Do you feel the rhythm of the Earth's heart-drum
She is beating at a pace, seasons flowing by with grace
We stir from our sleep as the morning comes
Black night welcoming our rest, new life arising from darkness.
Do you feel the heat of the golden Sun?
The fire in the sky giving life to everyone
The trees shed their leaves when the autumn comes,
While we're rushing round the place, never resting from the chase.
Our cyclical nature
Being part of nature, humans are affected by and subjected to many cycles - those rises and falls of energy which happen throughout life, be they short cycles or ones which happen over years. They affect energy levels, mood/emotions and physiology, sometimes at our inconvenience. Here are a few 'tangible' examples...
Outer cycles - night and day, the seasons of the Earth, the phases of the moon...
Inner cycles - the cycle of our breath - inhale/exhale, our heart-beat, digestive rhythms, and the menstrual cycle for Women.
The cycle we simply cannot ignore is that of the day and night - when it's dark we sleep and when the Sun rises, so do we. And when we run out of breath after a deep exhale, we almost immediately need to drink in our next life-giving inhale!
Our society holds a culture of constantly trying to bloom and grow. Life's full cyclical nature is not honoured. But even our economy is subjected to cycles of growth and recession - periods of economic expansion, boom and recession, when from the depth of the slump, a turning point happens and the cycle begins again.
So what if we embraced these innate rhythms which govern our lives, instead of adhering to our conditioned patterning, which resists or ignores this natural occurrence? Albert Einstein said "Look deep into nature, then you will understand everything better"... Nature has an innate intelligence. I wonder what would happen if we all followed her example?
Living with the Seasons
Winter is the time to surrender to stillness. Relax ... don't try and grow that lettuce in the middle of winter...it'll be a struggle! It's a time for rest, non-action. In the void we are invited to look within, be reflective, meditative, and in this state, we can regenerate, restore our strength, and dream & vision our desires - the seeds of our future growth.
Spring comes. As the heat and light of the Sun increases, energy rises and expands and we feel more alive ... it's time to plant that lettuce!! There is stirring, movement, potential, excitement, creativity, growth, anticipation, experimentation, playfulness, risk-taking - these life-giving qualities. It's like we're warming up in preparation for the Big event...
Expanding energies heighten and Boom!! It's summer. Because we've rested, reflected, restored our energy and dreamed our visions in Winter, and grown, nurtured and developed them in spring, we can now ride the biggest wave at the peak of the cycle. Achievement, action, productivity, fertility, energy, blooming, putting yourself out there, being seen and heard. (This is the constant season of our society - Go, go, go. But a flower can't bloom forever.)
It's autumn. The days shorten, begin to draw back again. The trees shed their leaves, energy begins to turn inward. Like the autumn leaf we can let go of the things we don't wish to carry forward into the next cycle. Create space, de-clutter, edit, refine, sort the rubbish out from the recycling.
And then we're prepared to hunker down once again into the darkness of winter, from where New Beginnings will emerge as surely as the Sun will rise again in the new dawn.
Ideas for further exploration for anyone to do
This is nature's way of being. It's self-care. It involves checking in to your inner needs. So you can use it as an invitation to explore, tune in to yourself more deeply and honour your inner nature. Nobody else will do this on your behalf.
Can you feel the rhythm of the Earth's heart-drum?
She is beating at a pace.... Life flowing by with Grace.
Beating at a pace...
Flowing by with Grace.
In yogic terms, the will is governed by the energy centre called ‘Manipura Chakra'. The element of this energy centre is Fire. It’s location is at the navel in the belly – hence the power behind our digestive processes is referred to as our ‘digestive fire’. If this energy centre is weak, then we may struggle to digest our food well.
And if we don’t have much fire in our belly, we may lack a sense of personal power, identity, depth, and integrity – the ability to walk forward into life, taking actions and speaking words which are in alignment with our beliefs and values. We may favour instant gratification over working towards more substantial longer-term endeavours.
I was also fearful of being vulnerable - truly being seen or heard - always trying my best to stay small. Apart from being a waste of a life, it feels limiting and unsatisfying to hide behind the curtain and not have centre stage in ones own life. Each person should be the star of their own show right??
If you relate to any of this stuff then read this book...there is gold within it!!! But for now, here are 3 simple exercises to take away. Also, in relation to this blog, within the workshop on Sunday 13th May we'll be exploring stepping outside of our comfort zone and into the arena of the uncomfortable and sometimes scary 'risk zone' - the breeding ground for fulfillment, 'wholehearted living' and personal growth, where you and your will can have centre stage.
Last August I attended a 5 day self-leadership course called 'The Journey,' run a by a man whose inspirational talk I had attended a month previous at Buddhafields Festival. There was something about this man and the message he shared that really spoke to my heart. It was at a time when I had taken a career break and was in the void of not knowing where to go with my life. And it got me thinking...reflecting deeply about some fundamental questions which perhaps should have been asked of us when we were at school.
The ethos of this course was to guide you to your own inner knowing to find out how you truly wanted to live this life - how/where to find the joy of being in service to the world, in the way that is unique to you.
There were 3 core questions at the heart of this process...What do you most deeply and profoundly love? What are your unique gifts/talents(...which each of us have)? What are your deepest responsibilities(...is it with your child for example, or do you also have a responsibility to your neighbour's child...where does it end?)
As I found out, this is not necessarily something that can be answered in a week, but is something to keep coming back to. But I found out something which I already knew and that was - somewhere deep inside, I have a profound love of nature...I love the Earth. But my question was now, 'how to be of service to nature?'
My gifts and talents didn't seem of relevance, and what I came back to 6 months later was to offer something in my career/purpose in life, which was to do with connecting to self - in order that one can live a life of greater richness and fulfillment. A life lived from ones own centre rather than that of an external source or influence. This feels like living from a place of power and authenticity. But what has this to do with nature?
I now see clearly that the yoga I share is especially intertwined with re-connecting with nature and her rhythms as a way of 'coming home'. When we re-connect with nature, we naturally live more in tune with her cycles, more in alignment with our own well-being, and also the well-being of the earth.
I write this just after having re-visited a Mac Macartney Ted Talk. He is the man who inspired me at the festival last summer.
Registered Osteopath and Yoga Teacher
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