Day 279/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.
Since the turn of the century, and the revelation that we are epigenetically attuned to our environment, there have been many studies that demonstrate our relational connection with our natural environment. Charlene Spretnak authored Relational Reality to compile many of these studies and make sense of their application.
Allow mother nature to nurture you. How many time have we heard that and not understood its powerful message.
We need to remember that we are part of the natural world. We belong here. It belongs here. There was a time in human history when we lived closer to nature. For our indigenous cultures it has been very recent and they grapple with trying to stay true to that connection when all around them in the Westernised world there seems to be no concept of the supportive nature of our natural environment.
I don't know when we departed from nature, but I'm beginning to understand how much we have domesticated our lives which has moved us away from our most natural instincts and our natural knowing of the land and the nature it supports.
It's perfectly natural to be so in sync with nature that you understand her silent voice. For most of us in the Western world this is a foreign concept yet for all indigenous and ancient cultures this is a perfectly natural way of being. To know if a fruit is suitable for consumption or when it is perfectly ready for picking is simply a natural knowing to some. Most of have trouble trying to figure out if something is off in the refrigerator.
And not only do we sync or attune with nature, we attune with each other even more readily. Our nervous systems are designed to regulate together.
When we think of breastfeeding as a means of delivering food we miss the enormous value of neurological calibrating that is happening between mother and child, regulating that is necessary for the healthy development of the child's brain. We stop trusting our instincts and rely too heavily on science to tell us its okay.
When we create hybrid species of fruiting trees to conveniently fit into our small urban backyards, we dilute the strong genetics that have sustained the species for generations. We'll value the aesthetic quality of the produce more than the nutrient quality, and take a handful of vitamins to compensate.
We'll spend time and effort to support indoor plants for our decorative pleasure and wonder why we are constantly fighting bugs and diseases as we try to coax them to live in an unnatural environment.
We have domesticated our pets, not to mention bred them out of their original gene pool, again for aesthetics and our pleasure, and feed them artificial pet foods that leads to all manner of diseases as they age, and we've come to accept that this is how life for pets is.
I'm learning and observing more about how our domestication is taking us further and further away from our natural habitat. Any wonder we don't see the value of the forests and lakes and oceans of the world.
Today I'm feeling disgusted in the outcome of our domestication and the way of life that we have anaesthetised or hypnotised ourselves to accept.
As much as I can I am returning to a more natural way of living with the world. Starting with regenerating the soil on my small urban block around my home, I'm planning to grow mostly trees that fruit. So far I have 12 trees producing avocados, citrus, olives, nectarines, feijoa, macadamia nuts, Davidson plums, lycee and bee attracting flowers. Around their feet I'll plant edible tubers and leafy greens. Lining the paths will be flowering plants to attract bees and provide habitats for other critters.
I'm learning about the value of the various insects that visit my garden. Did you know there are red lady bugs that eat aphids, but also yellow lady bugs that eat powdery mildew? Ants that eat fruit fly lavae, and wasps that breed in caterpillars that are eating the fresh green leaves on the citrus trees. There's an army of bugs that chew through my compost piles, worms that aerate the soil and a whole ecology of microbes under the mulch that wraps around and nurtures the tree roots.
I'm restoring an ecology in my small space that I hope, I know, will one day be thriving. It's a small thing, it's only my garden, but it's the best start I can make. I'm grateful to be surrounded by wild growing native trees along the creek in front of my home and as far as my eye can see in the valley.
Nature has nurtured me now for many decades. We all feel the call to be surrounded by the beauty of nature sometimes. Take yourself there as often as you can, and if you're really committed to living well, you'll come to understand the supportive way that nature nurtures you if you allow it.
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.