Nurture with Nature: Spring Abundance
I missed you!
Welcome back, friends! I say that with sincerity, because if you’ll notice the date of my last blog post it was…January 30th. Pause for dramatic effect.
Well, in case you were wondering what my day-to-day looks like, I’m hoping the below info-graphic clears any air of mystery that might have been cast over my online (blog) absence:
To be honest, I have been steadily busy (enough to get on dear hubby’s nerves – win!) as I’m growing Sacred Touch out of its infancy and into its toddlerhood. Yes, the mom-centric glasses with which I look through life know no bounds 😊
And to help keep you in the loop of this business, I’d love to share what some of that time has looked like! So without further ado (a-do? adieu?), this post – as well as the next few – will review a meditation series that I started at the “beginning” of 2019. I have beginning in quotations because by it I mean the beginning of the new season cycle – Spring!
Nurture with Nature is a meditation and wellness series that takes part on the doorstep of each new season. It seeks to educate us on the lessons that Mother Nature has to offer, since we as a “developed” society have receded further and further away from the natural world. There is so much profound wisdom to be gained by getting back in touch with the sacred cycles of life and death that our entire world is guided by. These are the laws by which existence itself is governed – why not reeducate ourselves?
These events incorporate personal reflection, participatory activities, energy work, and conclude with a beautiful guided meditation to seal in all of our great work. My goal is to leave you feeling refreshed and reconnected with Nature, as to better align yourself with your own natural disposition of peace and well-being.
Lessons of Nature in Spring (and the Vernal Equinox)
Spring is a joyous time of year! It’s the breath of fresh air from our Winter of dormancy. In our previous chilly season we drew into ourselves for rest & recharge, to seek comfort, and to self-reckon (things that we only think about in solitude that we often push our conscious thoughts away from). With the coming of Spring, we shake off the dust and begin anew! Here are some of the things that are happening in Mother Nature that we can witness and embrace in our own lives:
1. Beginning a New Cycle
Themes of rebirth & renewal are in the air! Just as the seed is planted and from it emerges the delicate seedling, we as living creatures are always changing and evolving. One way we can translate this into our own lives is to de-clutter our habitat – literally clear out the old, useless, and detrimental junk in our lives to make way for the NEW growth. Could your home use a deep clean? Could your office space use a much-needed overhaul and organizational system? How does your bedroom look? How long has it been since you’ve updated your financial papers and important paperwork (and do you really need your tax forms from 10 years ago, or 75 extra pictures of food and travel from your family vacation 5 years ago)? When we honor our space, whether it’s the physical space we live in or the spiritual space within our bodies, it means dedicating time to keeping these places well, clean, and functioning on all cylinders. Make room for all the beautiful growth that could take place in your life by ensuring that it has a place to take root and bloom. You deserve a space that flows freely and a body that functions properly. Take the time to encourage this process, and you will be infinitely rewarded.
2. Starting Over
No matter how old you are, how many perceived failures you have on your personal score card, or what stage of life you are at, there is always a chance to start over. In the save vein as our first lesson (new cycle/renewal), we witness in nature that everything is waking up from its deep sleep and beginning again as part of a sacred cycle. The important thing is not just noticing that this cycle is happening again, but how it is happening. Do all flowers bloom at the same time of year? Do all fruits germinate and ripen within the same time frame? You know the answer to this: no. Take flowers for example: The beginning of spring (in New England, anyway) is almost always marked by the popping up of daffodil and tulip, beautiful and happy; late spring brings with it the fragrant lilac, wisteria, and lily of the valley. Are any more gorgeous than the other? Again, you know the answer: no. We, like that in nature, bloom in our own perfect time. Spring is a potent time for new opportunities and endless possibilities. Embrace it with the confidence that you can and will blossom when you are meant to, no matter how impossible it seems at the moment.
