In the last lesson you were given another method for communication and you explored a few other aspects of where your awareness can go when communicating with nature. In this lesson we will explore ways to deepen your commitment to this connection to nature.Tailor it to our needs:
We may have an affinity for one specific aspect of nature: a certain plant or tree, animal or mineral and find that a simple thought of that tree brings up a joyful feeling. A thought of cedar may be immediately warming or a thought of buttercup may be immediately playful. We may find the wind to be immediately cleansing, or water, clearing. We can use the affinity to make the connection deeper and easier. If a thought of our favourite tree comes up during breakfast, we can stop for a sec and savour it. Enjoy it. Feel it. Bring it in. Allow it to nourish us somehow.Get out there as often as is joyful:
Finding the time each day can make a big difference. This course is only 12 days and I have heard that it takes 21 days to set in a new habit. If it works for you, maybe you'd like to extend this course to a full month so that the habit can become more set. Or repeat it 2 more times. Or make a habit of taking a breather outside each day. This Five Breath Meditation can help:
Your usual morning routine plays a part in this meditation. Choose a time when you normally step outside - whether it's for a breath of air first thing after waking up, or when you are rushing out to work.
1 Stop and take a conscious breath. Notice the weather without having an opinion about it. Feel the temperature and movement of the air on your cheeks.Get other resources.
2 Take a second conscious breath. Listen for a moment without having an opinion about the sounds. Birdsong, traffic, whatever.
3 With your third conscious breath, remember that you are connected to all around you - all things around you sharing this space and time.
4 With your fourth conscious breath, appreciate something in your environment. It doesn't have to be big. It could be something as simple as the colour of a leafy tree or as mundane as the scent of your morning coffee.
5 By this time you may be feeling a sense of grace and connection and quiet joy with your day. So with your fifth conscious breath, intend to carry the feeling and memory of this sense of grace and joy with you through your day.
There are places and people who are involved in this activity that offer more resources. It becomes easier to commit when we have someone to share it with.Have fun with it!
As long as talking with nature is fun to do, you will want to get out there often and find ways to play with this skill. Give your imagination free rein and see how many innovative ways you can integrate these new skills with current hobbies, interests and passions.Become aware of how much it improves your life.
Mark a day 1 month, 6 months or a year from now on your calendar to see what your life is like. See how this contact with nature has enhanced it. Some people find value in keeping a journal of life changes. This may be an option for you.Exercise:
Sit at the foot of the tree you have greeted in each lesson. Greet it again. Be fresh about it. It can not be done by rote. Feel again the love, humility. As you approach this communication, notice what posture you tend to hold as you open to the energy of the tree. Notice how you best prepare for this and how you settle into it. See if any of the techniques of the others have worked for you.
Make contact with your tree and jot down your impressions in your journal.
While in contact with your tree today, decide how much of your time or energy you can honestly commit to this work and tell your tree about it. Be honest with yourself. If you want to commit but are afraid that you might not be able to live up to promises, say so. If you can devote some time every day or week, state your intentions clearly. If you are enjoying the course but don't feel ready to make any commitment at all yet, then say so. It's all fine. Everything in your connection with nature is optional. Do what is right for you at your own pace. You may want to mark a date in the future to give it all another try.
Right now, in this moment, if you are enjoying your contact with your tree, then say so. That is a commitment in itself.Journal:
As well as your impressions, ask yourself how ready were you to commit to this? Do you see this changing? If you see it changing, how would that change your statement today to your tree in nature?What this was like for me:
I have found that sometimes it takes just the littlest thing to renew my commitment to my work in nature. Obvious things that renew my commitment are offering a course like this or updating my website with fresh material. Another obvious thing for me is the joy I feel when I connect. It's habit-forming. I love it. I miss it when I don't get to it. But there are other little things I'll tell you about in three small stories that have given me greater incentive to commit:Gray Pebble Story
I have a stone. A small grey pebble. It's smooth and tiny and I love the feel of it's smooth surface in my hand. I found this pebble at Wasaga Beach on a fine day. The sun was shining with the heat and energy of high summer. The fresh water from this huge lake rolled in, in waves that splashed in high refreshing particles. The energy was high, cheerful and refreshing that day as the pebble called to me and asked me to bring it home. When I picked up the pebble, I closed my eyes and relished the feeling of high, refreshing energy. Then I put the pebble in my pocket and brought it home. Any time I want, I can hold that small grey pebble and feel my energy levels resonating with the high energy of the sun and water and wind that day at the beach. Each time I use the pebble and connect I am renewing my commitment.Little Brown Bird Story
When I was on a retreat a while back, I needed to get down from a long walk I had taken up a ridge in the forest to the meditation hall for the next sitting. I had 10 minutes and didn't know if I could make it so I relaxed and decided just to go and hope for the best. As I started down the steep hill, a small bird lit on a branch on my left. A little brown bird. I said hello to it, delighted to have the company. As I went down, it flew from branch to branch, landing always on a branch just ahead of me and to my left - that was until I got to a spot where I thought I needed to veer right in order to get the shortest way to the bottom. The little brown bird hopped to a branch a short distance away in another direction. Should I follow the bird, or head the way I thought I should? I followed the bird. And in the end, it led me the shortest way possible to the hall.Flower Essence Story
I needed poplar flowers for flower essences and knew they were in bloom. So I headed off to a location quite a way off that I knew had blooms. But they were too few and too high up. I recalled another stand of poplar trees in a field closer to my home and wondered if I'd collect any there. It was a nice day, so results were not important. The stand of poplars was large, but again there were mostly male trees and no blooms within reach. But just as I turned to go home, a cardinal lit on a branch nearby. As I watched, it hopped to another tree a short distance away in another direction from where I would have normally gone. I wondered if it was a sign. Just then, another bird, a small brown bird, lit on the same branch as the cardinal had been on a moment before. As I watched, it flew to the branch right beside the cardinal and lit there. Okay, so this HAD to be a sign. I didn't know what they were showing me but they were giving me a direction. I walked that direction and before I knew it, I found a poplar tree the right gender reclining near the ground. It was healthy and it had flowers right beside the path at waist level. And just as I was about to reach for the flowers, a movement from the corner of my eye caught my attention. A coyote trotted briskly and easily along a path a short distance away. It was a great moment.Questions others have asked:
Q. How do I learn to trust my inner self? At what point is there a true response? And how does one recognize it? Is it my own mind? Am I imagining something my heart so badly wants to hear?
A. Sometimes it is just your imagination. But the trick there is to allow the energy of that imaginative, creative thought carry you to wherever it goes. It stops being yourself and starts being something much more. If your ego is involved, trying to direct, control or otherwise manipulate the experience for whatever reasons, then you know your intellect has not yet released its hold enough. You can help with that by giving it other work to do, such as asking it to keep close track of the experience and then helping you work with the information you get. If it knows that its job is to deal with information no matter where the source, then it has lots to do and will allow the information to rise from the experience.
Back to Introduction
This work is © Copyright by Janet Dane. It may not be reproduced in total or in part without the author's express written permission. If you'd like more information, contact Janet