Viewing entries in
Nature

Comment

The Antler

   The Antler of Wisdom & Awareness

The Antler of Wisdom & Awareness

Shedding is nature in action, the easy, effortless flow of life. Clinging upsets this natural flow, creating suffering, stress, and dis-ease.

The whole object of pruning is that it improves your growth, it regenerates your brain, and it opens up new opportunities. Experiences that are no longer being used in a positive manner should be cut from the creative tree inside of you and taken away. Gregge Tiffen (Give Nothing, Get Nothing – August, 2008)

 

Take a moment to imagine a male deer resisting shedding his antlers (my first thought was a beautiful buck dashing into the market looking for super glue) or a snake holding on to its outgrown skin (duct tape anyone?).  Imagine an autumn walk in the woods if the leaves weren’t falling from the trees. Or what we humans would look like if we didn’t constantly shed cells of our skin.

While no deer, snake or tree was interviewed for this musing, I’m quite certain that they don’t resist this natural process. And, I’m hardly aware of the daily loss of my skin cells.  Shedding is nature in action, the easy, effortless flow of life. Clinging upsets this natural flow, creating suffering, stress, and dis-ease.

Yet we humans cling. We hold on to ‘stuff’ – so much stuff that our garages have no room for our cars and ‘storage’ is a thriving business. We hold on to jobs, relationships, as well as to ideas, habits, and beliefs that, at best, we no longer need. Sometimes in our busy-ness we simply aren’t aware of what we are holding on to, much less its toll. For the most part we don’t look at events in our lives to discover their meaning, their gifts, and their clues to what we need to change.

One morning tending to my garden on the deck, I discovered several beautiful, almost ripe tomatoes had been partially eaten. Argh!!! I suppose the pesky pack-rats I later trapped (and relocated several miles away in an open field) concluded I didn’t need them since there was a box full in the house awaiting the dehydrator.  

Harvest time brings allergy season – itchy eyes for me, shedding and itching all over for Cool Hand Luke. In my angst over his apparent discomfort (and my annoyance at the almost constant biting, licking, scratching) I lost sight of the fact that shedding is natural, normal, and that I know how to ease Luke’s discomfort.

I was ‘dealing with’ these events without much thought and no reflection. Then, I found ‘the antler’.

Shed sometime in the late fall or winter by one of the many bucks that hang out here in our woods, ‘the antler’ woke me up, cueing me to the theme of ‘shedding’ present all around me and inviting me to that thoughtful, reflective place. I accepted the call.  As I walked home with the antler, I understood that I’m in a shedding period of my life. I’ve ‘shed’ the bed & breakfast creating the spaciousness for something new to emerge.

I became aware of Luke’s shedding as a normal part of canine life. I was aware of an eating habit that contributes to my itchy eyes and that now can be ‘shed’. And (ugh!) I was aware that the pack-rats, which come by that name quite honestly, were suggesting it was time to complete the culling of ‘stuff’ that I began several months ago (yep, what I culled in the house, is in the garage!).

I wondered, what else would it serve me to shed? Perhaps it’s time to shed my habit of using my ‘critical eye’ to judge the actions of others and aim it lovingly on my own actions.  

What other thoughts, beliefs or ideas no longer need to reside in me? Perhaps it’s time to banish thoughts that undermine my conviction that the Universe is a friendly place, unfolding as it must despite so much evidence to the contrary.

What distractions are blocking the emergence of something new? Perhaps my protective reaction to signs of growth and change popping up in our community provide a clue.

As I go about life, these questions are alive in me. No push. No rush. No clinging. Open heart to discover what to shed and prune next. And, simple gratitude for the space to receive these gifts.

   Signs of Growth, Signs of Change in The Woods

Signs of Growth, Signs of Change in The Woods

Comment

Comment

Fierce Softness: Life IS Sacred Service

   A Teyuna Mamo with    Mary Gaetjens of Harmony with Earth Mother Initiative in Columbia

A Teyuna Mamo with Mary Gaetjens of Harmony with Earth Mother Initiative in Columbia

You carry your worth in your heart. Complete, constant, and impartial love radiates through you to all creatures. Gregge Tiffen (The Collected Works of Gregge Tiffen: Echo – Sept. 2012)

Teyuna mamos and zagas exist in deep communion with every living thing, a state they’ve preserved and grown since what is for most westerners time immemorial and what is for them easily recalled through living tradition. (Earth Law Center Website - https://www.earthlawcenter.org/blog-entries/2018/6/teyuna-foundation-launches)

Have you ever been in the presence of fierce softness? I imagine that in being with the Dalai Lama or Thich Nhat Hanh one might experience a sense of ‘fierce softness’. Historical figures such as Jesus or Ghandi likely held fierce softness in their presence. Gregge’s quote above begins to describe what I think fierce softness can be.

