Tag Archives: Nature


“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”  Albert Camus

Winters Dream

Winters Dream (Photo credit: ~Brenda-Starr~)

During autumn, the highway landscape between my city and the next town was ablaze with the red, orange, and yellow fall leaves.  Each time I drove this route through the mountains, the beauty took my breath away, but last week I drove it again, and the utter bleakness of those same trees stripped of all color startled me.  The contrast was shocking despite the fact I had bagged too many leaves falling from my own trees and was certainly not unaware of what was happening.

Winter Is a Introspective Time

Some people may be inspired by the sparseness of winter, but not me.  Without nature’s colors or flowers inspiring me, I just want to go inside, and when I’m depressed by the bleakness, I visit my imagination for something more interesting.  Winter becomes a time to weigh things, to sort out ideas that are not beneficial and let them go.  It’s a good time to write because I’m not distracted by what is going on outside and it is a good time to just be, dreaming by the fire.

English: Photo of a stone fireplace.

English: Photo of a stone fireplace. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


In the midst of winter

We dream rose dreams.

The fragrance of flowers

Fills the inner landscape

Until we awake in the deep night.

Tulips, Dogwood and Jasmine

Invade the moment

Between sleeping and waking

And we long to wake in spring

And bloom like the flowers

In the garden

We will surely plant.

Winter flower

Winter flower (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

The fact is—I plant gardens in the winter—inside my own head.  I conjure up new ideas for classes, write poetry and essays, and have long stimulating talks with friends over cups of hot coffee.  With fewer distractions, I can commit to tasks that I’ve been avoiding.  Winter can be a most productive time.

Fear May Prevent Us From Looking Deep Inside

Andrew Wyeth says, “I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape.  Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn’t show.”  Perhaps it is the fear of what lies beneath our surface that makes us dread winter.  Confined inside by the cold, we cannot escape as easily those parts of ourselves we’d like to avoid—the ways we have disappointed others or failed to live up to the commitments we’ve made.  It is an excellent time to examine what we need to change and what is not working in our lives.

Over the last two years when I was completing my book Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness, I ignored a number of things about my house that needed to be done.  I committed to completing the book above all else.  However, the rainy season was more intense than usual and mildew developed in closets and other places in the house.  Distracted during the spring and summer with many lovely distractions, I’ve promised myself I will clean this up this winter.  In fact, there are several “spring cleaning” kinds of tasks that I prefer to do in the winter.


We Must Look Inside to See Who We Really Are

But these are superficial things.  It is the deeper aspects of our nature that we may find more difficult to face.  How can we repair the damage we have done to friendships or family?  How do we escape from a long term relationship that is abusive?  How do we find more confidence in our own abilities to make changes in the way we live?  While we may need help to solve these problems, we must begin by going inside and asking, “Who am I?” and “Who do I want to be?”

We Must Envision the Changes We Desire

We need to envision what we want in detail in the quiet of our own minds, stilled by meditation or prayer, opening ourselves to dream of how we want our lives to be and then be willing to search for the answers.  Only when we are clear about what we want will we be able to develop a plan to create the life we desire.  With this clarity, we will be able to take the first step.

Winter dreams may take many forms.  We may dream pleasant fantasies about the coming of spring, the birth of a child or new relationship, or a more fulfilling job.  But hopefully, like Albert Camus, we will be able to create an “invincible summer” within us, a hope and positive way to look at life even when everything is falling apart or frozen.  That “invincible summer,” a belief in ourselves, may help us believe we can make our winter dreams come true.

What are your winter dreams this year?  Please comment.

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                                             ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Finding an Invincible Summer, When Your Dreams Change, Let Your Values Guide You, Introspection Overload: The Value of Journaling, Neuroscientific Support for the Value of Introspection



“What do we do with chaos?

