Walking barefoot along a beach, hiking through a mossy forest, smelling flowers in a beautiful garden . . . ah, so lovely. Yes, we’ve all experienced the healing and calming powers of Nature.
Sometimes we intuitively know we need a dose of Nature and so we head outside. And this is a wonderful thing.
If only we always had the time (or energy or motivation or ability) to get outside.
Schedules. Illness. Caregiving. Life.
It can feel like these things distance us from Nature.
But there is another way.
In fact, one of my most profound Nature alignment practices was created while I was virtually housebound. It came to me as a stillness practice during a difficult, intense, sleep-deprived(!) time, and it has strengthened my intuitive wisdom in surprising and beautiful ways.
Here’s my story . . .
My sweet, love-filled son was born in September 2017 at a healthy 21.5 inches long and 8.2 lbs. That autumn we got outside frequently but there’s always lots of sitting time during that newborn stage. I chose to nurse him, as I did my daughter. However we experienced difficulty. Lots of on-going pain for me. Lots (and lots and lots) of spit-ups for him.
It was December when we finally learned that his mouth anatomy was preventing him from latching well, and he was dropping precipitously on the weight growth percentile curve. We immediately had laser revision surgery (a quick out-patient procedure) and were hopeful that freeing his lip and tongue ties would correct our nursing difficulties in short order. They didn’t.
Our wonderful lactation consultant recommended that we rent a hospital scale so I could weigh my son before and after his feedings so I’d know exactly how much he was taking in.
I quickly learned just how little milk he was getting. And, consequently, how much my supply had fallen. At this point he was four months old.
I was heart-broken, and overcome with guilt.
Then, I went into your-mama-is-a-high-achiever-who’s-going-to-fix-this-damn-it mode.
This kind of determination can be very good . . . in moderation. When not moderated, it can be obsessive. And I admit that I became obsessed.
What followed were a solid three months of weighed feedings, pumping sessions between nursing sessions (to rebuild my own supply and give him supplemental bottle feedings) . . . and lots and lots and lots of sitting indoors.
In our nursing glider. At the dining room table while pumping. On the couch. In our nursing glider. At the dining room table while pumping. Repeat. Around the clock. I’d get up two or three times a night, not because of him (he slept great!) but so I could pump.
A couple weeks into this, I realized how much self-care I’d cast to the wayside. Especially getting outside. It was the middle of a pretty bitter winter so I wasn’t concerned about getting our infant son outside. But I know I need it year-round. Even if just a few minutes a day.
One day while sitting in our nursing chair, with him dozing on me, I started seeing everything around us with new eyes. The room in which I’d spent days and days suddenly looked . . . different.
The wood of his crib made me think of trees, with verdant green moss covering their roots extending deep into the earth.
The butterflies mobile moving almost imperceptibly allowed me to sense the delicate current of air moving through his room.
The shafts of mid-afternoon fiery sunlight beaming between the blinds and creating a flickering pattern on his floor.
The ever-present water bottle made me imagine how this same water was once flowing deeply underground.
And I realized I was experiencing the Four Elements of Nature. Right then and there.
Earth. Air. Fire. Water.
They were all around me. Ready to heal me right where I was. I simply needed to be aware and open to receive.
I’m pretty sure I cried.
Until that moment I hadn’t fully understood how much I needed to be with Nature. To heal. To feel connected. To feel whole. And Nature just reminded me it was right there all along.
I felt myself drawn to having conversations with each of the Elements.
I felt my mind clearing, and finding stillness in moments both short and long. I was making space to hear answers from the Elements. From Nature. From my intuition.
And this is how Elemental Stillness was born.
It’s beautifully simple. After all, Nature loves simplicity.
Earth. Air. Fire. Water.
Elemental Stillness is three simple steps:
1 – Mindful awareness that you’re interacting with a specific Element of Nature.
2 – Welcoming, and being open to receiving, a message from that Element.
3 – Sending gratitude to the Element.
It’s optimal to do this with each of the Elements of Nature at least once per day. It can be done in mere moments, or for long, meditative periods of time. You can mix and match the length of time throughout your day.
With daily practice, you’ll soon experience how you can access stillness with surprising ease.
You’ll soon realize that Nature is not “out there.”
Nature is not “other.”
Nature is not a tool or a method of healing or accessing stillness.
You are Nature and Nature is you. It doesn’t just flow through you. It is you. You’re inseparable.
Just as you are inseparable from your natural, intuitive wisdom. Your intuition is always with you. See it. Reclaim it.
This is alignment with Nature. This is alignment with yourself.
(p.s. Our son’s weight recovered well, and he’s a healthy rambunctious two-year old now. He eventually was able to drink well from a bottle. Though we never attained an effective nursing relationship, which I find I’m still grieving at times! Ah, the complex emotions of motherhood. I became an exclusive pumper for nearly a year, which was a huge commitment but, again, that high-achiever determination kicked in!
Finally, I want to say that the best food for a baby is healthy food—from the breast or from formula. I chose to breastfeed. We did have formula in the house, just in case. But we never used it. While I was rebuilding my milk supply we decided to supplement with a breastmilk donor, an amazing and generous mama that I met through our local breastfeeding support chapter. It truly takes a village.<3)
Are you ready to take action in creating your uniquely fulfilling life? You can reclaim your intuition and redefine your life by aligning with Nature. I invite you to Apply for a Free Breakthrough Session! It would be a pleasure to talk with you.