I’ve been with people who are fierce. Heck, sometimes I’ve been fierce in ways that are not so positive. I’ve also been with individuals who radiate love and softness. I aim to do the same (and, being human in our culture, I often miss the mark).

Until last week, I’d not experienced the two together: fierce AND soft. Perhaps the seed was planted by Sharon Blackie’s book which I wrote about last week (http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/reclaiming-softness). For sure, the book opened me to what I was about to experience here in Crestone at a ceremony for three Teyuna mamos and, two days later, at a healing ceremony that they offered.  

I don’t yet (and may never) have words to fully describe my experience. Powerful, healing, amazing, transformational are each accurate, but they miss the mark of complete expression. I’m integrating their words, the exercises we did, and their presence to make meaning and apply it my life.

For now, ‘fierce softness’ best describes the energy I experienced and received as these elders guided us through a powerful exercise to connect with the earth.  In both of my encounters with the Teyuna every word, every action, every step was clear, gentle and showed heartfelt and powerful intensity.  It was clear to me that they listen deeply to Mother Earth and respond with exactly what is needed in each moment.

The intense care for people, the planet, and for every living thing was palpable. I felt that I witnessed life as it is meant to be lived: in reverence and deep communion. That is ‘fierce softness’. That is service to life.

The Teyuna understand that as caretakers of the planet, we humans must take care of and heal ourselves in order to fulfill our sacred responsibility. No one can do it for us. The journey is an individual one, unique for each of us. As we heal ourselves, we heal our relationship to Mother Earth. We begin to live life as sacred service to our home rather than as a race to see who can collect the most toys and do the most harm.

Fierce softness. I’m exploring what it means to live from that place. Where is my softness needed – in my life, in the world? Where do I have the opportunity to soften? How might it look to be fierce in my softness? This week I invite to learn more about the Teyuna – here https://www.earthlawcenter.org/blog-entries/2018/6/teyuna-foundation-launches or watch the movie Aluna (available on Amazon.com) about their journey. And, I invite you to reflect on bringing ‘fierce softness’ to your expressions of life.

   The Fierce Softness of Grandmother Pine lives on.

The Fierce Softness of Grandmother Pine lives on.

Comment

Comment

The Open Door of Missed Opportunity

   Here Comes The Sun ... Sunrise in the Sangres

Here Comes The Sun ... Sunrise in the Sangres

You contribute to the situation by what you say. Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: An Honest Performance – June, 2011)

There is no small thing in life. Antsand their hills hold the potential to teach us how to climb life’s mountains, including the peak of creating peace in our world.

In our world that needs all the kindness and compassion we can muster, I missed an opportunity to be compassionate yesterday. Although I’m not beating myself up, I’m aware that an opportunity to be more of who I am is a terrible thing to waste. In noticing the miss, the door to greater awareness opened.

In hindsight I observed that when I’ve made a decision and am on a mission, I loose awareness of all else (focus is good and, like everything, has its shadow). That’s especially true, I discovered, if my decision is at odds which what I value. In this case ‘non-violence and honoring all life’ is what I say I value.

Yet, my mission was to purchase a ‘natural’ product to destroy a colony of ants. On some level, I set aside the fact that I wanted to kill, and I rationalized that using a commercial chemical formula was worse than my ‘natural’ approach. In my heart – the heart I ignored – I know that is false. Killing is killing regardless of method.

Negotiation so far had failed (Yes! I talked to the ants) but my missed opportunity suggested to me that perhaps I’d given up too soon (or perhaps my ant-speak needed to be clearer). Why are the ants an issue? I don’t want to experience the pain of another bite (they aren’t called ‘fire’ ants for nothing). I want Luke to enjoy his favorite outdoor napping spots without being attacked. And, I want the same for all my visiting two- and four-legged friends. But is killing the only answer?

