There is a tree outside my window that marks the passage of time with its cycle of leaves that float to the ground in Autumn, whose branches remain bare throughout the Winter until one day I wake up to find they have sprouted buds — which eventually become the lush greenery of Summer before slowly turn yellow, fall off, and go dormant again until Spring. No matter how extreme the weather is — and we’ve had some doozies lately — my little tree never ceases to amaze me with its remarkable and reliable transformation year in and year out.
Those of us who are either born or became city slickers find ourselves existing in a concrete jungle filled with technological wonder and have to make a conscious effort to get our green on. But spending time in Nature is not just about breathing fresh air and taking a hike in the forest or swim at the beach: it’s about realigning ourselves with how the world really works, not how us humans have manipulated or want it to be.
It’s easy to forget that we are made up of the same elements as the trees, birds, oceans and stars and have within us an innate nature that, if we tune into it, will always serve us exactly as it should. But this means we must tune out the loud voices and headlines screaming for our attention telling us how we should feel, what we should do, who we should fear, or what we should buy; we need to block out the many warped perceptions of how long things should take and in what way they should transpire.
Spending quality time with yourself each day strengthens your “you muscle” so you can get to know, love and accept who you are and operate accordingly. Music is a powerful tool to counteract the “noise” of the day and get you into your own space, so make sure you are feeding your soul with a good dose of melodies, harmonies and/or lyrics that uplift, soothe or energize depending on what you need at that moment to create peace in your little world.
What if you don’t quite fit in the status quo? For example, being an introvert and a night owl living in a society that favors and rewards extroverts and early birds might require more effort to go against the grain, but the more you go with your own flow and march to the beat of your own drum, the less stressed and more rewarding life will be.
You can then experience the joy of synchronicity, because it is when you are so connected to yourself and the Universe that “magic” happens: You see a scene or hear a line in a movie or come across a book that speaks directly to you; you find out about an event or run into a person that helps get you your dream job; or perhaps receive an unexpected check in precisely the amount you needed just in the nick of time. It all comes down to having trust and faith in yourself and your path — and trusting in the very process of life itself is the best way to honor being alive.
Those of you who know me know that one of my favorite sayings is that everything happens “in time and on time”. In Eastern philosophy, this goes hand in hand with the concept of wu wei, loosely translated as “non-action” or “effortless doing”. I am also here to remind you to have patience, because life doesn’t happen overnight or like an instant message; there is ebb and flow, a shedding and a blossoming, and an unfoldment that is under the control of something far wiser than our little pea brains.
Feeling a bit tone-deaf trying to find your own rhythm in a world of distraction and dissonance? Give me a buzz and I can be like a piano teacher with a fancy metronome who gets you back in the groove to make beautiful music in every area of your life!
(Originally published on www.kristinaleonardi.com on April 20, 2013)
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