The following post was inspired by the Tier 1 monthly webinar on Holistic Change and its Seasonal Cycles as part of Nurturing the Fields of Change programme. This is an emerging community of practice, which encourages reflective dialogues needed to deepen our understanding of holistic change facilitation and develop us as changemakers. Since the core content of this programme is built around honouring our relationship with Mother Earth, we spend time exploring how we can grow more fully into the rhythms and the cycles of nature.
During a session earlier this year, we were guided through a powerful meditation inviting us to connect to what stood out for us in the earlier discussion and why. To me this was a question raised by one of the facilitators on how can we enhance life that is already here? There is no single right answer to this of course, but I think connecting to awe and wonder is a pretty good place to start and many scientists are now recognising same!
While awe can be elicited by many different experiences, recent research reveals a profound response to what is perceived as the wonder of nature. Yet it does not have to involve a grand and sweeping panorama. I found some of the examples used in the group dialogues very moving, including a reminder of the vital part the earthworms play within the soil ecosystem. I felt little nostalgic during the meditation, revisiting many moments of my childhood spent crouched down in pure curiosity pointing out everything I was seeing in the worm. I did the same with snails, making sure I’m minding my step when so many of them come out in the rain. I did the same with grasshoppers, watching their giant leaps and listening to their chirping, still one of my favourite sounds of the summer. Someone also dropped a comment into the Zoom chat about currently living in the desert and missing the smell of the soil. While this is available to me, I suddenly felt a very different sense of appreciation towards all these details that we can attune to and immerse ourselves in our daily life. Details such as watching seasons change. From dazzling show of autumn leaves to all nature sleeping in winter’s quiet embrace. Awe that is triggered in response to the first signs of colour when spring starts or the much-anticipated sound of summer rain. Most mornings I’m greeted by a variety of garden birds and many persistent squirrels, all muscling their way to the front of our free seed buffet. Though bitter-sweet, occasional visits by the parakeets certainly help to brighten up the grey British sky.
But for me, the question on how we can enhance life that is already here didn’t just relate to nature at large, it was also about following the cues of our own deeper nature. Yet, we often don’t appreciate that which wants to flower in us. It may not always be obvious that what we are naturally good at, may very well be the thing we’re meant to do in our lives. For so long our natural sense of wonder, imagination and dreaming wasn’t nurtured and overtime it becomes more difficult to trust the more animated and unburdened essence of our expression. Turning to Mother Earth for substance can lead to powerful shifts in perspective, including witnessing how much time we spend keeping our talents locked up inside. Unlike nature, we make value judgements on those ideas and activities that come so effortlessly to be of no real importance in the world. Yet like the wings of a butterfly are essential to its flight, our passions are the breath of life to our soul. In essence, it supports what feels most natural. Though very peculiar in their nature, earthworms make our soil fertile and as a participant in this session shared: “Worm shows up in the world, embodying and fulfilling his niche perfectly and places his trust in the hands of Life to look after the bigger picture. And it works! Around the worm Life weaves a complex web that generates more life. The worm needs not to worry about saving the planet. He’s already doing it”. Johanna McTiernan
It’s crazy to imagine our lives as something we spend a lot of time avoiding, yet nature participates fully, simply following the path of least resistance. How can we as humans be more like nature?