As I write this, I’m aware of my ants as metaphor for viewing others whom we fear as ‘pests’ that need to be controlled. We try to dominate or conquer that which is different from us and those who we don’t understand. Oh life’s ‘little’ challenges! They have so much to teach us if we dare to be aware. But, I digress from yesterday’s missed opportunity that opened the door to this awareness.

I’m grateful to the Buddhist nun whose presence while I was on my mission to the local market provided the gifts of this reflection and the missed opportunity for compassion. She too was on an ‘ant mission’, going for the same product as I. While I was navigating around her to grab a box and go, she was standing in the aisle thoughtfully inquiring whether the product would kill or just deter them. She was aiming for the later: harm no thing. I quickly shared that the information I had was that the product would kill them. My missed opportunity for compassion continued as I responded to her question about what would deter without death in a somewhat frustrated tone, “I don’t know” and walked away.

I didn’t like what my voice and its tone contributed to this encounter. In hindsight I see that I didn’t want to confront my internal conflict. Heck, I’d made up my mind, let me buy the box of Borax and get on with my mission. Oh what a different conversation we might have had if I’d been aware and willing to engage.

The missed opportunity though gave rise to a deeper insight, to a commitment to pause and go back to the drawing board of the internet for a non-lethal alternative, including reopening ‘negotiations’ with these industrious beings. That’s the gift of aiming to honor my values, of being willing and aware, and of taking time for quiet reflection.

There is indeed no small thing in life. As part of the natural world which has so much to share, ants symbolize industriousness, order, and discipline. ‘Why would I want to kill THAT?’ is perhaps a story for another day. For sure it has my attention.

Ants and their hills hold the potential to teach us how to climb life’s mountains, including the peak of creating peace in our world.

  Sunset on a Smokey Day in the Valley

Sunset on a Smokey Day in the Valley

Comment

Comment

Much Ado? Or Not?

   A Blessed, Snowy, May Day!

A Blessed, Snowy, May Day!

Nothing is hidden from the Universe. … We cannot hide anything from anyone else whether we think we can or not. Gregge Tiffen (The Journey Continues: Sight Seeing – May, 2010)

Until each of us digs down deep, diminishes our fear and our personal greed, they will dominate our lives and allow us to be dominated by others.

I have a theory. It’s contrarian, not what most people seem to be thinking and saying (surprise!). And, it’s a theory. It might be accurate. It might not. It might be both, or neither. Here goes:

We are putting way to much attention on what technology giants (Facebook, Google, and the list goes on) and others (government, business, etc.) should be doing to protect us and too little attention on the choices we make (about what we read, engage, believe etc.) and what we do individually as a result.

Said another way: the ‘ado’ or fuss we put on ‘them’ might be better placed (or at least its distribution shared) on ourselves and our choices. Yes. (Gasp!) I’m suggesting that there is a different way to look at this and other situations in life. What if we looked at each event as an opportunity to consider (gasp, again!) our role in the situation’s creation and our individual responsibility for the choices we make. Our true power lies there – not in what ‘they’ say or do to compel us to behave in ways that benefit ‘them’.

We might also consider that the ‘Facebook breakdown’ is one of many symbols of things falling apart. Our systems are crumbling under the weight of greed, fear, dominance, and confusion; failing because their foundations are not naturally aligned with Universal Law. The pine trees out my window are not fighting over the moisture in the snow that’s gently falling. They are simply there, receiving what is being offered. (I add the gratitude.)

With our thoughts and our actions we contribute to our world. We are a part of and we use the very systems we blame. Life is tricky, it is. I contribute to the culture of greed when I have a thought about lack and trigger fear about not having enough. I contribute more when I act from that fear. In a culture steeped in more ‘stuff’ than we need, we find ourselves wanting it to be cheap or even free.

If it’s accurate metaphysically that nothing can be hidden, what do we gain by putting so much attention on events like this? What are we allowing ourselves to be distracted or diverted from? Most importantly, what is the best choice for each of us individually in how we navigate these events in our chaotic world? What choices will help us build a society and systems that are true to our nature?

