature. It was my catalyst for a personal awakening where I was able to find my inner strength and be a better me. It all started when I went macro and appreciated the small parts of nature. I’d observe them, photograph them, and come to the realization of how resilient and tenacious small things in nature truly are. With that discovery, I too changed as I found a likeness that I could identify with; therefore, I also became more resilient and tenacious.

I was grateful toward nature. It gave me poise, strength, confidence, empowerment, and it was the spark that inspired the development of Happiness Recharge and all its content (books, photography, guided imagery meditations, uplifting social posts, and this very article you’re reading).

But like everything, there is usually more depth than what can be initially observed. And in 2021, I felt like my muse, what I knew to be my gentle and inspirational nature, was violently wrenched away from me after contracting three tickborne illnesses that robbed me of my physical health for a year-and-a-half. For those who have experienced any tickborne illnesses, I know I’m one of the lucky ones to be able to say I recovered as these bacteria can linger for years and even decades.

During the beginning of my recovery, when my brain was foggy, my whole body ached, and my nervous system was grinding at an intense level that left me shaky and exhausted, I’d sit inside looking at the trees from my window and feel nothing but anger and betrayal. I wasn’t yet able to compartmentalize the good nature from the bad experience. I thought nature was all one big horrible thing that made me ill and caused me pain.

I think back about that stage in my healing and understand now that it was necessary for part of a process to find my way back to my muse. I needed to feel anger as it was a natural way to get to the next phases of healing. Had I stuffed that away, I wouldn't have been able to let it go. Today I don’t look at nature in awe the way I used to. I look at it with a deeper gratitude and understanding and with much more respect.

When I initially had the epiphany that I had a likeness to nature, it was more than a decade ago; this past year, I had an epiphany that nature had a likeness to the imbalance I had experienced. Even in all its beauty, there is a growing imbalance in nature. I've recently learned that it had a big part in what happened to me with contracting illness.

I believe some of the bacteria found in nature that can inflict illness in humans and animals is ancient. I had this opinion even before coming across a study done by the Yale School of Medicine with the same claim backed with data. I want to note that I’d hit a turning point in my healing journey where resentment turned into research and curiosity. This was a big sign of acceptance, but also a need to understand logically how the micro world can influence the human world. I was researching things like: where borrelia burgdorferi (the Lyme bacterium) originated, how it spreads, why ticks aren’t impacted by the diseases they spread, and even down rabbit holes of learning about the microbiome and how different bacteria, that have been around a lot longer than us, have built up extra resistance for survival.

Educating myself about the science behind the ailments I experienced helped me heal my mindset and learn to accept what I couldn’t control. Nature too is at the mercy of what it cannot control. The imbalance I learned about came from the Yale School of Medicine study where researchers created an evolutionary tree from 30 years of data. The tree revealed that genomes have been in circulation for more than 60,000 years. Other insights showed that there are a lot of ecological imbalances that increased the spread of the Lyme bacterium – deforestation, climate change, and expanded land use. It also explained how small mammals and birds helped spread the disease farther distances, along with the increase in deer population with fewer predators.

Overall, I learned that everything has a balance, especially the ecology of nature. When off balance, it can ripple out consequences for itself and the beings living in and around it.

When I reflect on my healing journey, I am humbled because as awful as it was, I’m reminded that I’m a part of something bigger – I’m part of a living planet with a lot of other things that want to live and thrive too. Even if that includes ancient microscopic bacteria.

In the distant past, I began my awakening with nature when I found its likeness in me. Through this recent healing journey, research, and pondering, I now feel like I resemble what is found in nature – resilient, tenacious, and always striving for a balance. While my relationship with my nature muse has changed, I am looking forward to it deepening in my years ahead.

May you find ways to deepen the relationship with your muse also.

-Kelly Stone Cramer, Happiness Recharge Author

A final note: Nature is one of my biggest rechargers. Do you know yours? Click here to navigate to a free virtual retreat where one of the videos helps you to identify what recharges you.


Recharging Books:

Yale Research:


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