The promise of renewal and starting over are tantalizing, but with that excitement can come impatience. Don’t worry, we are all human! Mother Nature is slow, methodical, and runs on her own time. There is a gracefulness to waiting until just the right moment for fruition, and honoring each stage of growth along the way. When we plant seeds of change in our lives (starting a new academic year/attending college, beginning a new health/exercise routine, starting a new career, starting a family, remodeling your home), they require diligence in their care. An essential part of this care is the attitude we bring to it. We can’t expect the seed to become a tree the next day, week, or even year. We cannot force change for the better, no matter how well intentioned. Nurturing new ideas and choices requires gentleness, softness, forgiveness of our imperfections, and grace. It is not the harsh rains and wind that grow plants, but the warmth of the sun. It is not vinegar that attract flies, but honey. As the Chinese proverb says, “He who knows patience knows peace”.
4. Stop and Smell the Roses!
This is very similar to the lesson we just reviewed, but I feel it deserves its own heading. Why, you ask? Because with patience comes mindfulness of the present moment – a joyful observance of life that is unfolding in beautiful harmony and flow. If you’ve ever heard someone tell you to “stop and smell the roses” (or coffee, for my fellow caffeine lovers), I would take them up on that suggestion, literally. Get out of your house or office, walk into nature, and plant that honker in something fragrant and beautiful (unless you have allergies, in which case: “stop and appreciate the roses!”). This time of year, everything is bursting with live and the flowers that will later bear fruit. Interact with nature, feel the sun on your skin, allow the fresh air to waft over you. Walking in nature is a very grounding and healing activity. We interact with the electromagnetic waves of earth when we are outside. The ground’s electric energy is balancing, calming, and restorative, and the more we have receded into homes, offices, stores, and schools, the less we have regular contact with this frequency (see The Chopra Center’s Grounding the Human Body for more information on Earthing). Give your body some TLC and step outside today!
5. Bloom Where You Are Planted
This one is a little self-explanatory, but it still needs to be stated. In nature, seeds and spores are often transplanted by wind and wildlife (my favorite being bees!). Does the seed get to choose where it is planted? No (unless it’s part of a garden, and even then Mother Nature takes some liberties). Does it grow and bloom despite its environment? Often, yes! We can take this as a source of encouragement that we, too, are capable of the same tenacity. Does this take courage and fortitude? You betcha. Are we capable of rising to the challenge? If we are being honest with ourselves, the answer – most of the time – is yes. Can we find 101 excuses not to grow? Always. We humans are a pretty complex creature. We seek success and happiness but are often afraid of attaining it. If we grow, what’s to say we don’t fail along the way? What if we get what we want, only to find it doesn’t actually bring us happiness? What if we isolate or upset loved ones by obtaining our success? Need I offer more examples? I believe we get the idea. The point here is that WE are often the biggest obstacle in our own path. We can grow in almost any environment, we just need to trust in ourselves and nurture our gifts. The rest has a way of taking care of itself.
“Spring Abundance” Activity
Ayurvedic teachings tell us that water is the ruling element of the Spring season. This makes complete sense to me: “April showers bring May flowers!”. To incorporate this into my Nurture with Nature: Spring Abundance event, I chose a lovely tribute to the spring rain waters. Rain is both cleansing and nourishing – it washes away the old while giving life to the new. I created a water ritual for ushering in new growth in our lives. Feel free to try this at home or with a circle of friends and family. It can be richly rewarding and very empowering!
Water Ritual for Personal Growth
Materials: bowl (like a mixing bowl), water-dissolving paper, large spoon, pen or pencil, essential oil blend (optional), crystal(s) (optional), a journal or scrap paper, and a comfortable pillow or place to sit.
1. Tear or cut up disintegrating paper in rectangles large enough to write on (like this kind, or any water-soluble dissolving paper). You’ll need about 5 strips, depending on what you are ready to work on emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually!
2. Prepare a large bowl of water. You can place a crystal inside of your choosing to amplify the process. Some of these might be rhodochrosite for gently releasing pain, rose quartz for amplifying love and compassion, smoky quartz for shielding against negativity, or black onyx for support during difficulty and confusion (also helps with lesson learning). Have a long, large spoon nearby for stirring the water.
