Spirit to Heart: How to Make Authentic Connections with Nature
(Mike DePung — Post II.103–17)
Last night I did not get to the material I hoped would be most helpful for you, my friend and reader. That’s because I usually feel some sort of compulsion to create a perfect context for everything I present. Maybe it’s a sick compulsion. However, I feel so strongly about Nature and our need for an authentic, genuine connection with it. 100 or 105 years ago, I wouldn’t have needed to create such context, although Thoreau sure did.
Since I am about out of gas tonight, I want to share some ideas that are a combination of my thoughts and those of Ted Andrews in his book that has helped me in my relationship to the natural world and given me an understanding of how Native Americans relate to Nature. Andrews passed from his physical body in 2009, but his life spirit persists, especially in his work of Animal Speak: The Spiritual and Magical Power of Creatures Great and Small. I will borrow form that work tonight, along with my knowledge of Celtic beliefs and practices, especially concerning human relationships to Nature. The Celtic elements I use practically can be found in a concentrated work of Lyn Wilde’s, Celtic Inspirations: Essential Meditations and Texts. I am not doing a formal academic essay here, so I give full credit to Ted Andrews for the practical suggestions I will make, even though some of it is my personal interpretation and practice.
The Heart operating system we come equipped with is pure Sprit energy. It is the same energy operative in all of Nature. This is why at gut, soul, mind, body level, we know we have a link and connection with Nature, and if we deny it, it will cause us troubled minds and souls. We all know we need contact and contemplation in the world of Nature, even if it’s in city parks, the suburbs, a zoo or botanical garden, or our own neighborhood and back yard. We require connections for stability, understanding, and spiritual fulfillment and development.
How? Well there are some very practical suggestions. If this isn’t enough, by all means pick up some of Ted Andrews’ books or Lyn Wilde’s book, Celtic Inspirations: Essential Meditations and Texts. Or just listen to your own Heart, although it is helpful to hear others’ thoughts that Heart may help us process.
Here are some suggestions:
Get out anywhere in Nature with NO devices or distractions. Ask your own Heart, speak directly to it, preferably aloud, to help you notice and see things that are relevant to you. A sense of expectation and joy would really help here, rather than Ego-skepticism. But Heart will always respond. It’s just nice when it doesn’t have to cut through a bunch of Ego red tape.
Try doing this some set amount of times or intervals: every day for a week; every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday; every morning in the little median park across from you job — you get the idea.
- What do you see, hear, feel, smell? Maybe even some sort of taste association?
2. Which animals or birds do you especially notice, attract you? How about trees, flowers, or other plants or stones? Anything?
3. What animals do you seek out online, read about the most, go to see more often than any others at a zoo? You know, the one that if you are going to the zoo and only have time for one thing, what will it be? (I have to confess that even though I am not a big zoo advocate, we have a world class one in St. Louis, Missouri.)
4. What animals, birds, plants or any other natural elements keep showing up in your times in Nature and speaking with your Heart?
5. Ever dream about animals? Which ones and what were they doing?
6. Especially, listen to and observe the birds. They are everywhere. Any bird call, feather, or contact you have may be part of your totem: “…any natural object, animals, or being to whose phenomena and energy you feel closely associated with during your life” (Andrews, Animal Speak). Totem animals can help strengthen our natural frequencies and amp them up, not to mention giving us our own insights into magic and miracles we have access to.
7. Try communicating with the birds. Mimic their calls and listen for answers. Develop a conversation, even if you don’t know exactly what is being communicated. I have often carried on conversations with owls, cardinals, and doves for many minutes at a time. Also, watch for those animals of any kind with whom you make eye contact or who do seem to be directly in your path.
8. Try keeping a journal. Write while you sit or stroll in the setting you have chosen: What did you see and feel? Which animals impacted you in a special way? Is there any relevance to anything you have been thinking about or life situations?
As you answer these questions and experience Nature, especially the animal world, keep in mind that Spirit has imbued itself in all expressions of creation. Because we are Spirit at Heart level, we have this natural desire to experience on a physical level that which is, in essence, part of our own creation. This is why we are so drawn to the natural world.
Well, much philosophy attends this, but for tonight, I will leave it here. Make the determination with your own Heart to venture out into Nature and find out the special connections you have. Spirit values this, and you will grow in your appreciation and enjoyment of life in general, not to mention that being actively in Nature has positive health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure.
For tonight, this is it. Blessings in your adventures to discover deeper relationships to Spirit, your essence, in Nature, Spirit’s creation.