Today is Day 3 of the 10 Simple Spiritual Practices and today I will be using the theme of nature.
I have not always been as into nature as I have grown to be in the past year or two. I actually use to hate sitting outside. I couldn't stand the bugs(for some reason I am a mosquito magnet!), and the heat(im from Texas yall), and I actually just didn't like being dirty lol. That has gradually changed due to hanging out with people that I adore whom adore being outside and communing with nature. I also have been to retreats the past two summers that had settings outside. The more exposure to something, the better acquainted you can get. I started connecting my humanity and my spirit to the spirit of the Creator and the creations that are all around me and not just humans. I started appreciating trees, and animals, and paying attention to the habits of birds and the movement in ponds and lakes. Consciousness and being still allowed this transition in my communion with nature. As I have spent the past year going on two years studying Yoruba, an African Traditional Religion, I have also increased my understanding and appreciation for the Spiritual in nature. I have come to understand that Yoruba respects and honors the earth and reverences the power of Mother Nature. When i made this connection, it completely shifted the way I practice my spirituality. Connecting my spirit to people was easy for me, but connecting and feeling a drive toward nature was not something I had ever really been taught by Islam (i was raised Muslim in my father's house) or Christianity (The rest of my family were christian and I began to practice Christianity at age 17). I believe that Islam and Christianity also appreciate and reverence nature, it's just not an intense focus by many of their religious institutions and thus not something I hadn't really engaged while practicing those religions before I decided to honor many paths to the divine and pave my OWN path toward spirit with out religious restrictions, something that coincidentally, religion taught me! lol There are many ways for me to learn and grow spiritually from nature and I decided to make that an intricate part of my spirituality.
Here is an activity I do to humble myself and reverence the divinity of creation:
I have a small and simple tree ritual. I touch a tree starting from its leaves and follow it from branch, to the limb, all the way down to the trunk, down to the ground, and then I take a moment to think on the depth of the roots. I don't say much during this ritual and I do it mostly when I think of it, when I pass a tree, or if I feel a little confused or worried. I remember that the roots of a tree are deep and it reminds me to go back to my roots and work my way up. After doing this, I have been able to write and create, refocus on a plan, and it has even moved me to tears depending on how confused I might have felt. Trees are in their place. They stand firm because they are rooted so deep. I appreciate their example and thus I honor them. I might say a prayer out loud or just utter "thank you for your wisdom" and move on.
Do you have a similar practice? Do you commune with trees or any other force in nature? Do you meditate outside or near water? Do you plan to do this practice or some variation of it? Share your personal nature based practice below so that others can gain from it as well. Share how it feels to connect to the earth. Share your thoughts on the forces in nature or just think on this and move on. Either way, I wish you blessings and light on your journey!
Join me for Day 4 tomorrow for another spiritual practice based on Nature. ♥ Coach Meicka