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“Creativity has an answer.  We are told by those who have studied the processes of nature that creativity happens at the border between chaos and order.  Chaos is a prelude to creativity.  We need to learn, as every artist needs to learn, to live with chaos and indeed to dance with it and attempt some ordering.  Artists wrestle with chaos, take it apart, deconstruct and reconstruct from it.  Accept the challenge to convert chaos into some kind of order, respecting the timing of it all, not pushing beyond what is possible—combining holy patience with holy impatience—that is the role of the artist.  It is each of our roles as we launch the twenty-first century because we are all called to be artists in our own way.  We are all artists as children.  We need to study the chaos around us in order to turn it into something beautiful.  Something sustainable.  Something that remains.”  Matthew Fox, Creativity

Creation Spirituality

Last week, I was privileged to hear Matthew Fox speak at a spiritual gathering.  He is a powerful speaker and leader, and his philosophy of Creation Spirituality is the basis for the spiritual community to which I belong.  Creation Spirituality is the belief that all creation is Original Blessing, and it integrates the wisdom of Eastern and Western spirituality with current scientific understanding and the passion of creativity.

Cover of "Creativity"

Cover of Creativity

We Must Be Creative To Solve Problems

To those who do not see themselves as creative, Fox’s quote may seem abstract, but as one who has participated in all the fine arts and for a time was a professional modern dancer, I know exactly what he means.  In fact, as surprising as it may seem, my studies of dance, theater, voice, and art have all taught me how to create a better life for myself because they taught me how to keep my mind open and how to create order from chaos.

In life as in art, we are continually faced with making decisions.  Using our rational mind to make these decisions is one approach, but we also have a right brain, as well as a left brain, that can lead us down many paths to solve each problem.  We are most likely to find a good, workable solution to the problems that confront us when we are willing to consider more than one possibility.

We Must Experiment to Create Order Out of Chaos

As a choreographer, I learned to experiment—try this movement and that.  I would develop a theme and then create variations to make the dance more interesting while allowing the basic theme to give it unity.  When this approach didn’t work, I threw out the movement that didn’t look good and explored how I could use another movement to express my idea.  Once in a while, I would choreograph a large portion of a dance and have to face the fact that it just didn’t work.  It didn’t communicate what I wanted, or it wasn’t interesting enough, or it just didn’t flow and I would have to throw out the whole thing.

And at times, I would just have to wait.  I could feel the solution to the problem simmering in the back of my mind.  Then, in a dream or while I was vacuuming or reading a book, suddenly the image would appear—a rhythmic pattern, a series of movements, a costume or concept—and  reveal to me the missing piece I needed to complete the dance.

Life often feels like this to me.  A problem arises and I don’t know how to solve it.  I research, talk to people I know and hopefully what I need to do becomes clear.  But at times, my daily life feels like chaos and no answers appear.  When it begins to feel out of control, I have to stop.  I remember that the answers to my questions cannot appear if I’m not listening with the “holy patience” that Fox refers to.

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Answers May Be Found When We Are Quiet

So, I go within to meditate or step into the natural world and let the playful squirrels or singing birds remind me I am a part of something more than the chaos that wears me down.  When I’m calm, I am better able to discern what I need to do.  It may be nothing or I may need to deal with the chaos by setting up a schedule and prioritizing what I need to do.  Using my creativity, I dance on that edge between chaos and order.

We are the artists of our own lives, and we have many choices about how to create order out of our chaos.  But the most important thing is for us to believe that we can.  We can only change the world if we believe we can change our own lives, and if we believe that, we will find the way to do it.  Because each time we succeed in creating order out of chaos, we inspire ourselves and those who observe our actions, who perhaps will be inspired to change their lives.

Our Lives are Sacred

Perhaps this is what Fox meant in his talk when he said, “If we have a sense of the sacred, we can change things.”  We do not have to do it alone.  In those quiet moments, even in the midst of chaos, we are in touch with Spirit.  We are reminded that we are sacred, our lives are sacred, and the earth is sacred.  We live in a creative Universe, and as we create our lives, let us remember we are each artists who can create order out of the chaos of our world.  No one else can do this for us.

How are you the artist of your life?  Please comment.

