by CSA FAculty member Karyn Prentice
Helen Keller said that all that what we love becomes a part of us. These words arose in my memory when I was out on a morning walk earlier this week when we had a wave of arctic -5-degree weather. It was my usual walk with Gracie, my dog, and she was bouncy, excited to be walking on the crunchy frosted grass. It really seemed to enliven her in a way the same grass of the week before had not been so.
The cold made me pay more notice about where I was stepping not wanting to go bum- over- head on an icy patch and it also made me slow down. It was then that I focused more on the way ice crystals formed on everything, on every branch, and on each leaf dressed in a sheath of white like someone had sprinkled sugar over everything. Everything was dressed in white. In that all but silent space nature was offering up a whole new mid-winter outfit she didn’t get to dress up in very often and she was a stunner. It made my day that walk of wonder – inviting to see my every day neighbourhood morning with a fresh gaze, falling love all over again. I saw that I am in and of nature in a different way.
And this is not just in the ordinariness of every day walks. What a lot of my clients say when we are out together walking through a question they are pondering, is that when Nature is folded into the conversation consciously it has an impact on how they look around them, and there is an intimacy of the surroundings that falls into step with them. It enhances their reflections and connections and also on their state of being. It is offering new ways of being and doing which are coming together as insight and wisdom.
One client who I have known a long time was coming to the end of the story she was feeling stuck in, working out a strategy that might help her and knowing “a piece was missing”. We decided to walk out this mystery and see what would arise. I invited her to walk until something she saw, experienced or noticed would tell her what the missing piece was about. We walked quietly along a trail that went through a park and into a small wood. After a couple of minutes, she stopped and pointing to the grounds said that’s it. Right in the middle of the path equidistance between two hedges was a small stone shaped roughly like a heart. That’s it she said. I have been coming at my issue from a purely analytical perspective and it is missing a huge piece here. What does my heart need?
Pema Chodron in her teachings for awakening the heart in everyday life1 speaks of resting in the nature of allay; the essence. Alaia comes from both the Hebrew and Sanskrit word for dwelling, a home place if you like. Somewhere to rest in presence and consider what needs our attention. We can bring our minds back home and rest right there, in present, unbiased awareness. For me Nature can feel like that place even with the changing of the weather, even with the evolution of the seasons and even with the comings and goings of issues. Here is a place stop, rest. Collect and recentre, find the wisdom we need.
In embracing the role nature plays we have the potential for three things. Firstly, we recognise that we are intrinsically part of nature in all its permutations around us from icy crystals to forests and rivers; everything is connected, we are all in kinship. Secondly, we honour this relationship in its fragility and through its messages from the small ones that inspire day to day encounters and also in the big ones that call us out to take big action today for tomorrow’s reckoning. Thirdly, it invites us to we step forward to protect nature, - to take practical steps to look after what we love as guardians. In looking after nature, we look after ourselves and each other. Because what we love has become a part of us.
Journey through a way to recognise, honour and explore in the close up and personal with our new programme “Sacred Landscape with NATURE AS INSPIRATION AND PARTNER: A Year’s Immersion in Nature and the Wisdom of the Five Seasons to Enrich You and You’re Coaching and Supervision Practice
Join Elaine Patterson and me and bring Nature into the picture to inspire your work and be a place to dwell regardless of what hemisphere you live and work in. This exquisite metaphor has something to offer for coaches or coaching supervisors. We start in March, meet virtually once a season for five seasons, mornings or afternoons at your time zone choice.
Find the sign up at The Coaching Supervision Academy CPD events through this link: Sacred Landscape with Nature as Inspiration and Partner
Click here for detailed brochure for the programme