Our true power is swirling in this muck. Until each of us digs down deep, diminishes our fear and our personal greed, they will dominate our lives and allow us to be dominated by others through events aimed at stoking the fire of fear. Competition to establish who dominates will continue between nations, businesses, interest groups and individuals. Confusion and chaos will continue to reign.

The exciting part is – the choice is ours with every choice we make. I’m deepening my curiosity about how to live more aligned with the pines – receiving what is offered and being generous by allowing my bounty  to simply fall to the earth.  Live like a tree! What’s yours? How might we do THAT?

   Snow Resting in the Pines

Snow Resting in the Pines

Comment

2 Comments

Soul Speed

   Snow! Blessed Snow - A Spring Storm Brings Moisture to the Peaks

Snow! Blessed Snow - A Spring Storm Brings Moisture to the Peaks

Honoring the tempo of our lives makes us more productive, less stressed and happier. Rev. Sally Robbins (Science of Mind Magazine - April, 2018)

Let us look to Nature for guidance as our code book for everything we need to know or to understand. Gregge Tiffen (Tax Time: Are You Taxing Yourself? – April, 2007)

In last week’s post (here if you missed it - http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/listen-up) I shared that I’m learning to listen to my breath and respond to the messages it provides. One message has been to ‘slow down’ what I thought was my already slow pace. To become more aware of my breath required that I move more slowly and deliberately. And, on our daily walks and hikes, I needed to slow down in order not to over-breath.

You won’t be surprised that I resisted at first. Hey, I’ve got things to do, and if I slow down there might not be enough time. Yikes! Scarcity. Our fast paced culture thrives on our fear that there is and never will be enough – time, money, ideas, love, opportunities, food, etc. The culture tells us to speed up, chase, grab what we can – not what we need.

Nature operates differently. Fast is necessary in some cases - think coyote chasing rabbit for dinner. Before the chase, coyote ambles slowly across the terrain, waiting and watching. Chase successful, coyote gets what it needs, eats, and takes a nap. The trees in the woods out back don’t rush to grow tall to get more light than they need. They grow slow and steady – their pace like that of the tortoise in a famous race.

Rev. Sally Robbins quote above comes from a daily message in which she shared a story about a South American tribe on a long journey. They walked several days then stopped and camped for several days, explaining that “we need to stop and rest so that our souls can catch up with our bodies.” 

Perhaps the turmoil of these times is a reflection of just such a separation. In our race for ‘success’ have we left our souls behind? Perhaps this tribe understood something that we’ve lost in our modern, 24/7 connected culture. Perhaps reflecting more of nature’s ways in our daily lives could help our souls ‘catch-up’ with our bodies and make this world a kinder, gentler place.

For me, I sense that at long last, I’ve found my true pace, the one that’s just right for me: my soul speed. There’s plenty of time and energy for all that’s important in my life. My thinking is clearer, deeper; my energy, stronger. And, I feel my natural gentleness shining through. Could this be the soul’s way of saying ‘thank you’ for inviting it (me!) to catch-up?

  Sacred Blanca Peak Glistens This Spring Morning

Sacred Blanca Peak Glistens This Spring Morning

2 Comments

Comment

Emptiness At Solstice - 2017

   Winter Warmth

Winter Warmth

I bring you Solstice Greetings this day with my Solstice post from 2016. Take time to empty and prepare for the new this season …

 What I would exhort you to, what I would give as a gift to you, what I would lay down a soul for, would be for your awareness to recognize that this is a personal event for your life. It is the time that has been set up on this planet for you and Heaven to be with each other without interference. Gregge Tiffen (The Winter Solstice: Giving To Yourself – December, 2007)*

Emptiness seems like a strange word to ascribe to the season of winter holidays with their bright lights, joyful sounds, and festivities to match.  And, yet, giving yourself the gift of emptying is an important part of being prepared to receive the new that is sure to come as the sun begins her journey back to the north.  After all, the full glass cannot receive more wine.

In the Christmas Story, we are told that the inn was full. And, yet a receptive place for the birth was found. So it is for each of us.

We too need to empty and make ourselves receptive to the new.  Solstice is a time to declare one cycle complete, making way for another to begin. It is a time to embrace the realm of spirit and turn our backs on the material world, if only for a brief time. It is a time to bless and release all who have crossed your path in this cycle, knowing that those who are meant to return will be there in the new one.

