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"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi


A Walk in Nature

Feeling low the other day, I picked up pen and paper to ask my still, small voice for higher insight. My conscious mind, always ready with an opinion, ticked off logical reasons like dreary weather, fatigue and worry about loved ones. I scribbled these down and then came the wisdom I sought: "Underneath every appearance of pain and desolation is the beginning of a new stage in one's life, for here is the upheaval which moves the body into new growth and what comes next."

Such impulses arise in the soul, I was told, in the changing seasons of our lives. Winterís long rest of integration ushers in the flowering of spring and summer to stir soul-growth; our souls and nature flow together in harmony with the One. I was advised to decide upon the context of my soul growth and to align my conscious mind with it, for it is resistance which creates the pain and difficulty in our lives. If we allow each aspect to cooperate, growth is not painful at all. It is a joyful adventure in consciousness.

The impulse of growth is irresistible, isnít it? In spring and summer, we feel the urge to clear away what is old and unwanted, to walk in nature and the silence of the deeper self and listen to the thoughts emerging from within. In this way we awaken to the still, small voice which makes itself known as the heartís desires; these ripple into our thinking minds to move us to concerted action. Inside a sunlit cathedral of stained-glass trees or the wide-open horizons of desert and seashore, we drink in natureís beauty, a magic elixir poured into the cup of love to nourish our growth. If we are feeling empty and drained, Spirit outstretches the cup to us.

Back in 1988, the beautiful, lyrical images in my earliest meditative writings called me out of my terminal busy-ness and back into the heart of nature. Sitting on the porch of a rustic cypress cabin, watching the play of light on the rippling currents of a river, I read the truth of my life in natureís stories and slowly opened my heart to a Source of love and wisdom that grows more vibrant in me each day.

Years later, while writing a book at the seashore, I asked to understand this process and am still receiving the most amazing answers, like evidence last night intended for you, too: how, in Kirlian photography, the energy fields of leaves shrink in winter and awaken as light tendrils in April, bursting out in June as a full, bushy halo lasting until September. I am ever grateful to this Goodness which has attuned us to the cycles of nature: peaceful evolution rooted in joy.

The late psychic healer Edgar Cayce called us to nature as a way to commune with God, and decades later, the brain wave science of meditation researcher Anna Wise showed that using our senses to perceive images of nature during meditation creates a relaxed, detached state opening to the deeper, enlightened mind of creativity, empathy, intuition and spiritual connection. A walk in nature brings about the same effect by synchronizing us with Mother Earth. Our magnificent planet emits a dominant pulse frequency that induces the same relaxed, detached awareness that is the doorway to higher consciousness and lasting growth and transformation.

When we rejoice in nature with all our senses, the voice of soul is able to impart what we need to know. Everything affects us in this way, including people and events who serve as mirrors to us. Gradually, we climb the mountaintop of consciousness and in the panorama of creation, we perceive the divine right order in all of life. Separation and judgment drop away so that Light may shine fully upon us.

The only thing in our way is negative thoughts, emotions, attitudes and beliefs which, projected outward, create conflict in our lives. Yet itís easy to release snarled thoughts and emotions, for the healing power of nature is within us, too. Simply find a quiet space outside or in the landscape of your mind, set a healing intention, and spend a few moments in loving communion with a white light that is slightly above and toward the back of your head.

Every walk in nature is a healing experience, especially when we gather earth energy with our feet (or minds) and breathe it from the ground upward through the spiritual centers of the spine to the top of the head. Native people dance in a circle to build up this energy so the shaman can draw from it to heal the person at the center of the circle.

Why don't you be the person at the center of that circle? I am determined to be, as I am so often reminded by my still, small voice that beauty is the music of life and our dance with the divine. When we live in beauty, radiant light illumines our growth and lights up the world.


(Judith Pennington is a writer, teacher and author of "The Voice of the Soul," a journey into transformation and enlightenment. Visit her website,, and relax in the light-filled beauty of "The Illuminated Door," Judith's musical guided meditation CD. Sign up for her free e-newsletter, The Still, Small Voice, featuring articles related to this one.)



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