Since writing last week we have left Santa Barbara and made our way up the central coast of California. It’s been an experience traveling by vehicle and watching the landscape and climate transform, as our latitude changes. The central coast is cooler, the vegetation drastically different; the palm trees and tropical feel of southern Cali transitioned to shrubbery and hardy trees. Something I’ve observed in myself is how my energy shifts, influenced by my hormones and where I am in my monthly cycle. I have more energy in week two, and I am driven to work on projects and open avenues for my creativity to move. James and I are making a push on some yoga marketing, so I’ve been spending a decent amount of time on the computer.
Tuesday we visited the Farmer’s Market in Santa Barbara. I love seeing the vibrancy of colors displayed on vendor’s tables; varying shades of green, orange, yellow, red and brown. The benefit of the climate: you can grow food all year ‘round. I bought beautiful, plump yellow cherry tomatoes. Tomatoes, in December!
I feel as though I’ve spent less time outside this week, and notice the “lax” attitude I’ve been carrying around about physically connecting with Gaia. I’m saddened that we’ve asphalted so much of the planet, a deterrent I’ve made bigger than it actually is, to putting my feet on the ground. I get down on myself for not being as much of a “nature enthusiasts” as I’d like to be. Or rather, I shake my proverbial fist at the heavens for creating computers, I love what they allow me to do, and they can be a vortex of time and energy that detracts from doing other activities I love.
I notice, as humans, we will fight tooth and nail to avoid change and discomfort. We have invented a plethora of devices and attitudes that hold us to our small, shallow comfort zones. I wonder, how much energy does it take for us to resist change, rather than applying that energy to adapting to a new way of being?
Hilariously, I admit I got into watching Downton Abbey at our friend’s house outside of Santa Barbara during our visit. It’s about the relationships between the servants and wealthy in the English countryside in 1914 or so. Electricity is up and coming, and is brought to the mansion of the ruling family. The grandmother of the family can’t understand why anyone would need electricity in the kitchen. Can you imagine not having electricity in your kitchen? Although this is a fictitious group of people, there surely once was a time when someone thought they didn’t need electricity, that it was a waste.
How have we gotten so far away from that? Now, electricity is the ruler of the day for so many of us. It’s barely noticed that it’s night time, because lights glow throughout the villages and country side. It’s a pleasant 70-ish degrees inside, when it’s cold, windy and wet outside. Don’t mistake me, I love many modern conveniences; but at what cost do we have these conveniences? Not just to the detriment of the planet and environment, but to our ability to adapt and get stronger, more resilient. Why do we sometimes insist on swimming upstream, or moving faster than the flow of the current? What are we in such a hurry about?
I walked past an old, gnarled tree on the sidewalk the other day. It was slowly wrapping itself around a large metal pole; overtime surely to envelop the material. Nature will grow over and outlive our immature actions. It is the purest example of slow and steady resiliency.
I did have some fabulous outdoor activities this week. James, Stitch and I walked for almost two hours on Wednesday through dunes and boardwalks in marshlands along the coast, the cool winds whipped around as I strolled barefoot on the sand. Yesterday it rained all day, and I spent much of that time on this device, creating art with a mouse pad, that hopefully will direct people to HomeFreeYogis, and desire to have us come share yoga, one of my Truest Loves.
A sweet surprise I’ve experienced this winter, as it’s the first time I’m “chasing summer”-(I spent the first 23 years of my life living in Wisconsin-talk about winter, and the last 4 years in Ashland, OR-mild but definitely winter)-I notice I feel the pull of internal engagement, even in warmer climates. I sleep more, I relish in warm sweaters, beanies, cozy socks and yes-I love Christmas lights. In this experience of winter I notice my attachment to Holiday Season/Spirit. I miss snow accompanying the twinkle of lights on homes and trees. I get a little cheery from cheesy Christmas music. I want to watch some of the following: The Nutcracker, A Christmas Story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Charlie Brown Christmas and The Snow Man. I have an attachment to the introversion of this cold, dark season being accompanied by holiday cheer, Santa hats and beautiful and over the top light displays.
If I could boil this Reflection down to a few points:
- Remember, what serves and nourishes you today, will not be the same next week. Be gentle, there is no One Right Answer.
- A few mindful breaths a day supports feeling the thread of connect to Gaia.
- Gratitude is the best medicine.
- Community is a priceless gift. We don’t need packaging, ribbons and bows, or even a reason, to be grateful for CommUnity.
- Be the change. Which means, be ok with discomfort, no matter how gross or all-pervading it can feel. It’s fleeting.
- The earth will prevail.
- My True Nature-is to be in rhythm with Nature.
How is your Nature Experiment going? What do you notice about yourself? Please share any insights or comments!
Until next time, breathe deep, walk lightly and take a moment to Sing, Dance & Pray.