And, perhaps most important of all, it is time to let go of who we were in the cycle that is completing.  The ‘you’ of that cycle is complete as well. And a new you of your design and making awaits.

As our planet prepares to celebrate her birthday, let us honor her by taking time to reflect this gift of the time when heaven and nature sing as one. May we each sing along in our own unique and harmonious way.

* The Winter Solstice has become my personal spiritual holiday over the years. You can read more about that here - http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/the-gift-of-solstice

Comment

Comment

Influencers Revisited

   Cool Hand Luke Skywalker & A Hike to the Zigurat - Influencers That Remind Me of My Path

Cool Hand Luke Skywalker & A Hike to the Zigurat - Influencers That Remind Me of My Path

The degree that you allow someone or something to affect your thinking and therefore your life is the degree to which you are influenced. Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: One Original Thought – September, 2011)

On its surface, Gregge’s quote seems simple, obvious, and perhaps, even superficial. That’s the way with truth ‘simple but not easy’ and always, in all ways inviting us to be aware right now, in the present moment.  

When I first shared about influencers in a post (http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/influencers), I wrote about the people who’ve most influenced me in life. I found a common thread among them: they did not follow the pack. Each in their own way lived life on their terms.  They didn’t choose a path that the world suggested was what they should do. 

And, that is what we are each here to do: discover and follow our individual path, despite the pulls and prompts of family, friends, gurus, politicians, corporations and many other things competing to influence us.  To do so demands that we sharpen our awareness of external influences and that we make choices that affirm our path.

Stop for a moment. Inquire and notice who or what is influencing you right now?   Then explore. Are those influences supporting you, blocking you, or thwarting you in what you are aiming to accomplish? Did you consciously choose to allow it, or did it creep in without you choosing?

Our challenge is to be mindful and at choice about who and what we allow to affect us.

   I love being under the influence of the visual and audible beauty of a mountain stream ... 

I love being under the influence of the visual and audible beauty of a mountain stream ... 

As I’ve aimed to rise to that challenge, I’ve worked at being able to stay informed of news events without getting caught up in the drama and negative pull that so many in the media tend to project.  I’ve explored various media and observed how each impact me. When I overload or discover that I’m influenced in ways that go beyond being informed, I stop and turn to nature (including Cool Hand Luke) to remind me to be at choice.

This week as I’ve experienced a number of breakdowns – appliances stopping in the middle of a project, repair folks not responding to my calls – I’ve aimed to simply handle what needed to be handled, to take the next step, and to let it go. Rather than relying on the world, I’m engaging my trust in the unfolding of life to influence and guide me.  Simple, but not always easy.

In the midst of those, a friend called to tell me about something that they want to change in our community.  As I listened to the concern and noticed the intensity with which it was being shared, I was grateful for the awareness that I could choose whether to engage AND whether the conversation would influence me after the call ended.  I chose ‘no’ on both.

I’ve also experienced calls to ‘come out and play’.  A frequent guest at the Dragonfly House who’s in town for a house sitting gig elsewhere invited me to lunch at a time when I was thinking about emailing him to inquire if he would house-sit for me later in the fall.  That’s an influence to say ‘yes’ to!

This week I invite you to notice external influences and to make conscious choices about who and what you allow in – moment by moment, day to day, and beyond.

   ... and the influence of the profound beauty of nature ...

... and the influence of the profound beauty of nature ...

 ...   and the sound of music from amazing artists (Yes, that IS Carlos Nakai!)

... and the sound of music from amazing artists (Yes, that IS Carlos Nakai!)

Comment

Comment

Nothing Is Hidden

   Curious Deer: Gentleness and Innocence - Gentle Luring to New Adventure    ( Ted Andrews,  Animal-Speak )

Curious Deer: Gentleness and Innocence - Gentle Luring to New Adventure (Ted Andrews, Animal-Speak)

Symbols serve as a true roadmap to assist us in getting through life with the minimum amount of difficulty and upset. … our life is ordered, not directed, but ordered by symbols. … Your power comes from what is represented on the unseen level not from the symbol itself.  …by design, the Universe keeps nothing hidden. Gregge Tiffen (Do The Angels Take A Vacation? – August, 2007)

In every choice we make, there are symbols. And, we are symbols of the choices we make.