© 2013 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles: Matthew Fox – Creation Spirituality (video), How to Create a Balanced Life:  How to Feel Calm and Grounded, Everyone Is Invited to This Dance, Creativity


“Holding on is believing there is only a past; letting go is knowing there is a future.” Daphne Rose Kingma

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Do you find it easy to let go of old ways of doing things?  Do you often resist change?  Are you excited by frequent change?

Every autumn as the leaves fall, I am in awe of how easily and naturally nature moves toward winter.  At first, the leaves turn brilliant red, yellow, and orange—a gift that makes us forget how much we loved the lush green of spring and summer.  Then, as we revel in this display, the leaves begin to gently drop, showering our yards with color and providing the material to mulch and feed our lawns and gardens. When finally the trees are bare, we discover vistas that were obscured by their leaves, and the sky opens, displaying clouds and stars we couldn’t see before.

Letting Go Is a Natural Part of Nature

As we drift into winter, we remember that in the spring the leaves, flowers, and warmth will return, but now is the time for going inward, to light fires, and snuggle up with lovers and books. It is a time of reevaluation, thinking, and contemplation.  Letting go of the past is part of the cycle of life.  Each change and each new cycle opens us to a new experience that may enrich our lives and expand our awareness.

Letting Go Creates New Space for New Ideas

Wouldn’t it be nice if letting go were as easy for us as it is for nature?  We would experience much less anxiety if we could accept this aspect of change as a natural part of living and understand that letting go creates the space for new growth.  As long as we keep the doors of our mind closed, nothing new or beneficial can enter.

Craggy Gardens & Pinnacle 2013 012

We Fear the Unknown

Our reluctance to let go is usually related to our fear of the unknown.  Although we may become bored with life always following the same pattern, at least we know what to expect and that feels comforting.  The irony is that despite our determination to keep things the same, they change anyway and impact our lives.  When we are forced to change by circumstance rather than choice, the more we resist, the more the difficulties persist.

The Unknown May Be Filled With Gifts

On the other hand, some people are always looking for new adventure and find venturing into the unknown exciting.  Most of us fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes, experiencing both fear of the unknown, but also being willing to embrace change when necessary.  When we believe that, although we can’t predict the future, life often brings us unexpected gifts, we are more likely to let go of the aspects of our lives that aren’t serving us well.

Years ago, when I was divorced in Washington, D. C., I loved living there, but I wanted to teach dance in college, and most of the positions for which I applied were filled by people who had danced with major New York companies.  When I was offered a position to teach at a college in central Nebraska, I decided to take a chance.  I loved Washington, but I needed an income and didn’t want to give up dance.  I had to let go of my life in the east and move on.

It wasn’t easy leaving what I knew—my spiritual and artistic community and friends, but up to this point, my life had been strongly influenced by my parents and then my husband’s needs.  I had only visited Nebraska once for the interview, but the opportunity I wanted was there.  Like the pioneers who inhabited those plains, I headed out for the unknown land feeling fear and excitement.

Nebraska Wildflowers

Letting Go May Be Transformative

The most important thing I learned from my time in Nebraska was not to judge what I do not know.  I loved the students and made some of the best friends I’ve ever had.  I learned to not accept appearances but to look deeper to find the subtle beauty of the plains.  Most of all, I learned I could adapt to a new environment and that gave me the confidence to believe that letting go of what was comfortable, but limiting, was not so frightening.

Letting go of what no longer serves us can transform our lives.  On the personality level, we often become very attached to the work we do for a living.  I’ve seen too many people retire and let their lives just slip away because they are not in touch with who they really are.  I understand this.  It took me a long time to disconnect from identifying myself as a dancer to seeing I was so much more as a person.

My father never made the transition, and unlike many people who use their retirement to become involved with helping others and following their true passions, he seemed to feel his life was over.  He became a grandfather and enjoyed that, but still he never completely engaged life again.  He just drifted through each day, reminisced about his past achievements, and watched television.

