NatureLog - My Nature & Nature Travel Blog
Animals Through My Traveling Lens
I just recently responded on Instagram to a number of public posts from people depressed about the state of our natural world. Many nature lovers wrote expressing the sadness they feel when trying to save our planet and do the right thing to bring about change. They are people living Gandhi’s motto, “Be the change you want to be in the world” and they’re working hard to make it so. Yet they were feeling a bit down and overwhelmed. This got me thinking about how we approach problems – especially ones that can seem so large as to overwhelm us and make our potential for impact seem almost impossible.
Change *is* possible if we can approach it with thoughts of what is possible, rather than what is not. This approach can help us overcome any of our feelings of inadequacy, frustration and fear. I know it sounds counterintuitive – you’re down and sad but you need to be upbeat about the position of our planet (or anything that saddens you)? Yes!! Recall the point of view about seeing a glass half empty or half full? Now you’re on the right track ….
So nature lovers: Let’s shift the energy to that of the possibilities and act ‘as if’. This can have a profound impact, especially the more of us who participate in this ‘shift’. Here are some things we can all do right now for our planet, the people and the animals that inhabit it:
1 – Start your day thanking the Universe that the planet, and all of its inhabitants, are healthy. And call in anything else for their health that you’d like. Remember, focus on what you want (i.e. keep the message positive) and act as if is is already so.
2 – Reinforce it by writing it down. You can do this with a list of your “intentions” above, hold a visualization in your mind each morning, and/or create a vision board of a beautifully, healthy planet with pictures of goodness. Examples include animals and places on our planet who are healthy and treated with the respect and reverence they deserve
3 – Surround yourself with positive people who are also making a difference in the world. The above is not forgetting what we need to change. It’s about bringing a more positive energy to the problems where real change can happen.
If you want to learn more on this subject, you can watch interviews with Dr. Joe Dispenza, listen to part of an Oprah interview with Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith, and/or learn more from the likes of the late Dr. Wayne Dyer, Gregg Braden, Mike Dooley, and many others on the power of this approach to the goodness we want to bring to our world.
Let’s do this!!!!
“The universe corresponds to the nature of your song.” – Michael Bernard Beckwith
Whether you are a nature lover or not, you can probably relate. Do you ever get caught up in your mind’s obsessions about work, an argument you had with your significant other, a family issue, etc.? The impact these ruminations have on our psyche is not good. That’s where mindfulness comes in. As you open yourself up to be in the present moment, esp outside in nature – notice the fragrance in the air, the bird in the tree, the sensation of your foot steps on a pebble or the dirt. Doing so, you begin to separate from the drama, the “stuck” feeling, frustration or other negative emotion of your thoughts. You broaden your perspective and open up to the newfound energy from your immediate experience here and now - the awareness of just “what is” all around you. Just like you’ve been missing out on what’s in nature, you’re probably missing out on what’s happening to the loved ones in your life. Your nephew or niece, son or daughter, or grandchild has a new toy they want to share with you. Your loved one wants to seek your advice on a work issue. Your friend needs your shoulder ….. The more we open to the present moment, the more we experience what’s truly important. When you come back to your earlier rumination, it feels a lot less “dense” or heavy, less significant, or of less importance overall. In fact, you may have discovered an entirely new approach to the problem you hadn’t had the “room” to discover before.
Yesterday, I was out walking my dogs between rainstorms. I committed to being present for them– knowing they would enjoy this time after being cooped up in the house during the storms. Rather than rushing their joy because I had another agenda, I just let them be dogs – taking in every scent they could along the way. As we walked, enjoying the present moment, I began to get a “feeling” that something was about to happen in nature. As I walked, I could hear Cedar Waxwings nearby. We circled the block and on the sidewalk before me, in front of house after house, was berry “debris”. Still listening for the Waxwings, I wondered “Do Robins and Waxwings eat the same berries? Do they ever forage together?” And nature responded. One or two houses down, amidst the quiet of this day, I could hear the fluttering that could only be birds – LOTS of them - softly flying among leaves around the tree. I looked up to see an entire flock of Robins flying in and out, grabbing berries, arguing between themselves. I stood for the longest while, enjoying this moment with nature – Robins doing what they need to do to survive, eating as many berries as possible until they were satiated and grew quiet and still. And there among them? Cedar Waxwings of course! I was elated! I decided to take advantage of their current “food coma” pause after the big meal to run the dogs home, grab the camera and get back to the scene. And when I returned, there they still sat – looking plump and content. What beautiful birds….
Had I been ruminating, had I not been in the present moment with the dogs, I likely wouldn’t have noticed these beautiful birds. Lifted by their beauty and these precious moments with them, I felt ‘lighter’, grateful for nature’s beauty and the opportunity to experience it. The rain may be coming back but the dogs and I had had our moments in the fresh air – and returned home refreshed.
What might you be missing in your life? Take a moment to be in the present moment - wherever you are. Breath in the fresh air. Listen for birdsong. Walk the dogs. Do whatever it is that lifts your heart. Whether you are already a nature lover or are starting to see the many benefits nature can bring to you, you can learn more about mindfulness and the benefits of the present moment from Oprah and Jon Kabat-Zinn here.
And if you should see a Cedar Waxwing or Robin in distress this time of year, please call your local wildlife rehabilitator or facility. Often these birds ingest fermented berries and as you can appreciate, “drinking and flying” don’t mix well. Working in wildlife rehab, I have encountered “drunk” Cedar Waxwings who just needed some time to ‘sober up’ and safely fly again. As always, thank you for caring for your local wildlife …. and enjoy the beauty of the winter season and all of its surprises!
Pamela, Eyes4Nature's proprietor, enjoying life out in the field among the animals and the peacefulness of nature.