What have you been doing during the Covid-19 Pandemic?
Hopefully you are well and finding some time to check in with your needs, dreams, and goals for the future. This is a perfect time to reflect, to find our inner strength, to mourn those we have lost, and pray for health of our world.
Over the last 10 months or so I have turned to nature to find some peace and joy amid the world of chaos, pandemic, isolation and political unrest. Even during dark days the light is always finding a crack to share light with the world. We lost a very close young friend in June and then my granddaughter was born in July. My employment switched from field work to working remotely from home. I had time to rearrange my home and now I have an office/create room. I haven’t seen my daughter in Colorado and her family since November 2019 but we have FaceTime and find ways to connect. I haven’t seen my son since early November. My family was unable to gather for Christmas however we had a gathering on Zoom and still had fun with the grab bag. We even found a way to play a game and laughed throughout as we interacted. I don’t see my local grandchildren as much as I would like but our connection seems to have deepened over the last year. My two grandson, now 5 and the other 2, were home eating breakfast while my daughter was upstairs giving birth to her daughter with her husband assisting. No visitors were allowed in the hospital at the time so they made a last minute decisions to birth at home. This solved the issue of not having her husband at a hospital birth and not being with the boys for a night. My oldest granddaughter relocated locally so I can get outside for walks with her once in a while.
For the everyday, instead of thinking of being isolated, I am enjoying nature – my place to connect to my stillpoint – that place of inner joy and peace. Nature has so many gifts to share if we just get ourselves outside to experience these everyday blessings.
You never know who you may meet while enjoying a saunter in the woods.
This beautiful deer was enjoying the apples lying on the ground near the apple tree. When she noticed me she began walking closer and closer. At one point I thought she was going to come across the path to hang out with me. What a beautiful moment to lose yourself in the joy of this beautiful spirit.
And then this special being came to visit in May when I was out in the woods. Still feel blessed that this barred owl decided to hang out with me for over 20 minutes on my way into the woods and then another 20 when I returned to the area after my walk. How can one feel stressed or anxious when sitting chatting with an owl.
Then there was also this lovely creature who flew over me and then hung out on the branch.
Sometimes only tracks are left behind. Looks like a busy place.
All of my scheduled Mindfulness Outdoor Experience (MOE) gatherings were cancelled in March. I had a few people who continued to meet for the first couple of weeks. Being out in nature brought them some peace and calm while in nature. Then there were solitary walks until the end of summer.
Fortunately, MOEs started being scheduled again and have actually grown since the fall. What better way to connect with others than outside in nature. We wear our masks and social distance in the forest. The MOEs allow time for a saunter in nature – time to slow down, connect and find peace.
We have met up in all kinds of weather.
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” ~ Sir Ranulph Fiennes ~
Sometimes there was only one participant and other times over 15. In the fall on a misty morning, we enjoyed the changing color and the earthy smell of fallen leaves.
While enjoying the waterfall, we bravely placed our bare feet in the water. It was truly refreshing and invigorating.
We saunter through the forest, stopping to hug a tree, caress the moss, observe a leaf, touch a rock, and/or check out the animal tracks in the mud and snow. The we find a sit spot and meditate for 20 minutes, or 5 if its too cold.
In the winter we look forward to snow, especially a freshly fallen snow. Although it may be cold, the forest protects us from the winds.
We take time to see what is in front, to the left and right enjoying nature’s blessings. We can find beauty everywhere if we open our eyes. Look close – take time to connect – to feel – breathe in the fresh air – become one with your surroundings.
I find the cold air invigorating so after the MOEs I return and sit in the silence of nature. Sometimes in the distance you will notice some company.
If you are looking for me tomorrow, you’ll know where to find me – somewhere in the woods gifting my mind, body and soul with the solace, peace and beauty of nature.
Wishing you all the ability to find your stillspot in nature or home if you cannot get outside. Some ideas for connecting with nature and inner peace while inside:
- Diffusing essential oils – my favorites are Hinoki, Douglas fir, cedar, Black Spruce, Siberian Fir
- Place photos or paintings of nature around your home
- Listen to nature sounds on the computer, cell phone or radio – in the summer open the windows
- Wear some cozy socks and oversized soft shirts in natural colors
- Take an epsom salt bath infused with essential oils while listening to nature sounds
- Read books on nature – I have dozens but here are a few:
- Gathering Moss by Robin Wall Kimmerer
- Rewilding by Micah Mortali
- The Song of Trees by David George Haskell
- In the Company of Trees by Andrea Sarubbi Fereshteh
- The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohelleben
- Upstream by Mary Oliver
- Create a dreamcatcher using natural items, paint using natural tints made from acorns and/or beets or just have fun with a little creative time
- Meditation is also a great way to find some inner peace
If you are interested in learning more about Mindfulness Outdoor Experiences or how to find some inner peace please feel free to reach out to me.
Love and Light