Being Authentic Frees Us

When we are conscious of our interior life as well as our exterior life, we can discover what we need to do in order to live an authentic life.  We are able to let go of the persona we developed to please our family or employer and find the courage to reveal who we really are.  We shed the superficialities and find the courage to be honest and real.  We let go of others expectations and follow our own path into the unknown, finding the future path that will lead us to a meaningful life.  Letting go of what limits us is a powerful gift to give ourselves and others.

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                                                 ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:   Ten Tips to Let Go of the Past and Embrace the Future,   8 Effective Ways to Let Go and Move On, Releasing Fear and Limiting Beliefs,  The Ultimate Letting Go:  Release Your Fear and Be Free


“Each and every master, regardless of the era or place, heard the call and attained harmony with heaven and earth.  There are many paths leading to the top of Mt. Fuji, but there is only one summit – love.”  Morihei Ueshiba

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What is the pinnacle of your success?  How do you know when you have reached the summit of your journey?  Was it what you expected it to be?

Last weekend, a friend and I drove up the Blue Ridge Parkway to see the autumn colors at their peak.  With trees covering the roadway much of the way, we traveled through a tunnel that at times glowed with the yellow of tulip poplar and the bronze of beech.  At another turn in the road, the light was transformed by the red of maples and sourwood.  Like crystal sparkling, the light played through leaves and branches luring us into another world inhabited only by nature.

Our Expectations May Lead to Disappointment

We were seduced by its beauty into believing that, at our destination, the colors would be at perfect peak.  When we arrived at Craggy Gardens, the mountains were, for the most part, a lovely array of the usual red, orange, and yellow that we expected, but not as intense as I had seen them in the past, and on some hillsides the trees were already stripped of their leaves.  It was beautiful—just not as brilliant as I had hoped.  I was disappointed.

We hiked up the side of the mountain to 5,500 feet to a bald, a treeless area at the summit where there is only low-growing vegetation.  At other times of the year, blueberries and rhododendron grow there, but at this time of year there is little colorful vegetation and the grass is mostly brown; however if one looked beyond what was in the immediate foreground, a beautiful and breath-taking vista opened.

A Higher Perspective May Open Our Minds to the Beauty of Life

The sky was clear and intensely blue with wisps of cirrus clouds streaming over the mountains.  Meandering streams and roadways danced through the hills, creating a patch work of light, shadow and color.  Beyond the bald, where most of nature was sleeping, we looked out on a vibrant world.  When we focused on the broader perspective from this higher place, we saw beauty, not desolation, and above our heads, silhouetted against the blue sky, were the bright red berries of a mountain ash.

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In life, as in nature, we experience the beautiful with the mundane or disappointing.  Even when we reach the summit of our careers and live out our greatest dreams, they may not be what we expected.  In my twenties I thought that my life would be perfect if I could only dance with a modern dance company.  I felt I had reached the pinnacle of my success when, finally, that dream came true.

It was a beautiful and inspiring experience, but I experienced a great deal of physical pain and had far more stage fright than I’d ever had acting.  The physical aspect of performing was a great disappointment, but from a spiritual and higher perspective, it was very rewarding.  At times, dancing was transcendent, and as I taught and choreographed more, I realized it was not the performing I loved most—it was the teaching and making dances.

With time, I became more whole and able to see how the mind and body interacted.  This broadened what I could teach others and helped me to improve my health.  When I let go of my ego’s need to be a performer, I was able to see the value of dance from a higher perspective.

Nature May Remind Us That We Are All One

When my friend and I were hiking, we also went to Craggy Pinnacle, the highest spot in the area where we could see those magnificent mountains from a 360 degree view.  There was something about standing in such place that allowed all expectations and focus on self to drop away.  We were one with the world that surrounded us.  From that place, there were no piles of trash or run down houses or torn up roadways or contentious neighbors.  All the details blended with the beauty of nature.

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In those moments at the top of the mountain, I forgot about the hillsides that were bare or that the red leaves weren’t as red this year as before.  I forgot about the aching toe I’d stubbed on the way up or the hours of raking leaves ahead of me as the leaves blanketed my yard.  I no longer mattered, for I was not separate from the beauty around me.

