The Power of Nature

“Trees are the Earths endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.” Rabindranath Tagore

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Many love to be in nature and to experience the tranquil beauty and vibrance of lush green, as far as the eye can see. To experience the silence that comes, as you venture deeper into a wild forest or higher up a mountain terrain. In my life I have loved to experience this profound connection with the natural world, through sitting in nature or hiking along a mountain side. The power of nature is beyond our cognitive ability to conceptualize, we may visually enjoy what is before our eyes, yet can we feel the energy of all of the living species that create the landscape. I want to convey my experiences of being in nature, an experience that I often seek out, on a regular basis as it functions to restore my equilibrium better than anything else that I have ever found.

I grew up in a rural, extremely wild area of the world, in rugged untouched wilderness. My parents gave us a sense of freedom, that is almost not heard of in this day and age. We could roam through the endless forest, as we learned from a very young age where and how far to go. My earliest memories are being in nature. I felt this deep connection with the trees, animals and the natural world, in general. To such a degree that I could actually feel the tranquility of being in nature. Throughout my entire life, I was very attracted to very large trees, these special trees are what I think of as ‘fairy trees’, a term I learned while living in the U.K. These trees are special, often with other plants growing on or around them. They are often perched on a hill of sorts, created by the massive tangle of their roots. These trees are considered Mother Trees, from an ecological and biological perspetcive, where they literally repopulate the surrounding forest and their roots are an interwoven connection of communication and nutrient delivery system, that enables all the surrounding trees to thrive.

Throughout my life, I would always seek out one of these mother trees to go to, where I would sit and be alone. Even while I lived in various countries throughout the world, I would always seek out a very large tree to find some solace beneath. Its common knowledge that all of nature creates a frequency of energy, yet large trees have a very powerful energy.

I remember one time I was sitting in this massive tree in Totness England, and a small rabbit came out of the surrounding forest to sit near me. Interestingly, while quietly sitting within the folds of the natural world I have had numerous such experiences. One of the most significant experiences of enjoying the peace of nature and being visited by an animal occurred when I was in my early 20s, while I was in North India in the Himalayan mountains, in the late 1990’s. I had a great Golden Eagle, with a wingspan over 5 feet, come rest very near me. The eagle flew beside me, only a few feet, stayed for a very long time, watching me as I sat quietly. Then, he gracefully leaned out from the high perch of a rock, extended his massive wingspan and flew off. I was told many years later, by a practicing Shaman that eagle is my totem animal. Ironically, I see eagles very often in my life.

Another time, I was running in the forest behind my families property. I noticed a black shape running beside me, when I looked it was a black bear. She was running beside me for a distance. Then, the two dogs I was running with chased her up a tree.  Many years later, when I was studying Anthropology at University, one of my profs did her PhD on Shamanism, and she said that those who had the inclination to be Shamans in the society, were chosen by nature via having an animal come up to them, in an unusual way. This was an interesting point of reference, as for my entire life I have been deeply passionate about holistic healing, thus this did not surprise me.

However, given this knowledge I have had no desire to study what is modern day Shamanism, for it’s not my path in life. I prefer to just be conscious of the energy of nature. Thus, when the world of activity and the frenetic energy of human life becomes too much, I retreat into the natural world to find a sense of peace and equilibrium.

There is no experience more profound than the silence of nature, where you are receptive to the silence and the life giving vibrance that nature has to offer. If you are feeling stagnant, exhausted or depressed, take some time to walk by the ocean, through a beautiful park and be present with what surrounds you. To behold nature as a living entity gives you the ability to tap into the energetic frequency that is emitted from each plant and tree. In this space, there exists a quiet magic that only those who are able to be still enough may experience, leaving you with a deep feeling of peace, silence and joy.

Copyright © All Rights Reserved 2015

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The Abject Poverty of Toxic Emotions

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent on throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned” Buddha

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I am sure I am not the only person who has experienced a sense of carrying and living out toxic emotions. I am using the word “toxic” specifically to conjure up a sense of understanding that we all have a vast array of emotions that plague the majority of us, yet when we find we are inundated with a sense of extreme frustration, anger, jealousy, fear, or hatred; the emotion then becomes toxic. Thus, when we are feeling a negative emotion at an intense level that is causing a sense of agitation, its toxic and is not benefiting us or anyone around us.

