Do you feel totally and completely balanced in every aspect of your life? What if I told you that the notion of such a state of total balance, 24/7 is an illusion? One of my greatest inspirations, Susan Weed is quoted as saying “Balance is the step immediately preceding death. The Wise Woman Tradition defines health as flexibility. In the Wise Woman Tradition we nourish wholeness rather than trying to achieve a mythical balance. The essence of life is, in the words of E.O. Wilson, dynamic disequilibrium.”
There is a great deal of power and freedom in this concept. If you stopped chasing balance and instead surrender and relax into wholeness, what might your daily life look like? What if you exchanged the unfounded notion of balance with the concept of harmony, which is found in wholeness?
The paradox of living a “spiritually connected” life is that you are already just that. It’s like looking for the glasses that are hanging around your neck. You can spend hours in meditation each day seeking wisdom, peace, centeredness and heightened awareness and what does this really achieve? I believe it can create a state of living that is very ungrounded and unnatural to your purpose of harmony. The real wisdom of life is found in the natural world; it is found in the trees, the animals, the elements and most importantly, your body. When we are acutely attuned with the natural world we LIVE in a state of harmonious awareness; we are always connected to the inner peace and centeredness we desire. When we are tuned in to nature we are fully present, in the body, aware of our innate holiness and able to hear the voice of spirit speaking to us. This way of living is a dance of harmony with the “dynamic disequilibrium” that is wholeness and a whole heck of a lot easier to embody than the elusive and illusionary “balance” that we seem to hear so much about.
If you are being bombarded with stress, an inner nagging, fear, pain or any of the negative forces of polarity that exist in the earthly realm, it is nature that will restore a blanket of divine thinking and feeling. Meditation certainly has a very noble place and is a useful practice in its own right, but sometimes the efforts of trying to quiet the mind and feeling the opposition of stopping the thoughts may actually create disharmony and not be the best medicine in the moment. But when you step outside, take a walk or sit on the ground and look around at the wonder of the natural world there is an instant exhale from the body, mind and spirit synchronized.
Believe me; I spent hours upon hours in meditation in my early years of spiritual awakening. I could achieve amazing feats of speaking in tongues and channeling enlightened beings. I could access incredible portals into alternate universes and deep, deep states of awareness. And during that time in my life I was so incredibly ungrounded in my day-to-day doings that I sometimes felt depressed when I wasn’t meditating.
As the awakening process evolved, I realized through connecting with indigenous ways of spiritual practice, ceremonial ritual and drumming that spending all that time in the ethers, with my upper chakras wide open while my lower ones were closed off was not supporting me. I was disconnecting with my body and the earthly realm. I needed to explore a more nature-based wisdom pathway to wholeness and harmony. After all we are here in this bubble of biology we call a body for a reason. We are not here to escape our earthly reality through meditation or chasing an unreal state of balance, but rather transcend the polarities, center our whole being, and align with who we really are – nature. We are raw, thinking, feeling, always-changing, wild creatures roaming the earth realm to anchor our spirit where it is needed.
What I discovered was that I could walk through life awake, aware, tuned in to my wisdom and all those cool ethereal experiences meditation had brought me without having to shut myself off from the world around me. I was able to integrate the benefits of meditation into my daily activities in a conscious sate. Through nurturing my wholeness and aligning with nature I felt more harmonious than ever.
Wholeness creates the pulse in which you craft the music for your dance with constant change. Living in wholeness is living in rhythm and when you are aligned with the ever-changing rhythm of your life you are harmoniously contributing to the symphony rather than creating chaos. You already have heaven within you – you came here to infuse it into the very soil you walk upon.
Wholeness is a nurtured state of being. It honors all of you, your body, your mind, your spirit. So if you struggle with conventional meditation, what if you put down the practice of trying to achieve inner silence and instead engaged in an act of self nourishment? It too will raise your vibration and re-calibrate the brain and put you back into the flow of harmony through divine gratification. Perhaps a warm bath with relaxing music to delight those senses that are intended for pleasure. Maybe a sitting in a garden where a gentle breeze and the song of birds reminds you of the wisdom that you are. Or possibly a stroll upon a trail, or a shoreline, or even on a sidewalk that meanders through a serene neighborhood. What if you made a ceremony out of preparing a nutritious AND delicious meal for yourself? How about sitting with a pet and exchanging the unconditional love that animals are absolute experts at?
Nourishment is not about discipline, it is not about work, it is not about drudgery, it is about joy, pleasure, feeding your soul and disconnecting with opposition, difficulty, technology and negativity. Nourished Wholeness does not contain the word “should” in its nomenclature; it is all about the essence of “could.”
Wholeness does however require consistency and regularity to maintain. At the end of the day, and eventually at the end of your life, your moments of nourishing wholeness will far outweigh how many dishes were washed, how clean your house is, how many hours you clocked at the office and how many chores you accomplished.
Another powerful practice that nourishes wholeness is community ceremony. Here in the West, where culture has been washed away through the cultural “cleansing” that has occurred in what we call the “melting pot,” people are thirsting and down right parched for ritual in a community setting. When we come together around a theme or common cause and honor the spirit that we are and the natural world we are a part of we automatically heal the wounds that block us from our wisdom and the life we desire. Through ritual and ceremony we align our thoughts, our words, and our actions and create the congruency necessarily for manifestation. Ritual is active meditation.
In ceremony I access the sacred portals. I synch up with the ethers while remaining firmly grounded. I channel divine wisdom and disperse this grand light within my community. My body is active, my mind is focused, and my spirit sings hallelujah in the divine, harmonious alignment of my being. Ritual is my meditation. And there are many pathways to this wisdom, countless ways of engagement, and numerous traditions to incorporate.
Hot sea salt baths
Cuddles with my fur babies (3 cats, 2 dogs)
Long walks in nature
Daily walks (sometimes runs) with my dogs in the peaceful suburbs where I live
Making the time to create a wholesome meal
Preparing and drinking herbal infusions like my beloved Nettle
Dates with girlfriends (which often requires me saying NO to other things that pop up)
Dates with my sweetheart Luis
Time with my daughter
Working in my garden
Weeding – yes weeding, it is an incredible metaphor
Sitting in my garden and doing nothing
Taking a day every now and then where I don’t get out of bed
Putting my bare feet on the earth and drink in the energy (known as earthing)
Receiving a massage
Receiving Reiki (where I naturally go into the silence and meditate)
Browsing through a magazine
…the list is always evolving and expanding
These activities are a meditation for me. I am grooving with my rhythm when I engage in nourishment. When I am hiking a trail in nature, I am so fully present. Nothing else matters but that moment. None of the issues I might be facing are even in my awareness. I am completely soaking in the beauty that surrounds me and feeling the resulting alignment of my being through the holy force of nature. I return refreshed, renewed and in a state of harmony ready to deal with life once again. Nourishing my wholeness does not require I escape life, but rather deeply immerse myself in the organic earthly realm that is Spirit.
And for the sake of clarity, let it be known that committing to this nourishment is not always easy. Just like meditation, I must set aside the time, often sacrificing. But sacrifice is not a word of profanity, but quite simply a divine exchange of one thing for something else of greater value.
In closing I share one last quote from the lovely Susan Weed “Wisdom springs from connection. When we are connected to ourselves and to the Earth, then Wisdom flows through us. Listen to Nature. Listen to your gut. Listen to your heart. Drink nourishing herbal infusions. Eat wild salads. Breathe deeply. Every breath is a give-away dance with the plants. Every breath is filled with green blessings.”
Tell me how you nourish harmony and wholeness. Tell me where you might struggle with it…I’m happy to help.