Love Opens Us to the Dance of Life

When we can view life from the summit, from a spiritual perspective, we are able to see the wholeness of a situation and love what is there.  While my pursuit of dance was originally very ego based, as my mind opened, it became not only a spiritually-enlivening experience, but one that led me to share insights with others so that they could be helped by what I had learned.  Reaching the pinnacle was really only the beginning of a life-long journey of learning to love my whole self and others and to discover there is so much more to the dance of life.

If you want to learn more about my journey, my memoir Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness is available at Amazon and Create Space.

Have you reached the pinnacle in some area of your life?  What did you learn from it?  Please share your thoughts.

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                                     ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  (video) Akido – Way of Harmony, The Spiritual Inspiration of Nature, Nature Mysticism, Photo Nature Blog


“Something opens our wings.  Something makes boredom and hurt disappear.  Someone fills the cup in front of us.  We taste only sacredness.”  Rumi

Sergey Yeliseev

Photographer: Sergey Yeliseev

What is sacred to you?  How important is it in your life?  What role does it play in helping you deal with challenges in life?

Accessing the Sacred Through Creativity

I begin to write a poem inspired by a thought created by something I see in nature or one that comes to me through Spirit.  I start writing, letting the thoughts and images flow without editing until they stop.  There is no rational thought here.  It feels like the words come from a sacred place filling the empty page, and if I am writing about nature, a tree or an animal, it feels as if I become one with it.

Any creation is sacred.  When I am creating, it doesn’t matter what is happening in my life.  The conflicts, aches, frustrations all drop away and I am floating in a clear sky, peaceful and full of potential.  Opening my wings, I open my mind.



Georganne Spruce

The breath of the wind

Rustling through the maples

Touches my cheek gently,

And I become the Raven

Coasting on an updraft.

Wings touching the clouds,

I bend backwards and stretch

Upon the cool fresh grass,

My wings becoming

Arms again.

The crickets sing in my ear,

Their chorus of ancient rhythms

Inspire me and I dance

On the breath of life

As I have never danced.

Like the cave artist, I draw

My ecstatic dance through space

Singing with the crickets,

Dancing on the earth

Where fires will glow at night

Welcoming sages.

I will dance for them

My truths,

I will dance for them

My joy,

I will dance for them

The Raven’s dance,

Wings flying through eternity,

Littering holy messages

At their feet,

I will dance life,

I will dance life,

I …will…dance…LIFE!

Finding Peace At Our Centers

But when our wings don’t open, and the boredom and hurt don’t disappear, and no one fills the cup, what can we do?  This morning I had to balance my chakras before I could do anything.  The challenges of mundane life became a burden this week, and every attempt I made to move forward was blocked.  I’ve felt emotionally exhausted from not being able to complete the changes I needed to make and finally realized I was neglecting my spiritual self, and that was what was creating the problem.  When I am centered, the challenges do not become burdens.

English: A dancer of Sri Devi Nrithyalaya perf...

English: A dancer of Sri Devi Nrithyalaya performing one of the Karanas (key poses) of Natya Yoga. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Releasing the Ego’s Concerns

Often, stepping into the spiritual realm by doing meditation, affirmations, yoga or chakra balancing will take us to a place where we can let go of our ego and emotional attachments to the things that burden us.  When we have released the attachment, we can often see the situation more objectively and open our minds to solutions we haven’t considered.  But most importantly, it reminds us that there is more to us than our physical lives.

Connect With Spirit Through Nature

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For me, connection with nature has a calming influence and reminds me I am connected to all living beings and that awareness expands my energy.  The sound of flowing water, the soaring bird, the playful squirrel all remind me of the beauty inherent in all of us and that we are all One, connected by the energy of Spirit and that there is a peace beneath the surface chaos.