There are numerous theories, psychological, medical, spiritual paradigms of how to manage one’s emotions that are effective so some degree. I find that the lexicon of psychology and medical intervention may be more applicable to those suffering from an extremely unwell senses of distortion, that may benefit from medication or psychological counseling. However, for the rest of us who are just trying to live our lives through navigating the most enjoyable, less stressful, and least suffering path in life; to feel extreme emotions can be a very distressing experience. Obviously, even to the best of our ability, life is unpredictable and numerous things can have adverse effects on our emotions, causing us to explode in an array of emotional expressions that are considered toxic; from the perception of attempting to live a holistic life of balance.

It has been my experience that emotional reactions almost always are caused from an external catalyst that triggers a certain reaction within us, that may not be within our conscious control. In my life, anger has been the main emotion that has come to rest with me on numerous occasions in life, not just in the form of pure anger, but also in the form of frustration and indignation. I now fully understand something that I did not many years ago; first of all, toxic emotions only harm us more than anyone else; second, our outburst of emotions or even acts of revenge will have a negative effect on others; thirdly, we have the power to change our emotional patters if we want to badly enough. I mention this last fact as it may have taken me until this point in my life to fully understand the fact that we can all change our negative emotional patters if we REALLY want to and make a tremendous effort to mitigate and have an awareness of our reactions and the harm that is inflicted when we allow ourselves to react. Of course, even against our best effort there will be moments were we lose it in some way or another, yet this allows us the opportunity to go deeper into what is still triggering this emotional response, rather than feel bad about ourselves.

What can we do to start the process of reducing our emotional toxicity is to first be acutely aware of whatever emotional reaction we are experience, to view it as it is, without any self judgement or criticism towards ourselves. The second most important point is that we must take full responsibility for our reaction, its only our fault, regardless of any external provocation, we are the ones freaking out! We MUST be able to take full self responsibility for all of our actions and emotional reactions and STOP blaming anyone or thing that exist externally, it really has NOTHING to do with them or the situation, it has everything to do with us. We all react differently to people and situations, yet a self empowered person will experience anger due to some situation and realize it comes from their own reaction, not the external trigger. On the other hand, someone who is less self empowered will never take self responsibility, instead they will blame all their toxic emotional reactions on everyone and everything that they can possible find to blame.

Who am I to comment on controlling one’s toxic emotions and do I have any credibility in this area of experiential knowledge. The answer is ‘yes’, I have had a temper that I have carried for the majority of my life, often it would lay sleeping and since I have always had extreme control over my emotions, few saw this most poisonous snake. When I would lose my temper, I would not waste my time with petty insults, instead I have always been highly perceptive to peoples strengths and weaknesses, instead I would verbally strike with lightening speed deep into that persons weakness, stripping them of everything. For, there is no need to insult others when the barren truth is much more severe and painful than mental manipulation, games, or insults. I am not proud of the harshness I can exhibit, in contrary I have experienced how much suffering that cruelty affected the other person, yet more so how deeply it cut into me. I may have a potentially ferocious temper, yet underneath there is a much more vast and deep kindness that prefers to love and nourish others, rather than try to destroy them. 

In every instance of reaction, I was acutely aware of how toxic this level of reaction was and I started making tremendous effort to reduce this energy. I have been doing certain spiritual practices most of my life, which has made a tremendous difference in allowing me to have much more awareness and control over my own emotional reactions. In addition if you can surrender the negative issues up to a greater reality of being, this makes a huge difference and allows a much lighter journey through life. At this moment in time I must say that I do still feel frustration and anger, yet it is far less intense and I am highly aware of what is going on when it comes to the surface. The real value of strong emotions is to find the trigger beneath the surface, for when you are more aware of why you are triggered, then you are less likely to be so next time. In essence, I choose to make a huge effort to find more joy and peace in my life, regardless of what challenges or challenging people cross my path. Thus, an affirmation of attempting to live a more conscious life can yield much fruit if you are really willing to make the effort and necessary work to change the things that are causing you and perhaps others pain.

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