As the weather warms up Nature seems to come back alive. The growth that is happening all around us can be very inspiring. Sometimes we don’t even need to go outside to appreciate it, we just need to open our eyes. Here is a little meditation/contemplation to help change a busy mindset.
Your mission is to experience your life as joyful no matter what happens in your outer circumstances. Whatever external circumstances you encounter on your journey, understand that they are no more then a backdrop for your set design so you can play your role, learning from them. Imagine a quiet moment at home, looking at a raven sitting in a tree cawing. You may not notice the bird at all when your mind is racing about all the things you believe you need to accomplish today, but disable your body for a little bit, then all of a sudden a butterfly moving across your window on a beautiful summer day represents much more than before. It represents the celebration and power of life at that moment, flowing, moving. The butterfly tells you to look inside and experience how everything is actually perfect.
Adapted from Conversations with Angels
Where I live, the warm weather is calling us outdoors and the long days are making it possible to do everyday activities outside. What can you take outdoors this week? A meal? A hobby? A meeting with a friend? Whatever inspires you, go outside and play!
With Earth Day upon us on April 22, we will no doubt be hearing the many reasons why we should pay attention to the needs of the earth, our home. Of course we ought to be considering the health of our planet every day, not just on Earth Day. I like to think of our earth connection as something that deepens and grows year-to-year and Earth Day can be a chance to recognize and acknowledge that relationship. Here is a ritual that you can use to connect with the trees in your own neighborhood on Earth Day. It is also a ritual you can do on a weekly basis to keep your relationship with nature healthy and alive.
Adapted from Earth Spirit Living
1. Try to find streets with large trees located near streets with no trees. An older neighborhood near a newer neighborhood or commercial area will often show this contrast. Walk or bicycle down a couple of streets with large trees and see how you feel. Notice your mood and any physical sensations. Then walk or bike down a few streets without trees, and pay attention to how you feel as you are passing through.
If possible, go back and forth a bit and notice any differences in your mood, energy, or physical sensations as your own energetic system response to the different energy fields. If your daily commute takes you through a variety of areas, use this time to notice how each area affects you.
2. Alternatively, find a park or natural area with an open meadow space (such as a ballfield) and large trees (or one particularly large and beautiful tree). Spend some time walking and sitting in each area and notice how you feel in the open space and how you feel near the tree or trees. Write down your impressions in a journal or notebook, as it will help you retrieve your impressions more completely later.
3. As you go about your days, notice the presence – or absence – of trees near the buildings you encounter. How does it affect you when there are trees? When there are no trees? Jot impressions and observations in your notebook.
4. You can also connect to one tree. Visualize and feel yourself linking to the roots of a tree. Feel the whole tree from the top down to the deepest part of the roots. Be aware of the trees energy field that extends to far down beneath the surface of the earth. When possible, it’s great to physically stand or sit near the tree, close to the extended roots. Connecting with the tree in this way is wonderful when you feel depleted, tired, or scattered.
Practice this attunement with the trees in your neighborhood once a week to establish a regular connection. Taking timeouts will enhance and expand your awareness of your home and nature relationships.
Journal entry on pine trees 3/31/13
Not having been out to Pennsylvania in six weeks, I was struck by the size and stature of the pine trees. Yes, I’ve been aware of them before, but this time I couldn’t help but feel fascinated by how huge and abundant they are. Even in nearby places like Connecticut or Prospect Park the familiar pines have stood out to me, but their presence and stature don’t match these. These are tall, proud and beautiful, even in these earliest days of spring. Interestingly, pines are known historically to embody an energy of friendliness!
I felt that familiarity and solidarity that comes from a friendship and I was moved to know that I’ve been growing alongside them for 26 years. Growing together, not always aware. The good news is, they’re your trees, too! If you’re from this area or are living here, this land is made up of the ancestors of this place who hoped to cherish and preserve it for future generations (us). If you’re not from the area but from the region, these trees are the tallest in the Northeast, reaching high up in the sky and reminding us of the connection between heaven and earth. From the sky and the sun to the water and the earth, we, like the trees, find our place somewhere in between. Sharing their oxygen they help us strive to balance out the earth’s natural breathing rhythms.
Here is a creative writing journal entry written by my mom at my June 2012 Retreat.
The Pine Trees
The Pine Trees in our yard are so magnificent. They are beautiful with soft green needles that fall gently onto the lawn and on the home. They drop teeny bits of sap from their outstretched arms that land on our heads like a kiss from an angel. They are sturdy and strong and they stand tall to keep the coolness in the air and in our home. They release pollen that covers everything outside with a gentle coat of soft yellow nothingness. The pollen makes its way through the summer screens to do the same to each bit of furniture indoors. The Pine Trees here are strong soldiers of defense on our lawn. They form a sense of security making the home an oasis that sits in warm sun, while providing cool air that is perfectly filtered for cleaner, clearer breathing. The Pine Trees on our lawn serve as a home base for games and they become our own special spot when we choose one to be ours alone. The PineTrees are almost 100 years old, yet they show no sign of fading or falling. There is no weakness here, they are specimens of perfect planning. It is so amazing that a tree starts as a small delicate defenseless seed. So incredible that a small, delicate seed produces thousands upon thousands of more seeds in a lifetime. A Pine Tree represents a life well lived. I will respect and honor the trees on the lawn of our home forever.