A Walk in Nature

We walk in nature all the time. Or do we? A recent experience showed me just how different that encounter is when I – as the birds are always telling me – pay attention! You can try it, too.

This exercise, credited to Ted Andrews, was part of a week-long intensive immersion class with animal communicator Marta Williams.

The instructions are simple:

 

  • Ground yourself;
  • Identify key issues you are dealing with in your life or a question you want answered;
  • Intend that you will receive guidance from Nature;
  • On your walk, ask for help and insight from the natural world. [Example: “I want help with X. Please bring me information and guidance on my walk.”]
  • Then walk out into nature and pay attention to everything you see and experience. Setting out with this awareness and intention helps honor the spirit of a place.

When you return, choose the experience that stands out and write about it without stopping to think or edit (automatic writing). It can take practice to accept that what you receive is real. Information can come as subtle awareness instead of the daily clamor that surrounds us.

I asked for help and guidance in releasing my self-imposed obstacles.

When I stepped outside, I noticed that everything seemed clearer, brighter, better defined than usual – almost sparkly. The breeze blew. I paused to receive its message: “I blow. I am not concerned with who or what feels me, breathes my air. I blow and move the air for that is my purpose. Thank you for noticing. Do your work. The people who need to see and hear you are waiting. They will find you. Part of your life lesson is to release fear. There has been much. Release it to the wind.”

Next, I paused at a small, fuzzy green plant that hugged the ground as it grew. The plant said, “Just do it. We get stepped on all the time, but we grow back. No injury is too great to overcome.”

A split-rail fence blocked my way to a spring-fed pond and a large valley oak tree with a rope swing hanging from it. In uncharacteristic defiance of the implied “keep out,” I climbed over the fence and happily swung on the round wooden seat, feeling like a little girl. Lying nearly flat while holding onto the swing’s rope, I looked up into the tree’s spreading branches. The oak tree said, “You overcame the obstacle of others’ authority by climbing the fence, and allowed yourself to explore, adventure, recapture the joy of youth, and swing free. Look up into my branches. I will support you. I can bear your weight. I will not let you fall. Your youthful sense of adventure brought you to me. Honor that.”

Two blue dragonflies and an orange one buzzed above the little pond, then a whole flight of dragonflies arrived. I remembered that Dragonfly’s medicine is Illusion, and they must pass through the barrier of the water’s surface to transform from larva to winged creature. The dragonflies said, “Fear is illusion – transform it to excitement and adventure.” A teacher once told me, “Fear and excitement are two sides of the same coin.”

A collection of volcanic rocks, some rough and some worn smooth, lay jumbled near the edge of a field. They said, “Rocks are strengthened by fire and pressure. You are one with us.”

The consistency of these messages reinforced that when you’re on the right path, the only way to go is forward. Want to join me?

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"Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms." - George Eliot
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." - Gandhi
"There is little that separates humans from other sentient beings – we all feel pain, we all feel joy, we all deeply crave to be alive and live freely, and we all share this planet together." - attributed to Gandhi
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