“Wow” has re-entered my life. I was walking the same route up and down a foresty hill just outside my house. And Suddenly I got it. What did I get? Connectedness with nature.
And I wasn’t trying to be mindful, I wasn’t setting out to go and connect with nature. I had just gone for a walk. Suddenly the details of the leaves became so stunning, the shapes of clouds in the sky. The framing of scenes by the branches. It was like suddenly recognising the great artist.
Best of all were the already autumnal leaves, each one so beautiful that I started collecting them like a madman finding riches on the ground.
The back story of all of this is, that the past years I have struggled a lot with my relationship to nature.
Maybe it was because of being a lifelong city dweller perhaps it was genetic – (my father states proudly, that he just doesn’t really “get” nature.
I feel it has been a combination of these things actually but the greatest killer is my preponderance to get stuck in the head.
It’s not just a case of being lost in thought, because I think you can also dreamily wander through the woods thinking. This was more a pre-pathological relocation of my indwelling sense of self to be homed within the inhospitable forray of my prefrontal cortex. Fuelled by cortisol, years of chasing goals, doing what I should, living basically in a low grade fear mode with a strong sense of individuality and purpose. Well put it this way – I didnt really know what to do with the perceived visospatial information that told me I was standing in front of a tree. My socio-spiritual conditioning told me this tree is nature and that you should be feeling calmer because of it. And well of course I just put the two together and beat myself about not feeling much at all.
It has very much not been over night that I have reached apoint where I feel my numbness of “nature autism” is starting to thaw.
And although there is a big dose of mystery in the why and how I have identified a few key players in my new found feeling of snowwhitedom. (cue music to skip along to and deer and birds trailing behind me as I course through a forest dwelling… in my imagination.)
For the past 7 odd years I have been increasingly affiliated with using sound to travel inwards. I have found this to be an extraordinarily direct way to bring about change in the system. It works in many ways which I will explain in further articles, but here the main effects that I wish to highlight are:
a) Using sounds makes us sensitive again (and at the same time more conscious)
b) You can change your whole vibe by using sound in the right way.
By using daily sound based practices I have noticed a gradual but huge shift in my perception and way I connect to the natural world.
Connecting to the breath remains the simplest, easiest, most universalest way to re-establish the roots into your own being. Once you have your own roots, then the roots and shoots of other sentient and non sentient beings are a relatable phenomenon.
That doesn’t sound very exciting. I thought that, whenever I felt that I should take time out. “well what should I DO with it”. We all know that we should take time out and take our time. We’ve all heard the mindfulness spiel – be in the present moment.
But what if you in your current state of mind are simply not capable of entering the present moment, and even if you do get there (here) you don’t know what to do with it. As I slowly find my own way how to work with time, I feel that the best use of it is not to use it to beat your self up with and to actually just take care of the qualities that you put into the time that you “have” The whole of our lives is kind of a nutritional phenomenon. I.e we we are not just nourished by the food we put into our bodies. So in this context, related to nature connectedness, then I mean to say, see what you can do to swim in time rather than run away from it whilst your in it.
Its one for the existential crisis crowd.
But I’m not going to pretend that Im a master of time, but more like a junior tailor working with an exciting, mysterious new fabric or maybe like fine silk. I’ve started to learn the ways of holding and folding and moving it, but it still slips through my fingers and I make a lot of mistakes.
When I appreciate its inherent beauty, its finity and infinity and don’t give myself a hard time for not being a master, then perhaps I will just enjoy the experience of working with this…
This I think was the straw that broke the camels back, or whatever the positive equivalent phrase would be!
I have recently embarked on the ‘Artists Way’. If you haven’t heard of this, then my advice would be just to order it immediately! Its really a game changer in terms of one’s autonomy, self confidence, manifestation power and above all finding your authentic self expression.
Since starting with this book (which is essentially a 12 week course) I have found myself exploding with creative ventures, this website, finishing old circles, prioritising in a much clearer way, improving my german, meeting new people and exploring the world around me (which can start to get quite small when you are living very comfortable in a nice environment.) I found my edge again! woohooo…
But it was after a morning splurdge with watercolour and acrylics. I didnt create anything particularly momentus, but I went for the aforementioned walk. And boom there it was – Nature, “it” suddenly seemed the wrong word, “She”was somehow emerging dynamically out of everything. Each leaf was stunning me into silence, I suddenly saw ferns for the first time! No dad not a telefern, just a normal green fern erupting out of the ground like a a party! One fern was nearly falling off so I detached it and held it up to the blue sky and saw its details for the first time.
Yes I was experiencing wonder! And it was wonder-full!
Just as a p.s to this little blog: the things I have found to antagonise this connection, which (these days I do a lot less of than before, but still find myself falling into)
1. Digital devices (with no clarity of of task)
– gain clarity before switching on
– Perform tasks when possible in an analogue way
– delete unnecessary apps on your phone. (i.e anything that drains your attention power!) fb/insta/ (I even deleted chrome)
– digital fasting days (full and limited)
2. Putting slightly too much pressure on myself, (chronic and acute)
(remedy -recognise the early signs and practice “downing tools” and seeing what happens…
do fun stuff, reflect, get the artists way.
3. forgetting to anchor myself with myself
Put importance on the daily routine of meditation, chanting or whateer serves you as your doorway into yourself.
4. Not doing creative stuff/ losing the sense of play.
See above about “Art”
5. Thinking too much and putting too much importance on how I think and feel.
Antidote – like the “downing tools” See if you can practice unserioustaking of yourself. Just take a breath, begin to form a trusting relationship with your exhales and allow it to carry you into a let go mode.