3. (Optional) Have an essential oil (or blend) nearby for inhalation. Essential oils can be therapeutic in situations where emotional support requires assistance. Since the molecules of the concentrated plant extracts directly affect the limbic system (memory & emotion center of the brain), it can be a powerful asset when doing this type of personal work. Great single oils for releasing pain are ylang ylang (helpful when dealing with anxiety, depression, and anger because it promotes the emotional response of happiness, gratitude and celebrating blessings) and rose (creates an inspiring atmosphere and elevated spiritual experiences; its sweet, rich aroma encourages feelings of positive self-reflection and can create an uplifted feeling when inhaled).
4. Begin your ritual by journaling about the things in your life that you are ready to make room for - the seeds of change that you are ready to plant. This can be anything from personal goals to professional goals, from working on your emotional health to working on your mental happiness or physical health. (If using essential oils, apply one drop to the palms of your hands and take some deep breaths before the journaling process).
5. After you are satisfied with your list, take one or two (or more!) pieces of disintegrating paper and write down what you feel is most holding you back from enjoying your life, your body, or your pursuit of personal fulfillment or happiness. After writing it down, fold them up.
6. Place each piece of folded paper into your bowl of water. Giving over the energy of what is holding us back allows those things to be washed away and made new; energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be transmuted. After the final paper is added to the water, you can simply stir the water and affirm this act of letting go by saying “Eternal Waters, wash away what no longer serves me.” Watch as the papers fall apart!
“Spring Abundance” Meditation
The evening was concluded with a guided meditation interspersed with my channeling Reiki to each participant through their Crown, Sacral, and Root Chakras. I began by guiding everyone through 2-3 minutes of deep, cyclical breaths that were meant to both ground and cleanse the energy body. These consisted of breathing in audibly through the nose, and out through the mouth. On each breath we were guided to imaging our breath like an infinity symbol which passes over the whole body and through the heart chakra: in-breath consisted of sending the energy of the breath from the ground up the front of the body, through the heart, and around the back of the body to the head; out-breath consisted of sending the energy of the breath in the opposite direction, down the front of the body from the head to the heart, through the chest and back down behind the body ending at the feet. When done with mindfulness and focus, this breathing exercise can yield extremely meditative states all on its own!
After the breathing exercise concluded, I began a tension-relieving guided meditation which allowed all participants to focus on each part of the body (feet to head) and allow tension, pain, and discomfort to melt away into the earth to be recycled and renewed. By the time we reached the head, the following script was used to round out the healing experience: “Now, as you continue to focus on breathing cyclically, I want you to remember the intentions you journaled earlier. I want you to envision how already attaining these things in your life would feel physically, emotionally, and mentally. Let the energy of these intentions wash over you in a wave of love, worthiness, and self-fulfillment. There is a saying that I like to come back to when thinking about setting intentions for change and it is this: ‘A dream written down with a date becomes a goal, a goal broken down into steps becomes a plan, a plan backed by action becomes reality’. It’s so important to understand the power of your thoughts, because they truly become your beliefs and ultimately, your reality. Tonight, you are gifting yourself with a sacred space to explore what you want to grow in your life, in tune with a time of year where growth and new possibilities are most powerful. I’m going to come around to each of you for some energy work to help facilitate these seeds of change you are planting. First, I will touch the top of your head at your Crown Chakra, then lightly at the top of your pelvis and lower abdomen where your Root Chakra and Sacral Chakras reside. This is light, non-invasive touch, and will be as discrete as possible. This is to facilitate divine energy entering the body through the crown, and opening up the lower chakras most associated with creation, sense of self, and fulfillment. While I do this, continue to envision your Spring intentions, how they would look when they play out in your life, how it will feel to experience them, and the gratitude you already feel for the current blessings in your life. Let the energy of “anything is possible” fuel your desire for self-care and self-love.” Reiki concluded the guided meditation portion of the evening.
After bringing my blissed-out participants back to a gentle, waking state, I had everyone put their hands up to their heart in the universal prayer-position while I spoke a favorite blessing (appropriate for the spring season):
If this sounds like something you would enjoy participating in, I encourage you to contact me for future Nurture with Nature event dates! If you don’t live nearby or even in VT, I highly encourage you to adapt this event to your own needs as you witness and usher in the changing of Winter to Spring. There is so much wisdom and beauty to gain by learning what is happening in Mother Nature and in the natural world. There is great healing and guidance at our fingertips if only we pay attention.