Updated: Jan 22, 2021
For my very first blog post, I’m paying homage to the greatest lover of all – Mother Earth.
August is usually a busy travel season for me. But 2020 turns out to be anything but usual. I have been using my time wisely during social distancing – juggling between working full-time, developing my platform, diving deeply into an intensive intuitive training program, and making time for family and loved ones. It’s been 6 months since I last took time off, and I knew it was time for a sacred pause. I have decided against air travel given New York’s quarantine restrictions, and a sense of responsibility to do my part to not further the spread of COVID19. However, staycation is feeling very much like a regular day when indoor dining is still not allowed in New York City, so even spending a day at a coffee shop with a book is not an option.
Just as I was beginning to feel a sense of loss for the freedom I had long taken for granted, my friend Laura invited me on a camping trip she was organizing for Lion’s Gate portal, an auspicious astrological alignment that takes place on August 8 each year (I’m not well versed in astrology but you can read more about it here). Because of the intense cosmic energy, it is a particularly auspicious day for visioning. I was grateful for the divine timing and the beautiful intention of the trip!
I love camping, but admittedly I have zero survival skills in nature. I’m the kind of person who shows up at the camp without food, a flashlight, and proper clothing. I don’t know how to start a fire. I rely on divine intervention, not written instructions, in setting up a tent. I get a little frazzled if I have to cook and talk to people at the same time. And of course, I brought all the important things to survive a weekend in nature – my deer drum, a set of tuning forks, a rattle, and Tibetan singing bowls.
Luckily, like a ringleader in a superhero movie, Laura picked out a group of 7 wonder women with diverse skills and talents. In true Burning Man fashion, we each contributed our unique gifts and in turn, received generous offerings from one another. In our group, we had a green witch and amazing chef who turned her garden into nourishing meals. We had an herbalist who shared her plant and flower medicine, and had us smelling good all weekend despite the smoke and the sweat. We had medicine women who shared the wisdom of sacred cacao and guayusa in ceremonies. We had beautiful and kind-hearted sisters who kept us fed, drove us around, and had the fire burning until early morning (In Siberia, the shaman is referred to as the “keeper of the fire” – a person of service, the keeper of the community’s soul and well-being. Just saying!)
The weekend was absolutely magical, full of synchronicities, laughter, music, medicine, and wisdom. We came to remember our past, immerse in the present, and dream of a beautiful vision for the future. We were embraced by Gaia and watched over by the stars, becoming one with the earthly and the heavenly. My heart is full with awe and wonder, grateful for the sacred force that surrounds us with unconditional love and asks for nothing in return. I’m once again made humbled.
Here are five lessons inspired by Mother Earth this weekend:
1. The best things in the world are free. Mother Earth gives us everything we need to nourish our body, mind, and spirit, from the air we breathe, the water that cleanses our wounds, to the plants that heal our body. If we can just get out of the way and let nature do its thing, we will find abundance everywhere. The Earth is a gift and we human beings have a responsibility to care for her. What can you give back today?
2. Non-attachment. Mother Earth has no judgment about the seeds that are planted in her womb. She is all-nurturing and giving, regardless of what is being sprouted from her belly. She has no preconceived ideas about what will emerge out of her soil – the kind of flower, the color, how tall – her nature is to provide regardless of what her children look like. We can all learn something from her, whether we are actual parents of human beings, or we are birthing projects and ideas. Just give our babies tender love and care, and watch them blossom without attachment to outcomes.
3. Patience. Everything in nature has its cycles and rhythms. Going back to the seedling metaphor, give time and space for the seeds to sprout. We can control our efforts but not the outcomes. Sometimes a seed lies dormant and doesn’t sprout for a few seasons until the conditions are ripe, and that’s ok too. Our worrying and fussing over it is not going to make it grow any faster. As Lao Tzu said, “Nature does not hurry. Yet everything is accomplished.” Just trust and let the process unfold.
4. We are all connected. Spend an hour in the forest and you will see the beautiful symbiosis in nature. The interconnectedness of life is often beyond the perception of our senses and the comprehension of our conscious mind. The Earth teaches us to live in harmony with nature and other beings, and inspires us to be a force of good to all our relations, whether they are the four-legged, the two-legged, the creepy crawlers, the finned, the furred, and the feathered ones. Our actions have an impact on other beings, so we must choose wisely.
5. Nature is the best destroyer of ego. Stand in the heart of a canyon, or look up on a clear, starry night, and we cannot help but admit we are just a speck in the Universe. All the material things that plague our mind day in and day out don’t seem to have the same hold anymore. The overwhelming sense of awe leaves us with a deep swell of gratitude and humility. How do you remind yourself of this greater perspective when you find yourself reacting from a place of ego?