Have you ever been somewhere that people think of as paradise? They went there to escape wherever they were, and then they set out making the new place exactly like where they just left? That was my experience this weekend.
I went somewhere I had heard many great things about. I couldn’t wait to see it for myself. People said the scenery was so beautiful. The air was clean and fresh. It had a reputation for really nice, spiritual people who “get it.” Ooh! Sounds like my kind of place.
The problem is, you take you with you. When you take you with you, you’re going to recreate what you left behind because that’s what you know how to do. That’s where you are comfortable. So quite naturally, after a while, the old place becomes just like the one you left. Then to start the search for a new partner, new location, new job, or new whatever that is going to make things new. All the while you don’t see that you created the situation that you want to get away from. The problem is not the city, the crowd you run with, the government, or politics. It’s you.
If you are good, whole, balanced, or healthy, it won’t matter where you go, who your partner is, or what job you do. You will still be whole. Anything that isn’t resonating can easily be fixed. If you, the center of your life, is not right, changing the outside will have minimal impact.
So, think about what you’re searching for. What is here that isn’t there? Is it a product, service, environment, or feeling? If you know what it is, perhaps you can create it wherever you are. Or maybe you can make sure that you keep it if your locale changes.
For example, I was in the woods this weekend. It was massively crowded with the type of people who don’t spend a lot of time in the woods. Most were loud. They left tons of litter. They weren’t very self aware or other aware. It made the woods quite unwoodslike. I suspect they were there because they appreciated beauty and felt more alive there than in other places. They felt more like their true selves. The woods can do that.
Silence is also a bridge between species. It can help you to see birds, squirrels, and insects. It can help bring out the sounds of water and wind. When you are still enough, you can hear Nature speak. Whether you recognize it or not, it’s deeply grounding and connecting. When you’re loud, the animals stay away. You drown out the whispers of the elements.
How about the litter? How does that contribute or take away from the feeling? Well, I suspect that part of it has to do with beauty. An unspoiled view tends to bring out our appreciation a bit more. It’s easier to see the light inside a drop of dew when we’re not distracted by rubbish. It’s easier to want to relax in a mountain stream if there aren’t plastic bags caught in the rocks nearby.
When we take care and clean up after ourselves, it also stimulates a sense of connection or relationship with the environment. It’s a way of saying, “Thanks” for sharing the space. It’s a symbol of care taking. This gives us a feeling of gratitude, and gratitude is an element of happiness. We don’t get that when we don’t care.
When you tune into yourself, perhaps you will feel what moves you deeper into connection and what pulls you away from it. When you tune into others, it opens the door to connection and understanding. Do that in a space of nature and magic can happen.
I’m very happy to see people who don’t routinely spend time in Nature enjoying it. I hope that it means we will have more people appreciating the earth. It could just as easily mean more people exploiting her because how you do anything is how you do everything. If you take you with you, and you’re not mindful at home, you won’t be mindful elsewhere either. Being in Nature isn’t going to make you different. Being of Nature will.
Remember you take you with you. When you walk in peace, love, and oneness, you have the potential to spread it wherever you go. Or we can spread disrespect, self indulgence, selfishness, and a lack of awareness. It’s up to each of us to decide.