Let nature guide us

After the findings of the survey, how do we even start to create the life so many people said they wanted?

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At the end of my last blog which was the findings of the survey, I raised a question: What practical changes are you making to birth this new world?’

I was on my dawn walk this morning, listening to the  birds and letting myself be washed in the sunlit green of the trees when I saw so clearly, that nature already has the answers.  In the survey, people talked about how they were connecting to nature more and allowing themselves to be in the moment and what calm it brought them.

Over the last few day I have taken myself away, into my garden, under the trees, to the river edge and my yoga hut and have been really quietening myself from the frazzle of screens.  The bird song, the rainbow dew drops on the grass all started to bring me into the moment, to sit me down and help me find stillness. I felt the wind change, smelt the rain before it came, sensed the thunder before it rumbled.  I think the more I connect to nature, the more answers come.

In my twenties I went to India seeking enlightenment. I came back with an amoeba and leg ulcers.  I have meditated with Sufis, Hindus and Buddhists.  I have prayed with Christians and Jews. I have risen to the haunting call of the Muezzin,  I have sweated in lodges, I have danced in trances, I have connected with witches, with monks, with shamen, with holy men.

I didn’t need to go so far to find teachers.

If enlightenment is a profound, visceral connection to the moment, then the most awoken teachers around me are the trees, the fish in the river, my dog, the robin which joins me in my digging, the pony who trots over to the gate to let me scratch its neck. Nothing is more present than nature itself and it seems to me that what people are saying in the survey, is that they are learning to re-connect to it.

So here’s some of the things that I have learned over the years as I have listened and watched and felt into nature with more and more attention.

 

Nature and you and I are all connected.

We are nature.  The virus moved from animals to air, to us and from us to us on breathe or hand or object.  The air you exhale is the air I inhale we see what has always been true. We breathe out CO2, the tree uses it and releases oxygen which we in turn use.  We need each other.

Human lesson: what harms nature harms you and I too.

My human action: I am going to drive less

  • Your human action?

nature

Nature doesn’t try to be anything it is not.

The blackbird doesn’t want to be a swallow, it just gets on with being a blackbird.  The ivy just does what ivy does. The river tracks its course through fields, it doesn’t wish to become the field instead.

Human lesson:  Deeply accept who you are individually.  Rather than wanting to be like him or her, the journey is to being more and more yourself.

My human action: I am going to accept myself more and I’m going to do it by journaling and spending more time connecting with people who like me just the way that I am.

  • Your human action?

Nature

Nature is sensual.

It smells, moves, flows, grows, rises, falls, is wet, dry, hard, soft. I don’t know if my dog thinks, but he definitely feels, responds to touch, to sounds, to taste.

Human lesson: Become more embodied. We have got so trapped in our heads with busy-ness and stress and now covid has told us to stop. In the survey people talked about how they were cooking fresh food, exercising more and how their heads were clearer and more still.

My human action: I am going to make sure I mold life so that I can be outside in daylight for at least 2 hours a day and I am going to have one whole day a week when I leave technology alone.

  • Your human action?

nature

Nature only takes what it needs.

Lions don’t go on a killing spree whipping out whole herds of antelope. They kill what they need and eat it all.  The lilac tree we replanted needs water to help it re-establish roots, but it doesn’t need more than it needs or the roots will fail to grow.

Human lesson: Covid is teaching us this already, that we didn’t need half of what we thought we needed and that the less we have, the less we consume the simpler life is and the healthier we feel.

My human action: I do not want to get back into the coffee shop habit. I am not going to shop more than once a week, we will manage with what we have.

  • Your human action?

nature

Nature is cyclical.

We have been on lock down since the vernal equinox, through Easter, past May day and into summer.  I have watched the leaves unfurl, the bracken unravel, the lambs grow, the duck eggs hatch, the rosemary bloom and the grass grow.  Nothing is still. Even in this blooming there is the memory of autumn, of winter of longer nights and colder days.  There is always change

Human lesson: Life has its seasons, youth, maturity,  middle age and each has its purpose and its beauty. The monthly menarche, the daily rise and slumber, we have forgotten how to honour these ebbs and flows of our own tides.  In the survey people talked about how they were sleeping better an feeling more rested as they tune into the cycles and rhythms of a more natural life.

My human action: I am going to continue to allow myself to rest more and sit and stare.

  • Your human action?

nature

Nature is connected.

Mammals live in herds or packs. Blue bells grown where other bluebells flourish. Bees take the pollen but in so doing, pollinate. We are as trees, our roots entwine.

Human lesson: covid has shut us off from our herds and our tribe and we have felt that painfully.  It was the thing most talked about in the survey and a sense of real appreciation and not wanting to take those connections for granted any more.

My human action: I am going to continue to stay in touch with people who live a drive away but rather than driving, use the phone more.  I am going to connect more to people who live within walking or biking distance.

  • Your human action?

nature

Nature looks after generations hence.

The bee takes pollen, which fertilises the plant which means that next year the plant will grow for the next generation of bees, even when that bee is dead. The jay collects and buries acorns as a food source for itself over the winter, but also it ‘plants’ the acorns in the ideal conditions for oaks to grow ensuring that hundreds of generations hence jays will have oak trees to collect acorns from.

Human lesson: I was listening to a podcast; I can’t remember which as I am listening to so many at the moment but someone asked the question; ‘What kind of ancestor do you want to be?’  We are used to thinking about the kind of friend, partner or parent we want to be but I had never considered this question. What a great question. What kind of ancestors do we want to be.  People in the survey seemed to find covid an opportunity to stop and reassess; to step away from social inequality, mindless consumerism and back to a slower, simpler life so that 7 generations hence our decedents are grateful that our generations made the radical changes needed so that they could live in harmony with an abundant earth where there is enough for all.

My human action: drive less; have at least one car free day a week. Eat even less meat; have at least two totally meat free days a week.

  • Your human action?

I know that there is so much more that nature can teach me and I feel like I am listening more and more.  The thing is, you don’t need me to translate for you, you just need to take the time to connect to nature yourself and you will find your own answers there just as so many people in the survey shared.

May you find your way outside today.

Julie

x

 

Julie Leoni

Writer, Listener, Teacher, Dr

I am a stress and well-being coach who supports women to ask for what they want and look after their own needs so that they can hear their heart's call and live a more empowered and meaningful life. I draw on experience and training in bereavement, domestic abuse, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, Transactional Analysis and other therapeutic approaches to get you loving you. I have 2 sons who I love loads (and who sometimes drive me crazy). I'm a Barefoot Trained coach and I got a distinction for my post-grad cert in 2011. I have a PhD which led me to look at Emotional Intelligence in schools and I have a number of academic and professional qualifications in various types of therapy. I have practiced meditation since I went to India over 25 years ago and I'm currently training to be a yoga teacher. I have written a couple of books, I teach psychology and work with a large variety of coaching clients.

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