Author Christina Nealson
By KIRSTEN LASKEY
Almost every day, there seems to be a new product that promises to make life better. But what if life could be profoundly changed without techno-gadgets and beyond the commercialized world?
Author, blogger and traveler Christina Nealson believes it can be and the way is simple and free. Just walk out the door and into nature.
She will discuss just how this profound impact can be created during her talk, “Wild Encounters: The Sacred and Profane,” from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, March 3 at Mesa Public Library.
Her discussion of the sacred in nature will address human contact with nature and wildlife, which she feels is important in today’s fragmented world.
She will weave in her personal interactions in the wild with whales, grizzlies, moose and turkeys.
Nealson will also touch on the health benefits of having connections with nature. Scientific and medical research has backed these benefits, Nealson said. Benefits include lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, as well as lower blood pressure.
“The key is that when we are out in nature we’re taking in the world with all our senses … we are forced to go into all five senses,” she said.
“It’s important we interact with our environment in a different way,” Nealson said.
There are spiritual benefits to being in nature, too.
“It’s important for us on a soul level. It takes me out of my small world and connects me with the cosmos,” Nealson said.
When her daughter went to college, Nealson went on her own journey. She left her psychotherapy practice, as well as modern conveniences, to live in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Colorado.
It was a pilgrimage that was initially planned to be one year long but Nelson extended her stay to five years.
This experience is chronicled in, “Living on the Spine: A Woman’s Life in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.”
Nealson has also written “Drive Me Wild: A Western Odyssey” and “New Mexico’s Sanctuaries, Retreats and Sacred Places,” as well as “At the Edge: Cooperative Teachings for Global Survival.”
Nealson said she turned to writing because people search for answers and if she can contribute some answers, then that is what she is going to do.
“It’s important for us to figure out why we’re here – what’s our service to the planet. We need to live out our service and my writing is my answer to that,” she said.
Nealson said her writing has had a positive effect on many people.
“The overall message that I get is the level of inspiration. People are inspired to look at their lives and change their lives.”
Many people feel something is going on in their lives that needs to change and Nelson’s writing helps validate what they are thinking, she said. Not only that, it gives the needed nudge to take that step forward.