Grounded in Nature…Naturally!
When I was 5 years old my parents moved us from Toronto to Markdale, ON, a rural community some 2 hours north of the city. They had discovered a relic of an abandoned and ‘haunted’ house on an overgrown 10 acres of land out in the country that filled their hearts and minds with starry-eyed dreams for the future. Fortunately nobody else could see the place like they did and they were able to pick the place up for a steal and they proceeded to work their guts out every weekend until it reached a suitable standard of living to move their young family into. I remember being happy and free out on the farm in the middle of nature. In kindergarten back in the city, our teacher asked the class who went to church on Sundays. When everyone except me had raised their hands the teacher asked me for some insight. I responded innocently enough as only a 5 year old can, “We don’t have to go to church, we go to the farm.” The child in me recognized even then, (though the adult forgot), that Nature’s kingdom would be my spiritual haven all my life.
Over time, as I grew up, the farm also grew to 100 acres of forests, meadows and gardens. I remember being happy and free on the land, in the woods, in the fields, in the swamps, in the barns, working, camping out and exploring but it wasn’t for many, many years that I realized how deeply soul nurturingly important it was for me to be there nor did I understand the importance of the lessons and teachings I unconsciously learned while there. As an adult I understand that it is so often just plain human nature to take things for granted and take advantage of situations – children are not exempt from that. Although I knew I loved being there at the time I was mindless to what I actually learned and received in my enthusiastic emergence into nature.
Learning How to Live in Harmony
As a child living and working on a farm is different from being an adult. As a child I did chores as I was told but as an adult you make decisions, plot out a plan, take control. By the time I had returned to farming as an adult I had a lot of other things in my life that laid claim to my daily attention and available energy. I had to learn to rock and roll, deal with squeaky wheels first and do the best I could the rest of the time. I found it much easier to prioritize my days if I let Nature lead the dance. Living with the seasons taught me about being in the moment of life. Nature doesn’t wait, plan or hesitate. Nature expresses and produces in every moment. To rise to the task of planting, harvesting and the myriad of tasks in between I had to learn to be with Nature as fully as possible in every moment as well. As my willingness to participate with the natural flow of life around me developed I learned to also appreciate various other natural phenomena.
I became intensely aware of our journey around the Sun from season to season, of the Moon’s push and pull month by month, of the insects and their cycles in my garden and of the influence of various animals that made regular unusual appearances. Nature began speaking to me more clearly. Relevant messages were transmitted to me every day through all of her manifestations. It took patience, practice and surrender to hear properly. I learned to listen to the plants; flowers, weeds and trees, to the wind, and to earth with my feet buried in her soil. Birds and animals became messengers and harbingers of change. When Snapping Turtle began to appear at my door step followed by Snake and Turkey Vulture I learned to pay attention; change was afoot. All I knew for sure was that I was to keep my eyes and ears open for a messenger, one that would help me discover a foundation stone in my life in a new direction. I also knew that I would have to be ready to release any old attachments at any give moment and leave behind what needed to be for my and my family’s highest good. I continued on with my work, my herbs, my gardens until one day my messenger appeared. The question he asked was simple “Had I ever heard of Reiki?” The answer was even simpler…”No – and I wasn’t interested!”
Fortunately, my messenger was persistent. He became a good friend. He guided me through meandering pathways to explore my universe and world in ways I had never considered. Eventually he posed the question again…this time I was ready to crack the door a bit. Through him I met my Reiki Master and through his teachings and support I began to open to new possibilities yet again. And once again nature came to me presenting herself in new ways. I began to experience the energy of nature, initially as energy patterns flowing and then as form presenting as deva, as fairy, as spiritual beings. Just as I had learned to develop relationship with the physical aspects of nature I was now learning to hone a relationship with the spiritual side of nature. My garden flourished beyond belief and reason. And I flourished in my garden. I grew, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Reiki became an integral part of my family’s life. I began to witness the life force energy in my clients and friends. I also began to see how an individual’s life force energy invigorated when in direct communion with nature via trees, plants, crystals, animals or exposure to the elements of air, water, fire and earth.
