“Breaking News” pulls us from one crisis to another. Our inner clock begins to race at a chaotic pace. But we can recall other rhythms. Rhythms that return us to a primal pulse connecting us to deeper inner knowing.
We can choose to let Mother Nature shows us her way of marking time.
Moon cycles offer changes that occur over the month rather than minutes. They have a powerful impact on our bodies. When ancient people lived out of doors women’s monthly cycles fell in rhythm to the moon. That deep connection still lives in our bodies.
Our work is to look deeper into our souls to find truths that sustain us over a lifetime. We can stay present to the compelling issues of political upheaval, racial disparity, environmental chaos and even pandemics while keeping an eye turned inward. This is what will steady us and it will steady those around us.
But how do we do that?
Soothe your sorry soul by turning your attention to seasonal changes. Spend time remembering the teachings of trees. Nature is ready to lead the way. She can help us balance daily demands with deep inner knowing.
Shinrin-Yoku, translated into English as ‘forest bathing’, is a therapy developed in Japan during the 1980s. Studies show spending time in forests creates calming neuro-psychological effects through changes in the nervous system, reducing stress hormones and boosting the immune system.
Poets also know the way. Here are some of my favorites: Rumi, David White, Wendell Berry and Mary Oliver. Let their words connect you to the beat of your own heart.
Sleeping in the Forest, by Mary Oliver
I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the riverbed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom.
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.
Times like this can obscure profound patterns. They continue all around us. Canada Geese fly overhead on their journey south. Asters still bloom in late summer. Goldfinches turn from yellow to beige in autumn. Moon cycles predictably move through an indigo sky. Our bodies recognize these changes. Deep inside an ancient clock still calls to us.
If we listen, we can hear its whisper; “You are a daughter of the earth, tied to her deep ongoing dance. Remember the steps that take you deeper into what sustains life.”
Check out : Morton Arboretum Forest Bathing.