Tag: Nature’s Teachings

calling my children home

calling my children home

After a very rough few days, I decided to walk along the river and then up the closed parkway. Focusing on breathing in, breathing out I was able to come into presence with my self, the water, trees, rocks and sky. By the time I reached the parkway, I was settled down enough to get clear on what I wanted to know.

As I walked up the deserted parkway, I said out loud, “What do you want?” I repeated it as I walked, reflecting on my life’s path but asking the mountains, the Earth. Thinking about drawing early retirement funds does that I suppose. I’ve always put my soul path, my heart’s path, before financial security, so large questions loom as I contemplate the rest of my life. And the work I want to accomplish, the legacy I want to leave behind.

“What do you want?” What do you want of me?” “Why am I here?” (The little here as in geographical and the big here as in alive on the planet right now). “I’ve followed a soul path, a path of heart and given all I know to give of myself….what do you want?” Yesterday, I had reached a breaking point.

I poured a deep desire to know, so that I may serve, into the questions. I got to a beautiful overlook, the mountains standing strong and tall in the distance. I asked again, “WHAT DO YOU WANT OF ME? WHY AM I HERE?”

Then I shut up and stood there gazing into the mist, the leaf-bare mountains staring back at me. Finally, I heard as clear as someone standing next to me, “I’m calling my children home.

I burst into tears as recognition flooded my awareness. I said, “Yes, I know. I’m here. I’m listening.

Tears continued to slide down my face as I walked. I wiped a tear with my finger and gave it to the Earth. Every cell of my body, every breath, belongs to Earth. 

No other answers came but it’s enough to know I was called Home. I await further guidance.

This rock looked like a skull to me. What would it ‘say’ if it could speak?
The Creative Process

The Creative Process

This is a story about the creation of a book. It’s about my new one, Book of Nature. But it’s more than that. It’s about listening and following the path of the Soul. Curl up with a cup of tea, get comfortable and listen to this story on the creative process. I hope you enjoy.

Stay with Yourself

Stay with Yourself

The path of the Soul leads us ever onward to a clearer expression of our true Self. That sounds wonderful, but the journey involves stripping away everything that isn’t who we are…in our truest expression of that spark of Cosmic Light. 

In other words, it can be crazy-difficult to become real.

Thankfully, we don’t walk the path alone. When we pause, breathe, and gaze into the face of the Unknown, we begin to see allies, helpers. My greatest allies and teachers are found in Nature. Trees, wild creatures, rocks…entire ecosystems speak to me, calm me, and help me feel less alone. Yours might be human friends or music. We all have allies and sometimes it takes a little work to find them…or let them find us. Sometimes it’s as simple as saying, “I need help!”

Almost every day, I spend time listening and allowing guidance to arise. It helps me navigate this intense time of change. Most of us are challenged with the long-term stress event caused from a tiny virus, but that’s just one expression of the many changes happening with this beautiful planetary evolution taking place-an evolution I consider to be of deep spiritual healing for our planet and all Her beings. But let’s face it, growth is rarely easy because it involves releasing that which no longer serves us…even if it has been a big part of our lives.

It could be a person we release, an old version of our self we say goodbye to, an old habit that is holding us back. Evolving might involve a move to a new place geographically or simply a new place within our own skin.

I wrote a few weeks ago about a large rock in the middle of a creek teaching me to stay present with myself. That teaching has taken root and expanded. Last week, a week of truly hellish pressure from many parts of my life, I kept hearing, ‘stay with yourself.’ As external events unfolded, I found myself in the future or the past and that inner voice would come alive….‘stay with yourself.’

When we allow our minds to race into the future or stay stuck in the past, we totally abandon our self in the present moment. My experience was like being a child in a really scary place and having the adults rush ahead or backwards to tend to random events while leaving me alone and afraid. ‘Stay with yourself,’ I kept hearing. ‘Stay with yourself.’

When I can breathe in this moment and be aware that I am breathing, I become master of my life in that moment. Thich Nhat Hanh reminded us of that truth. So, my goal is simple: breathe in and know that I am breathing in. I practice this on my walks in Nature these days and it makes all the difference. I’m not running in fear to the future or the past. I’m just ‘breathing my body,’ recognizing the beauty of the trees or the river, the otter or elk or rock…or this life form known as Simone. 

True transformation is wildly supported as we learn to stay with our self. 

Rock in the River

Rock in the River

One of the reasons I enjoy fly fishing is experiencing the deep connection I have to water. In particular, wading the mountain streams creates an opportunity to be totally present and viscerally connected to the clear, cold water.

With moving water and slippery rocks, it’s imperative to pay attention. A wading staff helps as does regular yoga practice, but it’s still very easy to succumb to gravity and the constant force of moving water to become more viscerally connected than I want. Wading with intention.

It’s not just intending to stay upright. It’s also purposefully noticing each rock, gravel bed, root, overhanging branch, movement under the water, insects hatching, and rising fish kissing the surface. Every part of who I am becomes engaged in the process known as fly fishing.

But to be honest, the time spent in the creek never feels complete unless I sit on a rock in the creek just to observe and breathe. Those are the sweet moments when I can let go and be present—meld into the elements and recognize the Oneness of all life.

This past Christmas day I delighted in several hours of visiting my favorite little mountain creek. At one point, my back began to complain and I felt compelled to sit on a rock. After securing the fly line and hook, I found a nice rock and commenced to enjoy true stillness of body and mind. As if often the case, a teaching began to emerge.

I noticed the rushing water swirling around the boulder, around my booted feet. How long have you withstood the force of rushing water? Look how connected to Earth you are. You let everything just go around you without being moved. You are an amazing rock!

My mind needed that lesson. Too often I allow the calmness and stillness I practice cultivating within my mind to be interrupted by thoughts that come and go. Ever since then, when I find my mind distracted or going down some ridiculous rabbit hole, I ask myself, where is the rock? I laugh and report, way back up the river. It’s a way to monitor the mental chatter and multitude of times that old habitual thoughts and worries take me far away from being grounded and centered; take me far away from myself.

The rock in the river has become a touchstone, pun intended, to see if I am present with myself or if my mind has wandered downriver to some swirling eddy filled with debris. 

Vessel

Vessel

I nearly fell to the ground as I felt the power of the Earth rush through me. The foggy river, honking geese, cool temps, and autumn colors blazing, opened me. The more I opened, the stronger the power of Earth energy moved through me. I wept—no, I sobbed—as I felt the strong connection to Earth Mother. To everything. In this open state, I stumbled laughing, crying, and feeling gratitude stream from me as tendrils of light.

When I came to an open area between the ripened corn fields, three bull elk were in the distance, two locked into a play for strength and dominance, even though they had separated from the cows. Their squeals and grunts were easily heard as I stood quietly. Their power was huge and I was yards away but in that open state, I felt the immensity of their energy and it was intimidating and magnificent.

I was unable to move as they pushed and shoved, squealing…. vocalizing their need to show strength and dominance. Hidden at the edge of the drying corn field, I was transformed…into elk magic, river magic, geese magic….into the Earth Herself.