Many of us have led busy even manic working lives, raising children, keeping house, working in a business, organising holidays, appointments, meeting deadlines and keeping up a social life, but could we say that we were always living a healthy lifestyle?
As we age we have a renewed opportunity to ‘stop and smell the roses’.
Nature asks nothing of us, and there is so much to learn from dogs, ants, penguins and whales. Likewise there is much to appreciate about the ocean, the mountains and the air we breathe.
I spent my childhood on a farm in the wheat belt area of South Australia, in the foothills of the Flinders Ranges. Our farmhouse was surrounded by fields changing with the seasons, ploughed brown earth in Autumn, green shoots in winter, the wheat and barley ripening to gold in summer, ready for harvesting. There were chickens and cows and sheep, and birds and dogs and foxes and snakes.
Rain was a godsend every Autumn and Winter to grow the seeds, and water was collected in big concrete tanks for house use. At the bottom of our hill was a creek and large gum trees. Nature was our play-ground, my siblings and I were free to roam the countryside. At night we loved to sit on our verandah and look at the stars and the moon in wonderment.
The freedom that I felt as a child dissipated when I was sent to boarding school in the city. There were rules and restrictions and high hedges. It seemed that I shrank with my new surroundings.
Throughout my life I have enjoyed walking in nature, in city parks and botanical gardens, along the shoreline or along country lanes. I always came home from these walks feeling that my body had been reconstituted, I felt more harmonious, and more expansive. Walking has been one of the ways that I have sustained a commitment to a healthy lifestyle, as I have always enjoyed being outdoors in fresh air.
At home watching a sunrise or sunset, a storm approaching, lightning, the little wrens and honeyeaters in my garden, there is a moment of grace given freely. Today it is raining gently and I appreciate having our tanks filled and the garden watered, and all the verdant green countryside coming to life again.
For many years nature has been my inspiration for drawings and paintings of raindrops, streams, clouds, and coral reefs. The water cycle as observed by Leonardo da Vinci has been an enduring theme. I love taking my sketchbook to the beach or park, observing the intricacies of a nest or the structure of a shell. Being present with my self and my subject while sketching supports my sense of wellbeing, and I feel that as well as doing something I love I am contributing to and taking responsibility for my own healthy lifestyle. Taking time to observe an object or view leads to appreciation for the wonder of the natural world, and feeling appreciation always feels delicious!
'When you have a personal relationship with nature you can't but have a personal relationship with a higher power . . . ’ 
The symbolism in nature is all around us – a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis, the brotherhood of ants working hard and united in their purpose - when we tune in to our surroundings there is the magic of God to be felt. The spaciousness affects our cells, we respond to the sounds, the space, the movement of leaves in the trees or the rhythm of waves, clouds drifting, the warmth of the sun. Birds flying lift our spirits. Our bodies respond and feel expansive. Fresh air is free. A daily gentle walk is nurturing.
'All of nature is here to support us to return to who we truly are'. 
Recently on a visit to my 92 year-old father, we walked every day. I adjusted my rhythm to match his, and then we would find a shady seat in the park and look out over the Swan River below us. It was a simple rhythm built into our day, and I could feel how this pace was just right, a blessing for me at this time also, as life at home had been very busy.
As I deepen my commitment to maintaining a healthy lifestyle I will continue to develop my relationship with nature, and to appreciate its gifts and messages each day, which are just a reflection of our true nature and the beauty within us all.
Bernadette C., Australia
 Serge Benhayon, April 2013, The Way of the Livingness 3, audio recording,
You may enjoy listening to this audio about the marvel of penguins and what they reflect to us about commitment to life:
and this one about accessing our multidimensionality in nature