Be Who You Are in the World We Share Together

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Be Who You Are in the World We Share Together 
by Michelle Katz

This week, I did my usual morning walk.  The air was brisk, the sky unusually cloudy, and the smell of winter permeated.  The tree I look to as an indicator on how deep we are into a season, was bare but for three small burnt-orange leaves shivering at the end of a low extending branch.  I had been so busy at work these past few months that it was the first time in a long time I felt a settling in and grounding, a remembering of myself.

I sat on the gnarled roots of a down tree, where I sit and pray, feeling grateful not only for the soil, plants, animals, elements, celestial bodies, but also, on this particular day, I found myself closing my eyes and feeling so deeply into gratitude for the remembering of myself.  Suddenly and for only a moment, came the soft falling of snow.  The crystalized ice, each of unique form, landed on me like a sweet kiss, then transforming into a bead of water on my skin, hair, clothes.  I even watched my dog take in these kisses from the sky with snout up to meet it.

This moment left me with that rare and simple feeling of knowing: knowing that all is right, that I am in the place I am meant to be in and I am doing what I am meant to be doing. 

It occurred to me, again, not for the first time, but in the constant remembering, that nature best offers me the gift of knowing my connection with living.

"We can say that there is a deeply bonded and reciprocal relationship between humans and nature.  The separation of humans and nature leads to suffering for both the environment and for humans. Realizing this connection results in a healing for both; a reconnection." (Wakeman 2014)

The other side of the story, is the way in which, day to day demands and stressors take me away from this remembering.  In the busy-ness of life, I forget about connecting and relating, leaving me, not only with the loss of my relationship to the earth but also with a loss of my relationship with everything and everyone: friends, family, my dog, myself!  It is vitally important that I, and all humans, remember our bond with nature to nurture our relationships and connections to all living beings.

When I step into nature, intentionally and with all of me, I realize that the tree is exactly where and how it is meant to be, that the rock is in the right spot, the sand and the wind know exactly how to dance with each other, and we see that all these beings are deeply relating with each other in every moment. Thus, how can I even think that this same truth is not in me?

How strange it is to forget that we are part of nature and nature is in us. The blue bird does not wish to be a white tailed deer, and the white-tailed deer does not wish to be a juniper, and the juniper does not wish to be the bee, and the bee does not wish to be human.  We are all exactly as we are meant to be and we all need each other and inform each other’s living as we are participating in the world.  Nature teaches us best about the practice of true acceptance of ourselves and our deeper connection to the world.  It is not about what we do; it’s about being who we are.

I love these moments, surrounded by all things alive, when I feel myself fully in my being. I want to invite you into this practice.  Join Oaks Counsel for our various Nature-Based healing practice offerings.  We can’t wait to celebrate who you are in the world we share with each other.