Sep 10 2021
Almost two years into this global pandemic, sometimes I don’t even recognize the world that I inhabit. The changes in how we “socialize” and connect to one another are far-reaching and for many of us, painful and threatening to mental health.
This month, I personally came down with COVID and had to navigate this very challenging health crisis. My experience with COVID has been a “dark night of the soul”, in that it has made me question many things about my essential nature and “who I am” as a person. The biochemical reality of COVID for me has meant that I literally find myself thinking and behaving differently.
In moments like this, when the very ground that I stand on feels shaky and uncertain, I have been turning even more consistently to my connection with Nature, as a manifestation of the mysteries of the Divine, even though in this state of mind, the notion of the “Divine” seems far away at best.
Here’s a list of 10 simple “practices”, all of which I have used over these past couple of weeks, to find my inner compass, and to reassure myself about my connection to something bigger than myself.
For all of these practices, I recommend setting a timer for 10 minutes (or whatever time frame feels good to you). Because for those of us with overactive “yang” tendencies, having the frame work of a timer can help us to relax into the present moment more fully.
- Take a walk outside with the intention of opening your heart wider than your eyes.
- Touch every plant that you see.
- Find a place to sit outside and imagine that you are the size of an ant, and consider your surroundings from that point of view.
- Lay down and watch the clouds as if they were characters on your favorite show.
- Gather sticks, stones and leaves and create a pattern as a gift to the nature spirits around you.
- Close your eyes and listen as if your ears were your eyes.
- Sit with a tree and have a conversation with her about what she senses and knows.
- Find a dead worm, insect or other creature and host a memorial service for it.
- Assume that that land is communicating directly with your intuition, and intentionally expand your availability for this connection. Don’t worry if nothing enters your conscious mind.
- Give ten plants, animals and/or rocks a name that represents something about their essence and how you experience them.
I hope this little list serves your process today, and that maybe there is something on here that would be soothing and reassuring for you, and bring you a little more wholeness, trust and relaxation.