By Gerry Ellen
In all fairness to the land we live in and the land we call home, we have a simple job to do: show up.
We have to show up every moment of every hour of every day, of every month, of every year. It is a concept that has been through the mill, without exception, in greater levels of this world. Yet, things tend to get fuzzy and complicated when the pressures of human existence and voices tremble in our minds and hearts. No matter the age or the race, if we stare at ourselves in the mirror immediately upon waking up, we’ll see a person staring back who might need a pep talk. We might even see a person underneath the gleaning in the eyes and the messed up bed-head who is willing and patient for how life reveals herself.
Is that person looking back someone you admire? Someone you are hoping to aspire to be?
Whoever is returning the gaze is a person who needs to show up.
Take stock of your daily life, whether in written form, in meditation, or however feels like a suitable modicum for altering or accepting what is, or isn’t. I have this practice that has become somewhat of a ritual, and far be it from anything upstanding or outstanding, yet it is my own manner of dealing with (and discerning who) is readily available or capable of being in my inner circle.
I used to never abide by boundaries or edges where I could say “no, not for me” or “that sounds wonderful, but I’m not interested.” These are such simple and poignant phrases, but they weren’t that easy for a sociable creature such as myself. Enter years and worn out attitudes, and I’m more apt to spread my wings with those whose feelings of abundance and joy are spilling out of their pores in droves. This planet needs more of these kinds of humans and their practice of thanking the day.
Laying out boundaries to the extremes is one thing, but softening some edges, having a sense of reason, seeing new sides to every story, then responding in a way that is congenial and thoughtful is a good way to go.
This is showing up in action.
Spending quality moments in nature is the antidote. It doesn’t have to be a blow out vacation, or traveling thousands of miles to witness relics and treasures from afar. Nature doesn’t care about where your feet are planted, or how much time is spent in her surreal beauty; she wants to know the nuts and bolts of the gratitude when being among flowers, trees, birds, large beasts, bugs, dirt, sand, oceans, rivers, including all elements that produce the essence of who she is as a planet. Walk around, feel the pulse and hum of her breathing.
Hear her creatures singing and howling and moving about. Smell the aromas and scents of freshly budded yearlings high in the sky, or low to the ground. Watch with patience the soaring of wings, the scampering from limbs to branches, the gentle movement and grace of tentacles and long legs.
This is abundance. This is the richness that we live among and thrive within the second we wake up. It evokes wonder and awe in the darkest and most sensitive of places, both in our hearts and out in the world.
I don’t know if I’ve reached a pinnacle in my own human existence where shivers are still conjured up every time I am exploring, even in my own backyard—so to speak—but it feels spectacular. Adventures happen often. Traveling is necessary to gain perspective on how much we have to be thankful for in our lives. It is a solid way to create boundaries with others we meet, others we long to connect with, and Mother Nature herself. Trampling over her, squashing things on purpose, tossing plastics and non-biodegradable items out of the window, these are not acts of love and concern for our natural resources: this is our ego and darker selves being irresponsible and not showing up.
The planet deserves better. She gives and gives and expects nothing in return. She has built our hearts to succumb to compassion and empathy and kindness for our fellow travelers and creatures in the outer world. She is a force to be reckoned with every season. If we were to pledge our allegiance to discernment of how we perceive this big globe of ours to behave, we might grow more in abundance and richness within each of our own unique lives.
This is a grand hope of mine. Is it far fetched? Perhaps, yet I think we are a smart, compassionate and empathetic population on this planet that wants only the best for everything around and within us.
“The timeless in you is aware of life’s timelessness, and knows that yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream.” ~ Kahlil Gibran
Editor: Alicia Wozniak