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Tuning to Nature

Spring is in full fling here in the northern hemisphere, with bursting flowers and singing birds making nature all Disney, all the time.  Of course, those of you in the south are in the “wait a minute!” line, looking at the remains of coloured leaves and short, chill days.

So what if you’re not feeling supported by nature’s outbursts?  What if you’re decidedly hermetic, ready to withdraw from sunny spring up north?  Or you’re just bursting with inspired enthusiasm down south?

There’s something special that happens when we feel attuned to nature’s cycles. We feel in step with the Universe, in its manifestation in multiple species.  We’re in the flow, carried along by energies greater than our individual selves.

But life does stuff that can interrupt that flow.  You live 14 hours a day in a cubicle with a computer and then move through asphalt-land to find a soft spot to land for sleeping, so nature is irrelevant.  Your best friend dies and time just stops, along with the song in your heart.  Just as nature is gearing down to sleep, the project you’ve poured your heart and soul into takes off, and so does your spirit.

I can just hear those of you who are coming up on full-scale autumn now:  “But I don’t want to slow down and go into hibernation!”  Especially those of you ready to zoom ahead on your renewed enthusiasm for life.

No, you don’t have to find your inner bear and let it run the show.  But you do have to acknowledge it and give it its due.

1605 Tuning to NatureSo, how do we tune in to the natural rhythms of life when we’re out of step?  And how do we keep in sync when being tuned in is our natural tendency?

Easy peasy (okay, a little effort if you’re the cooped-up cubicle soul).   Pay attention to something in nature.

Are there birds you hear regularly?  Pay attention.  A tree you can watch change with the seasons?  Pay attention.  Animals who regularly cross your path?  Attention.

Yes, in the cubicle it can take a little more to have something to attend to.   Webcams gotcha covered:  eagles, otters, nature.

So, no, you don’t need to rev all the way up to the springtime party when you need time to grieve.  And you don’t need to dial down to hibernation when you’re cleared for takeoff.   Tuning in to the new life of spring will support you through loss to your own regeneration.   The slowing down of autumn will keep you grounded and help you find restful time-outs in the midst of new excitement.

Your connection to nature is your connection to the Universe in all its large- and small-scale splendour . . . . and every scale in between.

The Filters of Vision

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Target Altitude

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Yoga Thoughts

160321 Yoga Thoughts

Yama is yoga’s Social ethics, how we practice to get along with each other.

Michael Stone‘s way of looking at these . . .

Ahimsa: recognizing that I am not separate from all that is.  Non-violence

Satya: listening, acting and speaking from the heart in each spontaneous circumstance.  Truthfulness

Asteya: being satisfied with what I have; not taking what is not freely given.  Non-stealing

Brahmacharya: encountering all creatures with respect and dignity; wise use of sexual energy.  Continence

Aparigraha: using all the ingredients of my life without clinging.  Non-possessiveness

How is your asana practice reflecting your yama?  How is your yama out in the world reflecting your yoga?

Nurture the Nature

Last month, you had an opportunity to look at some of your attitudes toward your body.  In the tried and true tradition of connecting microcosm with macrocosm, let’s consider how that reflects your relationship with your very own home planet, Earth.

(Okay, I just know some of you out there are reminding me that you don’t actually come from here.  I’m fine with that.  Just remember that you’re living here and you don’t want to be like the bad tourists who make a mess and then leave it for the inhabitants to clean up.)

We live in such an amazing time: we’ve got access to images of the whole Earth.  We can follow weather systems as they shift and change and interact with each other.  We have a sense of how air, water and sea exchange with each other.

But when was the last time you noticed the phase of the moon?

And do your sleep or eating patterns change with the seasons?  Intentionally?

Caring for the Earth can seem an insanely huge project, way beyond Don Quixote and windmill-tilting.  Hell, caring for our physical needs is more than many of us can manage with family, work, and other demands.

1603 Nurture the Nature

So, what did you find last month?  What was the glaring area or attitude that deserves some attention and a re-write or do-over?

If that were a metaphor for something bigger on the planet, what would it be?  Are you running down the soil, by never giving it a rest or a change?  Are you polluting the air by tossing garbage into your lungs?  Is your refusal to take time for water intake causing a drought?

Yes, we’re being simplistic here.  Because we can solidify our personal nature intentions by approaching them from the global perspective.  And those of us who are already concerned about the bigger picture can find our personal reflections of the problems we see out there.

If your intention is to stop running yourself ragged, and the only doorway out of that you can see is to need less, here’s your opportunity to reduce, reuse and recycle.  If your blood pressure spikes because you haven’t been dealing with your emotions regularly, here’s your opportunity to defuse the emotional violence in the world with compassionate conversation.  If you want to tune your sleep cycles to the natural world, here’s your opportunity to observe and mirror the patterns of the flora and fauna around you.

Despite our cultural behaviour, we are not separate from the rest of nature.  Here’s your chance to reconnect with the rest of our tribe.