Art May Take Us Deeper

But words, music, art, or dance may also take us to a deeper level and bathe our soul in peace or joy.  Athletes often speak of being in the flow.  Regardless of the activity, when we experience the Oneness of that flow or connect on the heart level to a piece of music, art, or poetry, we are in a sacred space and become a part of the dance of life.  We are uplifted in the deepest sense and strengthened by our connection to the sacred.

How do you experience the sacred in your life?  Please Comment.

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                                         ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  9 Practical and Spiritual Tips for Letting Go of Unhealthy Attachments, Eckhart Tolle – Acceptance and Surrender, 5 Ways to Find Your Center When Life Feels Overwhelming


i‘m taking my own advice today and reblogging.  I will have a new post and new photos next week.  Namaste

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”  Thornton Wilder

Do you often feel overwhelmed by what you need to do?  Do you run your life or does your life run you?  Are you giving attention to those people or activities you most value?

Nature Enriches Our Spirits

I try to schedule a hike once a week during the summer because I feel such a strong need to be out in nature.  It calms and connects me with Spirit in a deep way.  It’s also a great way to connect with people who also love nature, and since my main hiking buddy was away most of the summer, I enjoyed meeting more hikers.

It’s taken a while to find the right group.  When I first moved to the mountains, the first group I hiked with used hiking as an aerobic activity and went so fast it was impossible to enjoy the scenery and plant life.  Another group only went on lengthy, challenging hikes.  Finally I found a group that fit my needs, but these hikers also move too fast for me at times.

When I hike, I want to be able to see what is along the trail:  the flowers, mushrooms, moss, knarled branches, bright leaves, and small crawling creatures (as long as they don’t rattle).  I want to be engaged with what is around me:  feel the moisture, smell the scents, examine the textures.  The stimulation of hiking through such an extremely bio-diverse area can be intoxicating.  I love getting drunk on its beauty.

Missing Pleasure Through Haste

Soren Kierkegaard said, “Most people pursue pleasure with such breathless haste they hurry right past it.”  Have you ever been walking briskly past an art gallery or clothing store, saw a flash of something colorful, but you were half a block away before you could stop yourself to go back and see what it was that you only partly saw?  Think about how much time we could save if we would slow down and see what was before us without having to backtrack.

In our society, it isn’t just the speed with which we pursue pleasure that limits the pleasure in our lives; it’s the speed with which we do everything.  In many instances, we have committed to more than we can handle well.  We want to please everyone, help everyone, experience everything, and on top of that, time is literally speeding up.  We are now experiencing in one year what we used to experience in five years.  We think the solution to this problem is to hurry more.  It isn’t.

The Pleasure of Being in the Moment

How would we feel if we each took fifteen minutes a day to immerse ourselves in something we found truly pleasurable?  What if we took the time to really touch our partners fully aware of that touch?  What if we focused on the pleasurable taste, color and texture of each bite we eat?   What if, instead of rushing through the book we’re reading, we let ourselves merge with the delicious cadence and imagery of the words?

Rushing all the time doesn’t feel like living to me, and I’m not alone because several friends have made the same comment lately—they just need more time to be and less time to do.  It’s pretty clear that Spirit is trying to teach me how to do this because invariably when I start whizzing around the house at a high speed, I always trip over a chair, stab my thigh on the corner of a table, or spill a pitcher of water.  If I don’t have sense enough to slow down, life will do it for me.

Finding Spiritual Treasures in Our Hearts

To become more conscious, we need to notice when we feel stressed, angry, overwhelmed, or exhausted.  We need to simply stop, take a breath, go to our heart centers and feel who we are.  We need to look around us for the beauty we may have missed.  What’s more important, seeing your child’s smile or cleaning the house?  When we move too fast all the time, we become insensitive.  Anything that gets in the way of our getting the “work” done gets pushed aside, and if that includes people we love, that’s a tragedy.