We’re surrounded by symbols. Some support and guide us as we navigate the physical realm of our planet. Some distract us, screaming for attention when our best interest is served by looking the other way. Some resonate with us, while others bring forth resistance. Many symbols invite us to a deeper place – an examination of our beliefs or a look for the deeper meaning of some event or experience in life.

Awareness is a necessary ingredient for accepting an invitation to explore the deeper meaning of a particular symbol. I need to discern whether or not a symbol is useful so that I can be at choice about what symbols I allow in my life. Otherwise, I can be overwhelmed and, thus miss the learning opportunity of deeper exploration. In every choice we make, there are symbols. And, we are a symbol of the choices we make. Nothing is hidden unless we decline to look.

At first glance, the idea that nothing is hidden seems to fly in the face of all that we claim we don’t and can’t know. We make that claim falsely. We can know. We can learn. We can peek behind the curtain that separates the seen from the unseen. To do so requires curiosity, commitment, as well as willingness to direct our energy to the exploration. We must also be willing to discard thoughts and beliefs that no longer serve us and to try on new ones, accepting those that fit. 

I’m in the midst of several events that have evoked curiosity about what they might symbolize for me. As I began writing, the lyrics of the 70’s hit, Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLm3HMG8IhM) came to mind. The lyrics seem apropos in the current political climate around the world, reminding us to be at choice about the symbols we adopt and follow. That is where our true power sits – waiting for us to claim her.  Could it be that examining our beliefs and learning to stand in our power is the opportunity of the divisiveness we witness throughout the world?

On a more personal level, I’ve been experiencing discomfort in my shoulder and arm for a while, especially when reaching for something. Addressing it at the physical level with acupuncture, arnica and rest has helped, but this week curiosity kicked in and I began to wonder: what’s underneath the ongoing discomfort? Louise Hay (You Can Heal Your Life) suggests that arms and shoulders represent how we hold and carry out life. That knowledge led me to inquire: Where am I reaching? Where am I holding life with something other than joy?

Nature consistently offers opportunities for exploration of deeper, unseen meaning. During summer bears are active here in the mountains, feeding themselves and teaching their cubs about life. Bears are usually rarely seen, but this year is different (it seems we can say that about many things these days). There have been many bear sightings and reports of them entering homes in search of food, creating quite a buzz in the community and on Facebook. Opinions of what we should ‘do’ about the ‘problem’ abound. Absent from the conversation is an awareness that nature is ever responding to we humans. How is angst and chaos in mass consciousness impacting nature, in particular wildlife? What might the bears be trying to awaken in us?

Musings and explorations like these bring joy and meaning to the events in my life.  The details of my discoveries offer expanded possibilities and choices for what (if any) actions I take. That I engage in the process is the true gift. What are you experiencing in life that may symbolize something deeper than what you see on the surface? I invite you to dive in and see what may be there to discover.

  Bear: Awakening the Power of the Unconscious (Ted Andrews,  Animal-Speak )

Bear: Awakening the Power of the Unconscious (Ted Andrews, Animal-Speak)

Comment

Comment

The Spiritual Cost of Disposability

   Cool Hand Luke on our Solstice Trek to the Ziggurat

Cool Hand Luke on our Solstice Trek to the Ziggurat

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. Mahatma Gandhi

We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals. Immanuel Kant

Because it is inherent within nature to stay in balance with the harmonious frequency of the Universe, when we do something that sets things off balance, nature must respond by trying to put things back in balance. Our disharmonious administration of the planet causes us all – humans and the rest of the earth – to lose that balance. And nature ever operates to put things right. Gregge Tiffen (Life In The World Hereafter: The Journey Continues)

Earlier this week two viral posts crossed my path and made my heart ache.  The first was a short clip from a surveillance camera showing a puppy being abandoned by his family. The second was an article saying that pet abandonment is highest with the approach of holidays and vacation time. An accompanying photo showed a long line of people and their pets outside of a shelter where the people were about to “surrender” their pets. (Note: I’ve not verified the veracity of either, but a quick check of statistics on the number of pets arriving in shelters nationwide it heart wrenching in and of itself.)

In the midst of my anger and sadness, I wondered how it is that we came to this. How is it that so often our convenience beats our care? Up close and personal, what habits do I practice and beliefs do I hold that contribute to this darker side of our culture?

