• JILLIAN SAWERS

These are a few of my favourite things ....

Updated: Dec 15, 2017

Fast track your way to happiness by making lists of all your favourite things!


Late this afternoon I was on yet another beautiful long walk in New Zealand. Each walk has its own distinct beauty, perhaps a massive old tree, or a great view. Today’s walk had several features, including 30 minutes of the walk been beside a man-made channel, often on narrow wooden pathways. Part of an old hydro-station.


At one point the path became a bridge over a really large and deep water hole, and guessing I was probably alone on the track, I stripped off and dived in. It was cold enough to create pain, but I’ve been in colder. Getting out I felt that pleasant rush of blood warming me up, and I walked barefooted back over the smooth stones to join the path again.


It got me thinking how much I adore waterholes and walking bare footed on river rocks. Which reminded of how much I love walking barefooted on a beach or on grass. A list was forming in my mind of the countless ways i love nature. And I was feeling like I was soaring higher and higher on a frequency of bliss.



Just when I was thinking about how one of my all time favourite aspects of being in nature is talking and connecting to birds. I’ve had many such magical experiences over of years. At that very moment my shoe-lace untied and I immediately stopped to tie it, putting my foot up on a large log. Suddenly I realized there was a bird standing right in front of my foot staring right at me. I stayed very still and he jumped even closer, about 3 inches from my foot and within arms reach. For a long while we just stared at each, my heart full of peace and love, which I felt or imagined the bird could feel.


In Maori culture birds are seen as messengers, and a bird flying into the house is often foreseen as an omen of death. I’ve always felt that birds do have a special connection with humans, and Abraham Hicks once explained that birds and butterflies, being so free and connected with the flow of the universe, are often used to communicate to the human consciousness as signs and symbols. I agree.


Anyway, that was a rather long introduction to saying, that whether you do it just mentally or physically, compiling lists of favourite things is a fun way to feel really great, really quickly.


Because the world is full of awesomeness I suggest making lots of catagories. Perhaps using mind maps. If nature is really your thing, then catagories for favourite beach aspects or favourite nature smells, or favourite water aspects. Or, you could stick to top 10 or top 20 type lists. Over to you! But let me begin here by including my own top 20 favourite aspects of nature.

  1. Close encounters of the bird kind

  2. Watching the sun rise or set

  3. Sitting around a campfire alone or with friends. A few spuds or corn cobs in the fire especially welcome!

  4. Full moon nights

  5. Swimming in the sea, rivers, water holes, lakes, anywhere in nature

  6. Wave jumping

  7. Skinny dipping anywhere

  8. Walking barefoot on sand, river stones or soft grass

  9. Staring out at the night sky on a really clear night.

  10. Putting my hand softly against a really ancient huge tree and feeling and honoring its presence

  11. Lying down on long grass and listening to the sounds of nature buzzing around

  12. Sitting by a river, just watching it flow by

  13. A long hard up hill walk, rewarded with a magnificent view

  14. Eating fresh food straight from a garden or tree

  15. Watching an ant colony, or a line of ants matching home with their finds

  16. Soaking in free and naturally heated hot pools or hot rivers

  17. Especially at night, the sound on a rain on a tin roof, or a tent roof, if the tent is leak proof!

  18. Thunder, lightening, big electrical storms

  19. Heavy rain when you outside but sheltered under a tree or a simple shelter.

  20. Rainbows!

  21. The smell of ecululptus trees

  22. The silence of pine forests and the joy of collecting or burning pinecones

  23. Beachcombing, i.e. Collecting interesting stones, driftwood, shells, etc

  24. Mushrooms!

  25. Moss, of all kinds, but especially areas of it so big and spongy you can lie on it and pretend you are elf queen

  26. Glow worms, especially when you find them on undistinguished walkways, instead of famous caves

  27. Trees – all kinds of trees, sitting under them, climbing them or walking by them, staring up into them, breathing them in.

  28. Watching snow fall or waking up to find fresh snow covering everything

  29. Seeing an animal free and wild in its natural habitat with your own eyes

  30. Watching baby seals swimming in rivers or rockpools

  31. Seeing dophins swimming by your boat or close to the shore

  32. Flowers, anywhere, anytime, wild or cultivated, doesn’t matter.

  33. Seeing the Himalayan mountains or any really big snow covered mountains.

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