Nature has a natural flow and rhythm to it.
The flow isn't something you can bend to your will. It's an energy source you can open up to, tap into, and allow to nourish and invigorate you.
The flow goes at different speeds, at different times. Like a river, sometimes it's raging rapids, and all you can do is let it propel you forward. At other times, it's peaceful and still, and you have time to daydream and drift.
In the modern civilization in which we live, many believe that we can force Nature and the Earth's resources to do our bidding.
There is an unrelenting pressure to extract, process, produce . . . nonstop, ever faster, ever greater, ever more, to feed a constantly growing demand.
But this is not the way of Nature.
When we observe the ways of Nature, we see that: sometimes there are storms, and sometimes there is calm. Sometimes there is motion, and sometimes there is stillness. Sometimes there is hibernation and death, and sometimes there is flowering and birth.
We can learn from Nature to pause and rest after working hard, and allow ourselves to recharge. When things are slow, we can relax, and be still. When life moves fast, we can move quickly with the flow, letting it carry us to a new destination.
In exercise, there is time to stress and push your body. But then you rest, and this is when the muscles heal and grow stronger. After kneading dough, you let it rest, and it needs this time to rise and grow on its own. When the seed is planted, it grows although you can't see what's happening beneath the Earth's surface.
Growth happens imperceptibly.
In my meditation practice I count 100 slow deep breaths, sitting in silent stillness. By all outward appearances this seems to be "nothing" time, inactive time. But inwardly I am rewarded by magical experiences.
When I fully experience these quiet moments, I wipe clean the screen of my inner mind. I have breathing room, or "negative space" as we call emptiness in design-speak.
When my mind is free of needless clutter, I can relax, and actually see and experience what appears in my world, with fullness, clarity and appreciation.
It's amazing how many moments of beauty reveal themselves to you when you clear your mind enough to be present to what is there, without being lost in a tangle of thoughts.
Instead of pursuing, chasing, and trying to make things happen, I can be peaceful and open to inspiration, by being present in the moment. I can allow beauty, growth and sweetness to come to me in these still quiet moments.
In meditation, I can be the observer of my mind, my thoughts, my surroundings, and my imagination. I can tap into the deep well of inspiration, the flow of Nature and the endless cycles of the Universe.
Let's give thanks to our Mother Earth, endlessly creative giver of Life.
Is there a way to give back to her, after taking so much? Is there a way to have more gratitude for what we have?
Is there a way to be gentler to her and the other forms of Life that share our beautiful planet with us?
Happy Earth Day!