As Thornton Wilder reminds us, we aren’t really alive unless, at the heart level, we are conscious of our “treasures.”  We have to pay attention and strip away the distractions.  It means we have to leave the party or race track, stop using the alcohol and drugs to give us the high our pleasure-loving selves pursue, and get in touch with what is deep and worthwhile where the deepest pleasures of love, peace and joy reside.  It means we have to give up our obsession with achievement, our need to always be right, and our desire to please everyone.  We have to take time to find our centers, linger in the heart to see what our real treasure is, and prioritize our lives so we have the time to see what really matters.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce                                                                   ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Wake Up, and You Can Help the World AwakenAwakening the Mysterious Feminine Goddess, How can I Be In the Present Moment – Eckhart Tolle  (video)


“They must often change, who would be constant in happiness and wisdom.”  Confucius

What do you feel about autumn?  Does it depress or invigorate you?  What is good about this change?

Living in the Midst of Nature

My yard is almost completely covered with oak leaves, and walking down the driveway is very tricky with the abundance of acorns and the slippery leaves.  When I walk down to get the mail, I have to be in the present giving full attention to where I step.  No matter how fast I’ve been moving through the day, I am forced to slow down.

Yesterday it was in the mid-seventies and I had the back door open while I ate lunch.  A strange sound like a light sprinkle of rain arose.  I looked up from the book I was reading, but it was dry outside.  The sound continued sparking my curiosity, so I walked to the door and looked up into the old trees in the yard.  A wind was blowing, visible only at the very top of the trees, and as it increased, a shower of golden leaves blanketed the deck and yard.

Some mourn the loss of summer and find the autumn depressing, but the changes in nature are so dramatic that I continue to be awed by them and am reminded that these changes are natural.  We can accept the change or be unhappy about it.  It really is our choice, and much of life is like that.

Awakening to the Wisdom of Change

Confucius’ quote reminds us that resisting change won’t bring us happiness or wisdom.  Change is a natural element of life.  In order to experience happiness, we must be flexible, accept the fact we can’t control everything or everyone in our lives.  When things aren’t going our way, we need to see what we can learn from the experience or how we can reframe our response to a more positive assessment of the situation.

Wisdom is also about change and growth.  The wise elders are the ones who can see the depth and meaning in life as it changes and evolves.  They are in touch with the eternal.  They see that, although we experience physical changes through the seasons, birth and death, moving out into the world and finding new environments, these are all physical experiences.  What really matters is how we see and deal with the change and our willingness to look deeper.

Limitations of Resistance

The unwise among us are the ones who resist any and all change.  They create a safe cocoon in which anyone and anything that does not fit is rejected.  They defend their way of doing things to the death—the death of the relationships they have or to literal death.  When we have been close to nature and attentive to its cycles, we know how futile this is.

Finding Happiness in Change

I am much happier than I’ve ever been.  Do I have everything I want?  No.  But over the years I have learned to be more flexible and that has reduced the stress in my life.  I am more accepting of the things I cannot change.  I love Alan Watts’ comment:  “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

This year I am definitely dancing with autumn, hiking up and down the mountains, sliding down slopes of dry leaves, looking up into the blue sky to be dazzled by the brilliant red leaves waving over head.  Like autumn, my life is in great flux, learning to promote my books, flooded with new ideas like the shower of leaves blanketing my yard.  I hardly know which way to turn, but it’s all good because it is taking me some place I want to go.

Nurturing Our Spiritual Selves

Now the weather is beautiful and I can be outside, but soon the winter will come with cold and snow and unpredictable weather.  Then it will be time to go inside, literally and figuratively.  I’ll spend more time promoting my book online, finding more silence and time for thinking about what to do next, snuggling under the blanket in front of the fire, going deeper.  What’s nice about winter is that if we have nurtured our own interiors, we have no need to fear this time.  And if we haven’t, it’s a good time to start clearing up our “stuff” without the distractions of sunshine and flowers blooming.

So, this week I’m going to plunge into the leaves, dance through them with my rake and move them into the plastic bags the city insists I use (okay, I’m still not happy about this, but I’m moving on).  And once it becomes too cold for pleasant hiking, I’ll just turn on the music and dance inside.

What do you like most about the autumn?  What does it mean to you?

© 2012 Georganne Spruce                                                       ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

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