October 12, 2008

The Power of Nature

I experienced a WONDERFUL workshop over the weekend called "Journaling in Nature". It was taught by an older woman whose eyes and conversation are full of wisdom & laughter. She shared her myriad of personal journals and how they have influenced and shaped her emotions & experiences throughout the years. She is a certified naturalist and shared insightful ideas about how to become more aware and observant of our surroundings, keys to access our own inner awareness, thoughts, and feelings.

I never really got into art as a child ~ my parents weren't artsy at all, so I wasn't encouraged to tap into that side of myself or the power it can unleash. It was really neat to find out that my birth family is full of artists and musicians. As an adult I am realizing that part of myself that appreciates and embraces the arts and their beauty.

It is amazing how TIME STANDS STILL when you allow yourself to get quiet and focus on the details around you, and unleash creativity locked within yourself. Just to get past thoughts that tell you, "I'm not an artist ~ I can't draw ~ I'm not good at it" and let the child within you play.

Our instructor asked us to find a spot in the park ~ then gave us 20 minutes to list or sketch everything our five senses experienced around us. Everything we were seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, tasting. It is amazing to realize how much we tune out in our busy lives. The very sounds, sights, smells, and experiences that are always around us, calling out with peace, but aren't heard. I was immediately drawn to the flowers. The yellow flowers reminded me of my nMother and a treasured picture I have of her holding a bouquet of wild daisies.

And below, is just a glimpse of the amazing experience I had observing a wild patch of purple heather and dozens of moths, butterflies and bees dancing within just a few inches of the rock where I was sitting. It was such a neat experience to sit quietly and take in the pulsating life of nature and movement. The bees would periodically buzz over to check out this intruder, but if I remained calm and still, realizing they were just as fascinated with me, as I was them ~ they would buzz right back to the flowers and continue their dance. The mixture of adrenaline and nature provided a valuable lesson ~ to motivate myself to focus on the natural, peaceful rhythms of the bees and butterflies as they flirted with each other and their nectar, trusting they weren't going to hurt me. I experienced a beauty that I wouldn't have enjoyed if I had chosen a more "safe" spot. It was energizing and yet very grounding.

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