A new synergy began to motivate my life. I began practicing Reiki full time. We moved. More gardens were built along the way. My natural connection with spirit grew and expand into my consciousness. I began to understand how Spirit flows through all things and that all things hold varying degrees of consciousness. Furthermore, all “things” with consciousness flow together in one divine perfectly ordered field of energy. I craved sitting in the outdoors immersed in the energy of trees, water, wind and sunlight. My awareness grew in the knowing that the sensations I had when in Reiki sessions were stimulated the same way when I sat immersed in nature. I took another look into what Reiki was really all about.
Reiki; Nature’s Healing Art
Reiki is a hundred year old tradition that was brewed through the mindful meditations of one Mikao Usui, a practicing Zen buddhist , as he continuously immersed himself in nature and his own childhood cultural upbringing informed by Shinto – a form of Japanese shamanism. His spiritual belief that the Divine could be realized and experienced in all natural manifestation is central to the hands on healing art of Reiki. The symbols, precepts and mantras all reflect the presence of light and bountiful natural energy as our inherent privilege if we were to surrender to it. So it began to dawn on me that there were some important relationships to note here. The practice of Reiki has a unique ability to connect us to our natural life force energy. It presents our imbalances, then re-balances, then inspires us to discover a peaceful way to be in the world. It causes wellness as an expression of harmony. I spent the next 20 years practicing Reiki with clients. In those years deep questions arose over everything, I always ended up back in the garden, under the trees, syncing my personal energy field with the plants, the earth, the elements and the spirit of nature. My busy mind would calm, the stress in my body would dissipate and I would be able to come back to work realigned, strengthened and regenerated.
Nature Spirit Calling and Illuminating A New Path
Many years ago I was asked to speak at a new age type gathering, my topic was to be “The connection between herbs and spirituality” It stumped me totally at the time. My mind didn’t even remotely understand the link and have pondered the topic ever since. Today I get it. It’s simple. Nature is the connection. We are all made of the same stuff; carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen and we mutually depend on one another. It is often said that nature would do just fine without us interfering, that she will revive after we have destroyed as much of her as possible before our own demise and I believe that is true to an extent. But I also think that nature with us co-operating with her in harmony will create outstanding things that we haven’t even begun to imagine yet. I believe that our educations systems, our health care systems, our communities, our architecture and our technology will developed in such extraordinary ways as we learn to mimic the ways of nature. Nature seems to thrive in the reflection of humanity and visa versa. My garden grows well if left alone but when I help Nature grow my garden with understanding, love and creative vision my garden responds with overwhelming abundance. When I step into my garden projecting gratitude and happiness the vibe returns to me ten fold. When I nurture my garden as I would my children, with love in my heart, gentleness in my hands and ears eager to hear the story of its life unfolding I am rewarded with the energy of an intimate being that loves and understands me back and literally can’t wait to share.
We may sit as a foreign entity upon the earth believing that we are superior and have dominion, separate of her being and indifferent to her power or her needs. Or we may surrender to her energy that flows to us and through us via all of her expressions and harmonize willingly. As we learn to re-connect to our beautiful Mother earth and ground deeply with our natural wisdom we will also learn to experience ourselves as emergent growth bearing fantastic fruit. Our ideas and dreams are not mindless impulses but deeply transmitted bio-diverse energies needing to find rich soil to grow in. The mind and heart of earth’s combined humanity has the ability to foster new seeds of thought to unprecedented realities. The Earth is inspiring us now with new possibilities, by furthering our connection with her, grounding in a mindful way our dreams can take root and co-creatively we can bring a new world to life for our future generations to build upon.
See Also: Dream a New Day Women’s Retreat
September 18-20th/2015…..read more https://andreathielconnell.com/mystical-retreat-for-women/
on August 21, 2015