I woke up feeling a little down, having gone to bed over thinking and worrying about concerns and problems in my life. I got up and sat in my mediation nest, a beautiful, nurturing soft place of cushions and a warm, quiet blanket.
During my mediation I realised I had fallen back in the human condition of allowing my mind to focus and dance with my problems – allowing it to take me to places of worry and negative emotions, rather than appreciating all the really great things I also have in my life.
My glass was fast becoming half empty, rather than half full.
I felt into my heart and I felt it was shutting down, by perceived hurt, criticism, sorrow. We all have times in our lives that seem hard. Grief can kick in and whilst it’s good to feel into these times & honor them, we can also allow them to take us over.
So I decided I needed that which I know best helps me:
to reopen my heart to seeing the sunshine rather then focusing on the shade.
I needed some Nature Medicine.
I needed to take myself on a little Spirit walk for my soul.
I grabbed the car keys, my wooden flute and my little dog. Five minutes later we were walking amongst the gum trees between deep, red earth wombat holes, along the river toward the wetlands.
I felt myself wanting healing. I so wanted to feel better. “I’m in Nature, I should be feeling good, I should be connecting,” but No, my monkey mind had come on the walk with me, poo.
So I relaxed and stopped trying to connect, stopped trying to feel better. I just started to really look at what was around me, smell what was there, hear what was present. I grabbed a hand full of tea tree leaves, crushed them between my palms and inhaled deeply. Aunty Wendy an indigenous elder, says this stuff is bush medicine for her aboriginal mob for when they are feeling anxious. I smiled and was reassured by this memory. Even traditional indigenous peoples got anxious sometimes. I tend to Romanticise the life of our indigenous ancestors, as they lived so closely connected to the land, in apparent paradise. However they, like me had things on their minds: “I’m worried the wife feels I have not brought back enough meat that last hunt. What of that other tribe and what they may be planning. “
My dreamy mind was brought back into the now, as I stumbled on a gum tree root and I looked up at a shining blue black Raven cawing loudly overhead.
When Raven shows up I know things will happen.
Walking helps to move me and moves my emotions, but I also know that sitting still in Nature is a very powerful practice.
So I found a warm spot, with a beautiful view down over the lake and the water bird infested, shrubby islands. I settled the dog, warmed my wooden flute in my hands and played a Pan like drone, softly to the wind, to the water and to me.
I had stopped.
The harmonic music soothed me, as I felt connected to other than me, and that resonated back into my heart. The birds listened and then sang along. The wind played the trees and a wire fence breezily hummed. I closed my eyes for a while and went deeply inward.
As I opened my eyes, two huge ancient birds floated in from the blue sky, to plane down upon the water with giant webbed feet.
The Pelican. An old wise friend, one I had not seen for a while. They can disappear into the great, blue beyond, seemingly for years at a time, as can our hearts.
I recalled the alchemical myth of Pelican. Seen higher in esteem, even than the majestic Eagle. Pelican is the greatest of flyers. It takes a huge amount of energy for them to get off of the water, but once in flight they soar upon the unseen up-currents for hours & days, able to traverse continents, almost without effort. With this ability to fly into the stratosphere endlessly and effortlessly, they are a symbol of Great Spirit.
A symbol to aspire to: Effortlessness.
And yet the Pelican is also depicted in the alchemical diagrams as having multiple chicks. The chicks, being symbols of our many aspects of spiritual self. She is compelled to peck at her very own breast, making herself bleed and pour blood from her own heart in order to feed her fledgling chicks – an ancient shamanic and profound wisdom symbol.
Even the very greatest adept of effortless flight, needs to sacrifice to self, in a painful symbol, of self love, giving of self to self and in order to nourish our spirit selves, our own inner growing children.
Here I was, in the bush by the waters, being reminded, nurtured by nature herself, sacrificing my time, my busy day, my sorrowful bleeding heart in-order to feed & nourish my soul.
It completely astounds me that almost without exception, when I consciously go out into nature for healing and connection as opposed to just going for a walk in the bush, nature, great spirit, provides me with the nutrients I need. To see Self or some aspect of myself, reflected back to me, coloured by verdant wisdom and earthy grounded insights.
Nurturing one’s self, one’s spirit, as the Pelican mythically does, in order that we may fly more effortlessly through life, is important. Making time for Nature to nurture us, as a mother nurtures her children, is an art lost to most.
An old aboriginal Uncle, unfortunately I don’t recall who, but I think that’s OK, as in my mind he’s become archetypal wisdom & represents all indigenous people. When asked, “What is the most important thing you can do to help white fellas understand the deep connection to country that aboriginal peoples feel” he replied:
“Sit down on the ground in’da bush, for 2 hours. Shut up, be quiet.”
This answer was so profoundly simple. It left an indelible mark on me.
Remember to honour yourself & nurture your own spirit. No one else can like our own ancient mother, Nature.
Anthony Ashworth is a Shaman and House Whisperer. He takes people into pristine nature on what he calls Spirit walks and guides people with shamanic techniques, to easily reconnect with nature and with themselves. Spirit walks