It dawned on me as I took out the trash this morning that we’ve created a culture of disposability. Despite my best efforts to reduce, recycle and reuse, I generate waste (hopefully far below the national average, but waste none-the-less).  That waste needs to be disposed of for practical reasons. But as we generate more waste and accept disposability of ‘stuff’ more, is it a leap to think that disposing of life could become more acceptable? Is it possible that our all too frequent disregard for life can be traced back to the boom in creating things that are ‘convenient’, thus disposable?  If so, how did we make that leap? And, more importantly, how can we restore our understanding that all of life is sacred? How can I conspire with nature to improve life on the planet rather than working against her (and, therefore, against myself)?

I don’t know. But this week I’m going to sit with these questions. I have a hunch that I won’t like everything I discover. I have a hunch that there will be some new possibilities, new choices, along with opportunities to reconcile past and future choices with my understanding of the dominion over the planet we humans were granted.

I invite you to reflect and adjust with me.

   The sun is ready to peek over the peaks.

The sun is ready to peek over the peaks.

Comment

Comment

Designed To Listen

  Nice hike and creek play after a day of rest.

Nice hike and creek play after a day of rest.

Your first requirement is to your body and to the health of your body. This is the function and health of the body’s mobility, its communication within itself, its awareness to other body forms in nature, and its five physical senses. … and once that is done, you are almost automatically put in tune with the opportunities in nature. Gregge Tiffen (Down to Earth: Terrestrial Activities)

Your cells are as directly related to your body as they are to the earth, as they are to the solar system and as they are to the galaxy. Your cells say, ‘Move now. Sit still. Function.’ You are designed to listen. Gregge Tiffen (Impatience Fishes In An Empty Pond – June, 2008)

Let that sink in for a moment: you are designed to listen. To listen to your body, its knowledge, its wisdom. Your body is your most valuable resource for guidance in what to do next. And, when you listen, new opportunities emerge. That’s how life on the planet is designed.

What is your body saying right now?  Not the mind chatter that’s yelling about what the world (jobs, bosses, friends, family, etc.) says you should do. But what does the body need right now?  Nourishment? Exercise? To start or finish a project? A nap? Your body knows.

When we’re experiencing illness, the body asks that we rest and allow it to heal. The body knows how to do this. Your job is to give it that direction and support for the healing process. In our modern world though we often mitigate the discomfort with drugs and forge ahead with whatever plans and projects we’re engaged in.

I’ve rarely been a follower of that path. I’m simply not good at pushing myself when I don’t feel well. There was a time that I thought that I was ‘wimping out’. No more.

These days more and more I aim to deepen my ability to listen, to hear, and to respond to what my physical body requests of me.  Recently it’s messages that more ‘winter-like’ than active, ‘summer-like’ ones. My body has asked that I slow down, pace myself differently, and sometimes it simply asks me to ‘Stop’.

I’ve never been one to nap much or to ‘just sit’, but recently have felt guided to do both. I’m learning to take time mid-day for nourishment and a bit of rest before re-engaging in the activities of the day. One evening I sat on the back deck for a couple hours just listening to and watching the woods, and wondering about the unseen, unheard lives of the trees and other inhabitants of these woods.

Earlier this week, on a day that I was prepared to dive into my prioritized list of summer projects, my body told me to ‘stop’.  No, a slow pace or doing a few things was not acceptable.  ‘Stop, rest, read, sleep.’ ‘Yes you can check email, FB, and even play a computer game. But, STOP.’  I listened and followed the body’s guidance. After a bit of  grousing about all that I ‘should’ be doing, I surrendered. I slept, I read, I sipped tea. I slept, checked email, read some more. And, yes, I played a few games of Mahjongg Solitare. Luke seemed content with a couple short walks and trips outside and dozed nearby most of the day.  He’s a good role model.

Beyond the sense of satisfaction I felt, I was rewarded with waking the next day to several B&B inquiries, a new reservation, and a reenergized body that was ready to get up and go.

In body, we are of nature. I continue to discover that, when I follow nature’s guidance, life flows as easily as the breeze in the pines.

   Sunset on another glorious day in the San Luis Valley

Sunset on another glorious day in the San Luis Valley

Comment