My two boys often share with me wisdom beyond their years. Yesterday, on our drive home from a family vacation, my 7 year old reflected to my husband and I… “I am going to be 17 in a blink of an eye.” We nodded in agreement, “yes, quite possibly true.” His statement sent me off in a daydream of images of the sweet time we just had together on mountain tops, ocean and lakeside, around fires, under the stars, witnessing the rise of the sun, uncontained laughter, pensive conversations, storytime reading, and even moments of friction and misunderstanding. I rested deeper into feeling so grateful for the time together, my husband and I both, free from other commitments, prioritizing time in deep presence.
Soon to follow came a bit of a pang in my heart, how could 7 years already have gone by? I want to be awake for the next 10/20/30 etc years and really remember and see each moment unfold. The business of life and its to-dos makes time move faster and notably more disconnected. These moments count. I want to feel them, be them, and live them. To taste the salt in the water, to feel the sun on my face, to hear my son’s words, to experience my body moving. This to me is to be fully alive… awake in every moment.
I have known and felt the power of unplugging from the fast paced flow of things. Unplugging from a disconnected sense of being and opting to plug into the flow of Mother Nature. Nature heals; time, space, and nature’s rhythm heals. Feeling the pulse of daily rhythms; rising w the sun, eating when hungry, resting when tired, moving when needing to release energy, sleeping when the sun has set. For every experience I have had when I think of being most alive and vibrant, it has been when steeped in the arms of Mother Nature, in the flow, and awake in my senses.
I now know when it is time to consciously unplug and seek nature. Usually the feeling is one of overwhelm, disconnection, sometimes followed up with anger, doubt, feelings of disgust, judgements, slipping on personal goals or habits that make me feel more vibrant. Thoughts of lack bubble up – be it lack of time, money, space, love, etc. When this happens – cue Nature’s getaway – cue an Earthly recharge – cue plugging back into source.
Perhaps this is why being on retreat and seasonal cleansing has been so highly influential in my teaching career over the last decade. They all combine the company of Mother Nature with an ancient practice of yoga to help weave us back into our sense of wholeness and true essence. On retreat be it on the shores of Hurricane Island or the thick jungle of Costa Rica, Mother Nature’s is courting us back into remembrance of our original nature… our true nature. We join sun up and sun down to flow with the sun, the tides, the winds, the waves. We are lulled into reunion. The seasonal cleanses help to slow down enough to feel, nurture, listen, let go, and understand current habitual states of being. They bring us back into understanding our own intuition. All experiences offer a time to move into existence with eyes, mind, heart, and body wide open.
Was your summer a “blur” or were you able to take in the moments with your senses wide open. Do you tend to orient yourself towards an easeful and rhythmic sense of being and becoming? Or do you orient towards overwhelm and stress? As awake humans living, loving, and being, we constantly are given choice in how we show up in each moment. How do you choose to be? Each breath is an opportunity. Each exchange, each conversation… may we start to feel our impacts on ourselves and on all sentient beings. We are collectively becoming more and more conscious together.
There are many ways to daily step back into our true nature – taking a deep breath, going for a walk outside, watching the path of the sun, star gazing, laying under a tree, moving in our bodies. Commiting to practice on our mats provides for contemplative time to feel embodied, open, and understand our current state of being. Off the mat we start to wake up to all that is.