Why Nature

I like to use nature to get to what is really going on with me, because it is the opposite of and the antidote to cultural conditioning. Cultural conditioning is what you grew up within your family of origin. It includes expectations that were handed to you by the overculture – school, church, commercials, peer group, etc. Our response to this pressure to conform and these very powerful multi-generational messages is operating in the unconscious, but it is repressed. That means that it has been stored away so that we can perform everyday tasks and meet the demands of our families, jobs and the overculture.

You know that your unconscious is getting stirred up when you have the following:

  1. Nightmares – Nightmares indicate that your unconscious is upset and trying to process something that does not feel right.
  2. Emotional funk. Anger, sadness, fears, all feelings really are there to help us wake up.
  3. Obsessiveness. This is the way the mind tries to “help” us not feel the pain and suffering that is below the surface.
  4. Need to control, manage or fix people, places or things. This is the inner two year old saying that if everybody would just do everything the way I say, then I’ll feel okay.
  5. Accidents. There are no accidents.
  6. Addictions and compulsions. Substances, sex, food, habits, behaviors used to self medicate the pain away.

These are all indicators that your unconscious is trying to get your attention. It wants you to pay attention because there is something that is just not right. Your body-being knows the truth of who you really are – a beautiful, loving and radiant being. However, you may have gotten the opposite impression growing up. You may have heard quite the opposite of that from parents, teachers and religious personages. Or you may have picked up the vibration of some core deficiency in your character along the way. Basically, it is that voice that tells you that you are not smart, patient, loving, helpful, hardworking, kind, or contained enough. Or you are too much – too loud, aggressive, lazy, outspoken, emotional, negative, needy, greedy, sinful, gluttonous, or sexual.

Anyway, nature offers us a fresh look at ourselves from our more natural, animalistic, instinctual, spontaneous, expressive, connected self. Nature has the capacity to offer us a direct line to our basic true selves, although we may have to use a different part of our brain that is more receptive to the information – our metaphorical mind.

I was walking with a client in nature once, encouraging this person to stop talking about his story, and, instead, pay attention and just notice whatever he noticed. Just then a flock of seagulls squawked and flapped all around us. He was somewhat perturbed because he was expecting something a little more delicate. He questioned my premise that nature offered a connection, for surely this intrusion was clearly just a distraction. The further we investigated the gift from the natural world, the more he started to realize that the experience was similar to the flock of thoughts that tend to inundate his mind every time he attempts to get quiet and get to know himself – to get close to himself.

It wasn’t nature that was distracting him. It was nature that was reminding him of his own tendency to distract himself from experiencing himself, and what was really going on – his feelings, his inner voice and knowingness.

 

Thinking vs. Knowing

We think we know our own life, but what we know is only an edited version, colored by our emotions and narrow vision.      —Gregg Krech, “Naikan Therapy

Part of being a Modern Day Mystic is distinguishing what you think from what you know. Just the other day, I experienced a rude awakening about the difference between thinking and knowing. I was engaged in a lively inner dialogue between my mother-self and my grown daughter about recent events with her new boyfriend. I found myself lecturing her, and the words started with “I know you….” I had to stop myself and question whether I really did “know” what was going on with her. Quite plainly, I didn’t. I was actually “thinking” this and that about her situation. This realization hit me right between the eyes ~ perhaps that would be in my third eye. 🙂

Catching myself red-handed like that really made me start to wonder about theIMG_6348 different sources of the information that winds up in my head.

This morning I started to consider what book to read while I sat on the toilet. (TMI, I know!) I have a quite a stack. I was thinking that I would pull out one of the daily readers I have, when an image of one of the other books popped into my head. I was going to ignore it, because I had already decided on the daily reader. Since it is my intention lately to really listen to the wisdom of my higher self, I caught myself and decided to go with the book that popped into my head. I was not disappointed. It was exactly what I needed to hear.

I have no idea where the information came from, but it felt different from the everyday thoughts that I have. You might call it intuition. But what, after all, is intuition? What is the source of intuition? Lately I prefer to call it “knowingness.”

My mentor says that we all have our “peeps” that are working behind the scenes to guide and protect us. They include ancestors and our own spiritual guides and helpers. Honestly, I never really understood what she was talking about, but I think I am beginning to.

The other night I had a bout of insomnia. In my mind, I was rehearsing what I had planned to do in yoga class the next day. It was an advanced Sanskrit chanting technique, and it was playing over and over in my head like a broken record. Finally, at my wits end, I decided that it was my “peeps’ trying to get my attention. Maybe they were telling me that it was too advanced, and I needed to change what I had planned. So I promised myself that I would change it to something more basic in the morning. Then I fell right to sleep. When I got to class, I realized it was a good thing because I had 3 new beginning students who may have been turned off by the esoteric chanting.

So, my fellow seekers, I’d be curious to know ~ what kinds of voices do you have going on in your head?