Nature is a portal
November 3rd 2017
What do you do when the behaviour of your significant other embarrasses you? It’s such a tough situation. No matter how many times you’ve tried to communicate to them, they simply refuse to change. In this video we explore ways in which to handle this situation while not losing our minds!
Today we’re talking about – I’m talking about – nature and the relationship to our intuition and the role that nature plays in that relationship. So Sunday in Melbourne was the most beautiful day that a Melbourne person can experience. The weather was just perfect. It was really warm. It was just so still and the outdoors was pulling us out to finally play with nature. It’s been a freezing winter in Melbourne and finally the sun has come out.
My husband and I found ourselves by a local reserve and there’s a river there and we just kind of parked our picnic blanket and rested. While we’re sitting there reading our books and eating some food everyone was out and about. There were people walking their dogs and little children playing and families having barbecues. It was just a beautiful, beautiful day.
What we experienced was this… as we always do when we’re in nature, just this peace that just washes over us and it almost washes away the stress of the week. And we found lately that this is not just something that we need to do once in a while or when we have time. It’s become a necessity. It’s become something that we have to do. We have to go out and spend time in nature. We have to just reset. We have to commune with ourselves whilst in nature.
This is new to us because we would just go out into nature once in a while and it was beautiful, and we’d have a wonderful experience and then we’d come back home. And what we would normally do to connect and to communicate with our inner self is meditate. And meditating is just part of our life but it was always indoors. It was always on a cushion indoors.
Lately as I said nature’s just been pulling us out. It’s not just the weather, because since we got back from Costa Rica we’ve been going out into nature even on a rainy day, miserable, cold, wet, rainy day. We just take the car and park it in the middle of a reserve surrounded by trees and just read in the car, and that’s enough to just bring us back into a place of stillness and peace.
A few weeks ago I shared some thoughts in a blog post that was just written. It wasn’t a video. And I was sharing a few experiences that I’ve had in nature that were really profound, simple but profound. And the one that I wanted to talk more about today happened a few years ago when I was at a writers’ retreat in the mountains near Melbourne. And it was a nature writing retreat, so we were learning how to use nature as a portal to our own creative expression.
It was a beautiful course. And one of the days we found ourselves out walking amongst the trees and surrounded with this beautiful wildlife. And our teacher said find a place, find a tree actually and sit by that tree and then just tune in and just be still and be quiet and just listen and then just write without stopping. And I did that as everyone did and I found this beautiful, beautiful large tree, sat by it, and from me just came this gorgeous poem. It just flowed through me and it was so beautiful. I can’t take credit for it. It just flew through me onto the page.
After I’d written the poem I was just being with the tree, just in stillness, and I placed my hand on the trunk and I just felt this… what I can only describe as a portal where I just got pulled into this space of stillness, and it’s what Eckhart Tolle talks about… experiencing… an experience that you can have in nature is that it is a portal into stillness. And that’s what I experienced. I think it was the first time ever. I can’t remember ever having that kind of experience before.
What happened was I entered this place of stillness that was so full. Every part of my being felt full of love, pure love, unconditional love, and any part of me that felt like I needed to work on it or improve upon it, any part of my personality or character that needed attention and transforming, it just dissolved. I just recognised it as well that’s just a creation of my own ego needing to be better and do better.
This fullness was so overpowering and at the same time quite gentle that I remember thinking to myself when I was experiencing this, I don’t even need food. I don’t need to eat. I don’t even need to talk to people. I don’t need people. I don’t need anything. Like it was just this expansive feeling of oneness that there is nothing incomplete about the very existence that I was experiencing. It was so simple but so profound.
I was there for a few minutes. It wasn’t long. It was just a few minutes, and I actively pulled myself out of it. I could’ve stayed there forever and then I’d just be speaking from a mountaintop forever. But I actively pulled myself out of it because it scared the crap out of me. I was like what do you mean you can’t eat anymore? Like my mind just kicked in. I was like what do you mean you can’t eat anymore or you don’t want to talk to people? You’re married to a person. You need to go talk to him once in a while.
It just scared me, this feeling of… it wasn’t the fullness that scared me but it was the feeling of the idea of not needing anything in society anymore, like not needing anything in it anymore. It was like how do I exist from that place. I had no strategy, no idea how to keep that feeling and then continue living my life. It was just such a jarring experience or thought that I couldn’t reconcile it so I pulled myself out. And I was like okay I’m back to normal, let’s go get lunch.
I have remembered that feeling. I remember it like it was just a moment ago. It was everything that I think all of us seek. And in that moment I stopped being a seeker but I felt found. I felt full. I felt like arrival, instead of continually transforming transformed, like it was done.
Nature has that power if we meet it, if we allow it. It has that power to bring us back to our soul, back to our stillness. It is so, so powerful. And it can be the simplest thing of just looking at a flower that’s in a garden, that’s even in a vase. It can be the smallest, little touch of nature that can pull us back into that space of stillness.
And so actually I practised it from that moment on whenever I’d have flowers in the house and just sitting outside I’ve got a beautiful vista of beautiful lime green trees and purple flowers. So just sitting outside in nature and just connecting with these beautiful creations of consciousness can pull me back into that space. And over time, because this was about was two years ago or three years ago that this happened, I have found ways to bring that fullness and stillness into my life so that I can be with it. But that first moment was like a jolt. It was a shock to the system of have a taste, have a taste of it and then figure out how to allow it to stay.
This week I invite you to connect with nature in a way that allows you to feel the space within you that connects to nature, so not the conceptual dialogue that we normally have when we’re with nature… that’s a beautiful tree, that’s a gorgeous flower. Those are just labels. Those are just words, the name of the tree, an oak tree, a rose flower. They’re just the conceptual ideas of how we make sense of what we’re looking at. But when we just get rid of all those words, our thoughts, and just sit there with the presence of that beautiful burst of consciousness, allow it if you can to just be a portal for you to feel the stillness within you that’s already there. Nature in whatever form is in front of you just gives you that… almost that string that pulls you back into that place out of your mind and into the stillness within you. It’s not giving you anything. It’s just allowing you to experience yourself as part of nature, as part of a beautiful burst of consciousness. You are that as well.
So nature, trees, flowers, grass, the river, all these beautiful expressions that we find in nature allow us to find the stillness within our self by connecting to what we’re looking at. And from looking at it we then go into a deeper experience of it and we can feel the presence of the essence that’s inside that tree, that’s inside that flower, that’s within the waters, and we can feel that part of ourselves awaken within us. It is the most beautiful feeling. It can be terrifying as I said, it can be really terrifying, but that fullness is home. It’s what we come back to. It’s what we’re all seeking for really.
That incompleteness that pushes us to want more and more and more is a creation of the mind and the ego. But when we step out of that and into the space of where our soul exists, everything is complete. And from there growth and expansion are a natural occurrence. It’s an unfolding. The impulses come. We step forward onto the next step in the path and it unfolds in front of us. It’s not a struggle. It’s not difficult. It’s challenging because we’re doing things we haven’t done before, but it’s not painful. It’s just an adventure. So that’s my invitation this week. Connect to nature in a way that pulls you into a portal, into a dimension of stillness, and just notice what arises within you, notice what you experience.