4 Steps to Attune to NatureSep 27, 2023
His eyes shimmer with the wisdom of one who has experienced first hand what he speaks of. He has been practicing for more than 40 years. It was living alone in the forest, deeply embedded in shamanic practice for 18 months, which changed his relationship with nature.
"When most humans enter a forest, without knowing, what they hear are not the songs of birds but rather their calls of warning and the silence all around that follows. This changes when you become attuned to nature. The singing changes and it is hard to believe what wonders will be revealed to you."
Here are 4 steps to help you attune to nature on your path to discovering its wonders and magic. Make your way to a wild place, a forest clearing, a rock by a river and try out these 4 steps:
1. Be still and listen.
How much time do you spend in your own head, thinking thoughts about the past and the future? In Norse mythology the norn Skyld, she of the present moment, is often depicted as a starving woman. This is because already hundreds of years ago humans busied themselves more with what has already happened or what might happen in the future.
To be still and to listen will help feed Skyld as it requires you to be fully in the present moment. This step is as simple as it is challenging. Quiet your thoughts and turn your full attention and awareness outwards. Listen to the forest with all of your senses. Activate sight, touch, smell, hearing and taste the air. Notice if another sense comes online, what some call intuition or a 6th sense. Do this for as long as you can.
Notice how what nature reveals to you changes after a while, as worlds of previously unknown wonder open up.
2. Make offerings.
When a dear friend invites you for dinner you nourish your bond by bringing a gift to show your gratitude. Flowers, chocolates or a bottle of wine often pass from one pair of hands into another as an offering that helps deepen the relationship. To give the best gift, it usually requires the giver to attune to the person receiving it, feeling into what will feel meaningful for them to receive.
Now consider nature, hosting all your meals since you were born. Not only that, the life of this beautiful planet is the material that is used for everything in your life, from your home, to the device you are reading this on, to the clothes that keep you warm and protected. There is nothing in our lives that is not something we as a species have sourced from our planet, often at a great cost to the wild places we cherish so much.
To attune to the natural world, make offerings of gratitude and spend some time figuring out what would be most meaningful. Is iit picking up trash that you find out in nature? Is it learning more about your local forest? Is it a song that you sing out loud to the birds or a drum that you beat to honor the trees? Is it an act of finding rocks and leaves and creating something beautiful? Remember, it may not always be appropriate to move rocks or pick flowers, so make sure that the rocks are not the homes of critters and the flowers are not endangered.
Make many offerings to build a deeper and more attuned relationship to nature.
3. Move with care.
How easy it is to walk along paths, over fields and grass, through brush and shrubbery, up mountains and along rivers with a wandering mind, or a phone in hand, or a conversation running wild, barely noticing where you place your foot or what sound it makes when you put it down. How are you walking?
It is a good thing that we do not need to always be conscious of walking in order to walk. Simply wanting to go from A to B gets our feet and legs moving without us having to think about it. Yet, when we want to build a relationship with nature, it can serve us well to become aware once again of how we move.
Next time you are out walking, try asking yourself the following questions:
What is it that I am stepping on?
What might I be disturbing?
What moves when I move?
How can I move to make the least disturbance so that I might see and hear what I otherwise would not?
Walking and moving while asking yourself these questions turns your senses outwards and makes them tune into your surroundings as you pay deeper attention. You might even draw inspiration from nature on how to move! You will discover that over time much will be revealed to you that wasn't before!
4. Return often.
Doing all of the above once or every now and again is a beautiful thing, yet nothing can replace the familiarity of returning to a wild place often. So many humans prioritize all sorts of experiences over spending time in nature wherever and whenever possible. This is a sure way to miss out on the deep relationship you can build by coming back often.
Think of it like this: Have you ever fallen in love? In the early stages of a relationship we are infatuated. It is an exciting feeling for sure! But, when you have had the pleasure of loving someone for many years, spending time with them frequently, something deepens, something changes. You get to know the person in ways you never could have early on as they reveal their hidden beauty to you.
It is the same with the wild places. By returning often you give yourself the chance to get to know nature deeply and also give nature the chance to get to know you! Attuning to something takes time. It is important to participate in the relationship throughout the seasons, through rainy days and dry days, through sunshine and clouds. And coming back often is also a sure way to fall in love with the abundant beauty that surrounds us on this planet.
TIP: Is there no nature nearby where you live? See if you can find where the green grows through cracks in the pavement, a special tree or shrubbery, a rock, or some dirt. You can discover wonders of nature almost anywhere!
Why is it so important to take the time to attune to nature?
Right now we are bombarded with so much information regarding the destruction of nature, mass extinctions, climate change and so much more! This world is a scary place to live in when we read the news. Some may think that the fear helps to preserve what we have left. It is also true that fear can quickly put us humans into fight, flight or freeze. Can we really do our best to tend to life on this planet when we are mainly afraid?
Taking the time to attune to nature is a great way to fall more deeply in love with nature. When we are in love, we want that which we love to thrive! Chances are that by taking the time to do the practices above on a regular basis, you will find ways to help nature out that you otherwise would never have thought of. Your own well being will also greatly improve. Attuning to nature is an act of service to yourself, and to nature.
Sending you love, wherever you are!
YOUR LIFE IS ABOUT TO BECOME MORE MAGICAL!
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