Becoming Nature Smart

Ever notice how good you feel when you stop what you are doing and go sit outside? For a moment… it dawns on you that nature is awesome. Then some thought comes into mind, maybe that nature is awesome, or something else, and then that feeling quickly fades as you head off in some direction to do something.

What was that palpable experience when all thoughts were absent and there was a noticeable “ahhh” of relaxation into the vastness? A felt sense of peace washed over you. A unifying moment of connection with the world of nature all around you. Bliss.

What if instead, those thoughts were seen as clouds passing? Just coming and going without getting stuck. One by one each ‘thought-cloud’ would be noticed and then not-noticed, noticed and then not-noticed. Eventually all the clouds would pass with only the clear sky remaining, revealing the sun and the moon and the stars and everything in between.

How did the moment of realization disappear as quickly as it came into focus? Where did it go? Did it cease to exist?

These questions and more are answered by nature, not in words but in-between the words and everything else. If we imagine a substance that is in everything and yet is no thing, we may begin to see what is true. Only that which can cannot be seen, cannot be described by words or science or art, cannot be touched, smelled, held or felt. It is like a felt sense, but comes before even the senses and the thoughts. It connects everything, invisibly, profoundly primordially.

This is the truth we will discover in Nature.

To be nature smart is to keep turning towards that which is invisible, that which defines the existence of everything. Being truly fresh and innocent and present with each moment is to know beyond knowing.

The Big Cedar Tree

Today a big cedar tree came down. It held the south shield powerfully for an entire family. With its absence sorrow filled the air, unresolved with ancestral grief. What did it hold for this family? Was it protection, was it privacy, was it shade, was it dominance, was it hierarchy, was it darkness, was it avoidance? The sun shines brightly now reaching the family. What will come of these changes? How much can the absence of a tree allow for the potential to grow? All of this will be revealed.

North East Shield

We’re coming into the Beginning of the Year. The North East shield marks the true beginning. Doing the math, 12 months divided by 8 shields would take us to about 45 days after The North Shield at Winter Solstice to The NE. So by about February 4th we’ll be completing the last cycle and beginning anew. Creativity and Mystery are the hallmarks of this time. The realm of the complete unknown. Can you feel that pregnant winter with the unborn spring? It must be a ripe feeling for those of us in coastal BC with the Snow Drops starting to sprout. We even saw one tiny white flower this morning.

An old mentor of mine shared some of his insights of this powerful time that relate to village building in the Acorn model of the 8 shields.

  • Emotional Well Being
  • Ceremonial Leadership
  • Keeping a positive attitude
  • smudging
  • releasing grief
  • creativity
  • facilitators of awareness
  • ceremonies.

Somehow it doesn’t come as a surprise that there are those stirrings inside me to hold space around fire and the simplicity of awareness in nature at this time with my family and close ones.

Lament for Innocence

This world, so full of glory and beauty. The wild ones, so innocent, so free….. Destroyed. BURN ignorance. BURN arrogance. GOOD-BYE GREED. So Long Selfishness. BURN misconceptions, illusion, separation, suffering. LET US SEE THE END OF UNNECESSARY DEATH and DESTRUCTION.

R.I.P. Bear 148

Dipping your Feet in the Ocean

I sat tonight with my fiancee and two young children at the beach with our feet dangling in the water when a complete wave of trust and knowingness washed over my being.  We had been grappling with the questions of what direction to take next in our lives only moments before.

The quality of immersion in nature has such a profound affect on opening us up to experiencing the world more directly and fully. This reminded me that at the very core of expeditions for life is the guidance that leads us back towards direct experience with nature for the purpose of healing and awakening the human spirit!

 

Returning With Vision

(cohesion |kōˈhē zh ən|noun the action or fact of forming a united whole : the work at present lacks cohesion.)

Cohesive was the last word I remembered while going to bed last night after a day of transformation and integration with my beautiful partner Jane.  There was really only one thing keeping me back from surrendering to this beautiful reality that surrounds my life.  Resistance.  When I step outside every morning to pee and I look into the forest and out to the ocean, I am always greeted with my reflection for the day.  It has either been serene and open, or blurred and constricting.  Usually it has been the latter, and it has me wondering why?

We often hear about the hero’s journey where every brave soul dawns on the unrelenting need to break free from constraints in their life and venture into the unknown to discover deep inner resources not having known they existed within before.  It is then the duty of the candidate to close the cycle to begin anew by returning home, which means to integrate into community, and share that story with their people.  Completion is as important as initiation because otherwise a person can get caught in limbo by losing direction, or getting caught in attachment of escapism, or an obsessive search for meaning.

The heroes journey I was on took a turn than you would not expect when thinking of the tales of grandeur often told by hollywood with heros slaying dragons, and warriors questing across the slopes and steppes of babylon and cosmic battlefields.  My quest did involve adventure and risk in the outer reaches of society, even into the wild and remote reaches of Canada’s North Pacific and rugged shores of Haida Gwaii and Alaska by boat.  Those wild and rugged places were only a portion of my journey offering challenge and reflection on a physical level.  Occurring simultaneously was an inner battle with emotions of fear, shame, and guilt that showed me an entirely new facet of reality that I wouldn’t have ever known.  This reality was in the emotional, spiritual and mental realm that are all at work simultaneously and in parallel with everything seeming to occur on the outside.

Now I am recognizing the end of that cycle in what I am coming to understand as integration.  It hasn’t been in the field where I have needed to face some of the most challenging fears, but in fact upon my return to civilization that I have been challenged the most by something I would have never expected called humility.  Part of what I learned about myself is that I carry a leadership quality that is necessary to share for the assistance of our culture and community to shift into a new paradigm that brings harmony, courage and balance to our way.  And what I expected least was that at the core of the leadership quality is humility and the ability to follow the lead of others.

So I come full circle to the concept of cohesion as an act or fact of forming a united whole.  Here I am entering wholeness, one step at a time, integrating my lessons and beginning to share my hero’s journey.  I know now why my view from the back porch every morning takes a different lens, showing me how far I have come across my inner landscape to see clearly who I am and how I interpret the world.  It is all about sharing gifts as we are all meant to live in a community where we help each other live and grow in abundance.  I read a quote recently that says it all.

“In the shelter of one another we find ourselves”.