I’m living a dream. I have a gorgeous house in the mountains to myself for 2 weeks. I’m caring for 3 cats, 2 chickens, and some house plants. I have time and space to write, read, relax, practice yoga and cook food. I have access to a sauna and a bathtub eagerly calling me to enjoy. Yesterday I shoveled a driveway for the first time in years. I’m back in Ashland for almost a month, connecting with my beloved community here, and myself.
One thing I’m currently noticing is the internal Judge that sits sternly in my skull, ready to give its thoughts and opinions any moment. The first 3 days I was in Ashland I was staying at my best friend’s house, where I used to live. This is a woman I could spend hours with and literally do nothing. As my friend Rachel once put it “you know you are true friends when I ask if you want to come over while I laundry.” We stayed up well past midnight each night and lounged by the fire during the day. It’s been rainy and snowing here for days.
I watched my mind reason for this “unproductive” behavior. I’m only staying up this late because I’m with my friend and I won’t be here for long. I’m eating cheese with every meal because soon I’ll be cleansing. I’m drinking coffee today as a special occasion.
Then I wondered…Why must I make reasons or excuses for behavior that is “out of the ordinary”? In fact, what the hell is the “ordinary” anyway? I decided to sit with these thoughts and remind myself I don’t need to reason why I’m doing anything. I can simply do it, and enjoy it in the moment. Giving a reason for why I do or don’t do anything takes away the joy and spontaneity of it. I’m drinking coffee today with delicious milk and it’s yummy. I’m staying up late with my best friend and I adore it, I am nourished in a sweet way other company can’t quench.
Recently, I’ve been listening to lectures by Matt Kahn. In one of his talks, something that stood out to me was the voice that judges or criticizes, the voice that can get jealous, the voice that loves to reason, is the small part of me that desires my own love, affection, and attention. When I notice these reasons or judgments arise, I stop and say some form of affirmation about how I’m awesome, I’m loved and I am doing great. I’m choosing to stop the “I’m doing X because of Y,” and rather celebrate whatever it is I’m doing at the moment. I’m taking a bath in the middle of the day, and I’m thankful. I’m going to bed at 8pm to read for hours, and I love it.
I embarked on this Nature Experiment to look more closely at how I connected to nature; ultimately, how I am connected to Source. I need not give a reason for strolling through the woods or blankly staring out the window. I stroll, and I give thanks. I witness, and I give thanks. Reasoning takes the mystery out of an experience. Science and reason have become tools for diminishing Mystery. There is immense beauty in faith and reverence. Like a child enamored by a bug, twig, rock or shoe, experiencing the Unknown brings us to the present with a sense of awe. I let the mystery envelope me, and rather than try to logicalize (my made-up word) my way out of or around it, I bask in it, wade slowly through it. And give thanks.