“The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it.” -Richard Bach
I get the feeling these days, when I’m out and about in daily life and sensing the vibes of some of the random conversations I overhear, that people are longing for more time to simply breathe deeply, to enjoy a peaceful morning in silence, to take a stroll – unhurried, to have an entire unscheduled day with their kids, to have chunks of time to just “be” and listen for their own inner wisdom, to visit with a friend without having to rush off, to prepare a wholesome meal at a relaxed pace and to savor it for as long as it takes to feel satisfied to the core.
The Simplicity of Sudden Clarity
Often we hear that these are the very things a dying person makes a priority when they find out they won’t have much longer to to live, or if we’ve had some other kind of health scare.
Is it only with a sudden realization of how fragile and impermanent life can be that we finally give ourselves permission to truly live? The ultimate surrender of the mind with all its useless, meaningless, frenetic fodder, (mostly about achieving, performing, building, acquiring etc.) suddenly dissolves into the simplicity of a certain silent knowing of how we want to live out the rest of our days, but we don’t have to be shaken to the core in order to live a more meaningful and authentic life, the kind of life that doesn’t leave us feeling as though we’ve prostituted our very soul.
To Die While Still Living
Instead of waiting for a death sentence to bring us back to life, shouldn’t we learn to die while still living? A riddle, yes? And a paradox too, but certainly something we can all grasp on some level.
To die while still living is just a matter of relaxing, letting go, becoming a witness, lightening up, chilling out…it’s not something to make a big deal about, to scientifically study or investigate through endless piles of research. You just have to go outside, immerse yourself in nature, and become attuned to the natural rhythms of all that is. When’s the last time you really noticed the moon for example, and were dumbstruck by its natural power to shift ocean tides or regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle? Or what about rising with the sun and feeling the profound majesty of gratitude for the gift of yet another day?
There’s So Much Natural Beauty
We tend to take these major gifts for granted and that’s sad. There’s so much natural beauty to celebrate if we’d only take our heads out of our phones, slow way the f*** down…take a long, conscious look around…breathe deeply, and smile…just because we can…
To be natural is not rocket science…
There’s so much natural beauty to celebrate if we’d only take our heads out of our phones, slow way the f*** down…take a long, conscious look around…breathe deeply, and smile…just because we can…to be natural is not rocket science…
This truth was profoundly awakened within me when I moved to Africa as a child, though I can still remember the joy I felt, even living in downtown Toronto before we moved to Africa, whenever my mother would take us to a park, or a beach, or somewhere peaceful to feed the ducks. Africa simply magnified the joy beyond what my little nine year old reality could take in, and at times I felt completely overcome by the magnitude of her vastness and breathtaking beauty.
I’m sure that living there stirred up ancient memories of other lifetimes when living was a continual honoring of the rhythms of nature and daily movements were guided by the sun, the moon and the stars.
Sense of Community
I can remember school finishing at 1pm, because beyond that time it would be too hot and we’d spend the afternoon resting, doing homework, having tea, or swimming. Because of the harsh nature of the land, there was a great sense of community and camaraderie. Life was extreme in Africa, basically we were in the middle of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, and in a moment we could be flooded by rains, ravished by drought, or bitten by a deadly snake.
We always lived in the moment connected to the full aliveness of life and nature. We followed the natural rhythms of the cosmos, no different than the animals that were most active at dawn and sunset and I became instantly attuned to this intuitive way of living.
The Wisdom of Ancient Rhythms
It’s been forty three years since I lived in Africa, yet the wisdom of her ancient rhythms still run deep through the rivers of my soul. To honor nature, to move within the rhythms of her daily and seasonal cycles, to feed ourselves from her bounty, to revel in her breathtaking beauty, to be washed anew by her life giving rains, to be awestruck by her kaleidoscope of color, to listen for the wisdom in the silence — these are the sacred footsteps we can take on the road to uncovering our true nature — to be rooted in Mother Earth’s benevolent grace, no matter where we’re living.
Without it, our lives become meaningless and disconnected, and when we realize we may have separated from our First Mother, we begin to feel there must be another way. And thankfully, there is.
Attuning to Nature
We start by attuning our life to the rhythms of nature. But how do we do that? What if we live in New York City, or Hong Kong? Does this mean a mass exodus to the countryside or rain forest? Do we all start swinging from vines and foraging for berries?
Even in the hustle and bustle of any major city; a park, garden, beach or greenhouse would suffice as a piece of nature, and your practice would be to simply go there, often, daily if possible, to walk or sit and simply observe the trees, the sky, the waves, the birds, the plants, the snow or rain or sunshine. There’s nothing else to do. Just be a silent witness. It’s not hard. In fact, it can be utterly enjoyable.
In the bitter cold throes of winter in Canada where I live now, I can often be found sitting in the lush greenery of the Mediterranean garden greenhouse at the nearby botanical gardens. Here I bask in the beauty of the tropical foliage, inhale the sweetness of the orange and lemon blossoms, watch the Japanese coy glide soundlessly through the pond while I relish in the silent expanse of my soul. Admission is free, and unbelievably, I often find I’m the only one there.
These steps towards aligning with our natural, intelligent earth body are not so difficult to take. We simply need to unplug ourselves from the mass hypnosis of social conditioning, a most unnatural way of living in this world, one that feels robotic, void of spontaneity and the wonder of feeling alive and grateful.
Looking into the mirror of nature reflects back to us the abundant beauty and radiance of a benevolent energy. At our core, this is what we are too.
Attuning to nature since childhood, I have found, is the closest thing I imagine to what a warm embrace from the Creator would feel like…and who wouldn’t want to feel that every day?
With so much love & joy,
P.S. If you have friends, clients or colleagues who seem to have lost their connection to the natural world, send them this blog. Nothing compares to feeling connected to your natural self..
I love to connect! Feel free to contact me.