Why Nature Shows the Way Past Despair

As I write this post, both the Amazon rainforest and the Arctic are burning at a devastating rate. Since we were just looking last week at presence in this online workshop, these tragic events provide us an opportunity to practice it. Presence can shed compassionate light on tender, even painful questions, such as, why there is suffering in the world. It illuminates the possibility of another way. It helps us connect with the immensity of our capacity to love, serve, and feel at one with the wisdom of Nature.

In the light of presence and in the spirit of learning from Nature, we can ask ourselves, why are the Arctic and Amazon ablaze? Why are crops failing and species going extinct in such alarming numbers today? And why do so many people seem to turn an apathetic blind eye to it all?

I believe that the answer lies in understanding the power of our interconnection with the planet that gives us life. The Earth is a complex living organism with intelligence beyond what we can truly understand. Feverish today, she is like a person with a raging temperature, building internal heat to shake off an infection. It is as if the planet is trying to shake off the weight we put on her: the physical toxins we emit in the air, water and food. We could also add to this the etheric toxins we emit in our disconnected actions and distorted thoughts. We have lost touch with the impact of our choices on our environment, how what we think, feel and do affects all beings, everywhere. The responsibility that comes with our inherent interconnection may feel daunting. So, we try to manage, outsmart, even out-do Nature. When we see a chaotic world that seems to have gone mad, we may give into despair.

Yet, Nature does not despair. With fierce love, she cries louder than ever to be heard: I am here! Think of the flower that sprouts through concrete. Does it become despondent at the weight through which it must arise? Or does it simply grow in beauty? Consider the whales who, hunted to a fraction of their former population, killed by ship strikes and often in agony from a noisy ocean, still approach people to protect them from harm, or to request their help. Look at this Great Whale Conservancy video and notice how the humpback whale behaves after being freed from a fishing net. In every breathtaking arc up out of the water and every thunderous slap of her tail, she embodies joy and generosity of spirit.

We find inner and outer peace in presence, interconnection, and by following Nature’s example. Doing so shifts us from the pain of disconnect into the true magnificent possibilities of our lives.

Until next week, please consider these questions:

  • Am I willing to be present, even when I feel upset at what’s happening in my life and in the world?
  • Am I willing to feel interconnected, right now?
  • What will I do this week to follow Nature’s example for compassionate action and inner peace?

From my heart to yours,

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