As we begin the year of 2021, many are glad to see the back end of 2020. It has been a time of challenge and pain for so many people around the world. Here in California, we were bombarded with a wide variety of crises – the pandemic, wildfires, social unrest, a polarizing series of elections, loss of income and changes in personal relationships that were stressed by all of it!
The immense ability of humans to adapt to our environment is of value in difficult times. The hard part is staying true to yourself and not blindly following the crowd. It doesn’t matter what crowd you are following so much as the blindness part of it.
How do we live consciously in a time that is burdened with so much confusion and fear? Connecting with our true selves on the deepest levels is of utmost importance. Learning to listen to our souls instead of the chattering of conflicting messages that surround us is a lifetime practice.
Many years ago, I realized that I didn’t need to save the earth. In fact, I (and the rest of humanity) needed her to save me! In this insight I found myself driving a new excavation of understanding, one which went to a whole new place than ever before. Stepping into a place of inquiry and listening with curiosity, rather than preconceived judgements, I was able to find a different perspective.
A piece of that new perspective came from finding the wider view of a planet that has been living and breathing for billions of years. This concept is hard to comprehend from our limited human existence perspective. What can be grasped, though, is the idea that there is a larger picture to consider.
Humanity does have an effect on the earth. We do have the capacity to create changes that hurt or benefit nature. What we don’t have is the ability to control nature’s response. Mother nature is wild and woolly when defending, soft and caressing when nurturing, subtle and calm when introspective, joyful and exuberant when creating.
Let’s create reasons for celebration during this tumultuous time. Discover the opportunity that is being presented during this time. Old patterns of behavior are being taken away from you. Now is the time to open up to new possibilities and embrace something different.
“How can I do that?” you may ask. Spend time away from the incessant chatter of the external world and your internal, repetitious voices of fear. Go within to a place where you are able to hear the communication that is coming directly from nature. From this place, you can make a new choice in how to live your life that is more fulfilling than before.
This is not meditation as it were. It is an experience of observation with innocence and curiosity. From the place inside of you that doesn’t already think it knows the answer. A place of unbiased listening and receptivity.
Start by wandering around an area abundant with nature – your backyard garden, an open space area or local park. Wander aimlessly, without purpose and observe all of the plant life around you. Allow yourself to be drawn in to be present with a particular plant that calls to you. Go closer. Sit or stand in silence next to the plant.
Observe the plant with all of your senses – look, listen, smell, touch (taste will have to wait if you don’t know whether the plant is toxic to humans). Expand your consciousness to feel the plant in your deepest self. Find connection.
When you are ready, move on to another plant or back to your daily life. Insight and appreciation will bubble to the surface and you will become a new person by repeating this with a wide variety of plants in different places over time.
Clarity of purpose, action steps, understanding and hope all come as a result of the new perspective you will gain. Start now. Don’t wait for the world to change. Change yourself and the world will change with you!