Kneeling With Nature
Sloane Fabricius, LMFT
April 12, 2016
If you have ever tried tending a garden or plant, you probably have experienced both joy and frustration, as in life. Nature offers so many wonderful examples of our human spirit, and how to navigate ourselves, relationships and change. Many great writers and philosophers have echoed nature's wisdom and ability to heal. Tuning into nature allows us to cultivate our......
We are so hard on ourselves about where and who we should be in life. We often forget that we have our own seasons of development and change throughout our life cycle. Do we expect newborns to dress or feed themselves? Of course not, we know they are not there yet in their growth and development. Just as if a loved one became disabled due to disease or accident, we would appropriately adjust our expectations of their growth and development. Start with what you know and meet yourself where you are, just as nature does.
"Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Nature never hurries. Atom by atom, little by little she achieves her work." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Nature is a playground for our senses. When we approach it with all of our senses and with the wonder and awe of a child, our awareness widens and our joy deepens.
"Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink
the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the
influence of the earth.” -Henry David Thoreau
"I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, "This is what it is to be happy.” -Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
Resiliency & Hope-
Change is inevitable. Mother Nature reminds us of this when her forces destroy what she so tenderly nurtured to life. When given proper air, water and light, nature is hardwired to restore itself and adapt to changing conditions. We witness this when beautiful green slowly begins to emerge from the path of destruction . We too can feel hopeful and begin to restore ourselves with enough air, water, light and love.
"In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that
nothing can befall me in life, - no disgrace, no calamity
(leaving me my eyes), which nature cannot repair."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
“I like it when a flower or a little tuft of grass grows through a crack
in the concrete. It's so ***** heroic.” -George Carlin
Spacing in a garden can be important to avoid overcrowding so there is ample room to absorb nutrients and develop a strong root system. If we are in a state of growth, it's important to create awareness of how this change is impacting you and your family. If not pruned, our growth may slowly and subtly constrict the air and light to our own good qualities, and of those nearest us. Compromising our root system and making new growth difficult for both ourselves and others.
"The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world’s joy." -Henry Ward Beecher
"The forest makes your heart gentle. You become one with it... No place for greed or anger there" -Pha Pachak
Tending to a garden requires observation of it's growth or lack of, and then making adjustments in your care to help it flourish. We are often unsure if we made the right adjustment because our efforts may not be noticeable for some time. So it's best to not over care, but rather offer the garden ample time to be nourished by the care you provide, and proper sun and water. Plants that are overwatered often don't develop a strong root system because they do not have to dig deep to find the water. Observing our own thoughts, feelings and sensations can tell us what we need more or less of, including setting our own pace in times of transition and growth.
"Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature.
it will never fail you." -Frank Lloyd Wright
"The sun, with all those plants revolving around it and
dependent upon it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had
nothing else in the universe to do." -Galileo
"Whenever I have found myself stuck in the ways I relate to things,
I return to nature. It is my principal teacher, and I try to open my
whole being to what it has to say." -Wynn Bullock
When we immerse ourself in nature and it's process, we often feel free of labels, roles or expectations. This helps us re connect with our authentic selves and what we value in life, akin to the feeling of coming home. This state of openness and inspiration can cultivate a connection to something bigger than ourselves. Believing in something outside of ourselves can create meaning, peace and purpose, all of which can nourish us through stressful life events, long after we have left nature's presence.
"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin." -William Shakespeare
"We do not see nature with our eyes, but with our understandings and our hearts." - William Hazlett
"Man is not himself only...He is all that he sees; all that flows to him from a thousand sources...He is the land, the lift of its mountain lines, the reach of its valleys." -Mary Austin
"The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first; Be not discouraged - keep on - there are divine things, well
envelop'd; I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell." -Walt Whitman
There are many facets of our fast paced society that condition us to resist the natural flow of life and control what was never meant to be controlled. Take time to stop and notice nature's growth and change happening before our very eyes. Giving ourselves permission to be open to the awe of nature makes it easier to recognize, and be patient with our own growth and change, which is also full of wisdom and healing. Tuning into nature allows us to tune into ourselves, if we are willing to listen. I once had a wise supervisor say, "I would rather be green and growing than ripe and rotting:)"