I‘m sure that if I took a poll I would get a million answers. Some of these would probably be: spending more time with nature, going green, living off the grid, growing your own food, buying local, and reducing your carbon footprint. In general, walking more gently upon the Earth, and living in harmony with nature instead of trying to control it. This environmental consciousness and sensitive awareness of the Earth is beautiful, and I am happy to see the efforts being made in society. The social focus on the environment is a welcome sight. I hope this trend is taken to heart and soul.
If you “go green” does it mean you live a more natural life? Does a person who lives in the country live more naturally than one who lives in the city? I would like to offer up a different notion of Natural Living. Natural living is living in accord with one’s nature. Natural living is listening to our intuition and following our instincts. Natural living is being real.
Who are we human beings? Are we animals? Well, that has been debated for centuries. What do you think? I think we are. We are certainly “a part” of nature – not “apart” from it. Man is just as much a central figure in the great design of nature as a rainbow is. You may have seen a television show that photographs the miracles of nature. For example: there is a moth that travels clear around the world to reach some plant that can only be pollinated by this particular moth, and then after it reaches its goal, the moth dies! How about the way our body naturally takes care of itself. We cut ourselves, the body immediately gets to work doing its job to keep out foreign objects and begin the healing process – it bleeds and scabs. The blood pushes anything out and the scab keeps everything else from getting in. If bacteria does get in, our body begins to heat up in order to kill it. Some people predict the weather changes by feeling pain in their bodies. Just as the tides ebb and flow in response to the moon, we too are affected by its cycles. Our bodies are nature.
We are nature. We are animal nature. We are human nature. We humans are very much a part of the magic that reveals itself in nature each and every day. We, like all other creatures, have the understanding of how to get along in the world. This is an intrinsic part of who we are – our instinct. This is truth – a knowledge that exists within – Sanctuary – the Tao. I’m thinking that this instinct is either fed by the soul or is the soul. The soul being our spiritual self – our direct connection to the universe and all that is in it – the truth, the Tao, higher power, God, whatever you are comfortable with. The Native Americans say that we are all connected to the great web of life – we are part of everything.
Our instincts shout out to guide us. This cry is heard by our intuition (gut feeling). Our intuition informs us, prepares us, and protects us if we listen to it. You might say the instinct is our body and the intuition is our mind. When we can still our minds enough to listen to our bodies, the soul is able to speak. When we listen and follow this advice, we are real. This is acting in accord with our true nature – Natural Living. Do not deny what is Pure, Raw, Wild and Free. It may be the best of you…….What keeps up from being real in the first place? Simply,,,,, anything that discourages us from trusting ourselves and our own wisdom. This is what complicates our lives. This is the basis of anxiety. Anxiety is the foundation of the majority of our problems. Often, this is ego – our socialized self. This is not nature – it is created by the social structure – by being part of society.
Here is an example. A five year old girl (who just recently advanced from tricycle to bicycle) is cruising along on her new bike, with her new found freedom, doing just fine. The parent (who is “socialized”) calls out “don’t hurt yourself – be careful”. As soon as the girl hears the words what does she do? Of course, she falls down. She was sailing right along – all was well in her world – grooving in the Tao – and all of sudden limits were placed on her – fear was instilled. Had she not heard those words I suspect she would not have fallen. Thought creates form.
The ego contains all the should and what if’s and past experiences and rules and doubts and concerns – – the fear and anxiety.
Does living a natural life – being real – mean that you don’t have fears? No, there are plenty of times when fear is a natural response to the moment. If you are walking in the woods and you come upon a mountain lion, fear would be an instinctive response. Your gut would be telling you that potential danger is near, and hopefully you would listen to your intuition and respond accordingly. FYI – don’t start running or it will think you are prey. This fear is very real and natural. One clue to the difference between the ego’s fear and natural fear is whether or not the response is to the present moment. Living a natural life is living in the present. The power is in the moment. Once you are in the NOW you have WON.
Respecting the earth and Natural Living could be like the chicken and the egg – which comes first? It depends. Since my connection to nature has always held priorty, Natural Living was the logical path to follow. What I have seen in others (people who don’t much much attention to nature) is that people who begin to trust in themselves – listen to their intuition and follow their instincts – are drawn to living a more outwardly simple and natural life. It seems to follow. I think that when we recognize ourselves as a part of nature we have a different respect for nature in general. We think more like a Native American – the birds and animals and plants and trees are part of our family. We see the interconnection of all – the great web of life. If you honor the Earth and all living things, you will then value life and yourself.
Each of us is nature and we are connected to all that is – we have the answers. In modern society we have had a tendency to deny human nature: we are not animals, we are civilized. Conquering and claiming nature has been part of our social history. Nature has been perceived as a possession that you manipulate and control. Sounds like ego – the exact thing we have to get away from in order to follow a path with heart and soul.
Jane Harlow is the owner of Creating Sanctuary: body, mind, & Soul. Creating Sanctuary provides online counseling, support and education. I encourage natural soulful living. You can learn to trust your instincts and follow your intuition – the ease of an authentic life. creatingsanctuary.net