We are living in extraordinary times. Like many people, I’ve been riding the waves of personal and collective fear, grief, shock, chaos, hope, vulnerability, and openhearted tenderness as the reality around me in my country and in the world continues to shift.
Each day is a turn of a kaleidoscope, with new patterns, colors, and textures emerging. Certainly, this is by no means the first time that our collective human civilizations have experienced these crashing breakers – in many parts of the world, they have been ongoing for a long time – but this particular set of waves feels particularly chaotic and fast-paced.
I’ve been stunned by the upsurge of hateful speech and expression here in my small rural community; the waves of fear, grief, rage, and hope have been moving through me and so many of us like breakers at high tide.
For months, maybe up to a year, I’ve been hearing, feeling, sensing much about these waves from the animals I’ve communicated with, domestic, wild, and in the spirit world. My first impulse is always to go first to my non-human teachers when I feel confused, disoriented, and overwhelmed.
I’ve spent a lot of time quietly listening, going within, opening into the depths of my own emotions, knowing, and awareness, and connecting with the depths of awareness and knowledge that come from those who know and understand much more than I do.
The ravens near my home have been telling me that they are feeling changes deep within the earth.
The blue whales of the Sea of Cortez have been working with me in a kind of prayer and meditation circle, taking me deep down into their world and their consciousness and transmitting understanding and energy that I can’t yet begin to articulate with my conscious mind or human language.
A cat in the spirit world showed me the powerful frequency of energy that she and other beings are using to help to stabilize our planet.
The spirits of the Ancient Ones who are the guardians of the sacred sites near my home have been calling me to meet with them and receive their perspective and understanding of the shifts that are taking place here on this land, and on the Earth as a whole.
My cat Louie, one of the most grounded, wise, and loving beings I know, whose awareness, wisdom, and work with the Earth and her energy I am only barely able to begin to understand, tells me that he senses everything as “tippy.” (Louie simplifies things for me in a way that I deeply appreciate.)
I’ve been waiting to find the words to speak and write about what I am being shown, and I don’t have them yet. Perhaps I never will.
When the outer reality becomes too much for us to process with our conscious minds, we can return again and again to the deep, somatic wisdom of our bodies and the body of Mother Earth. Here, we can connect with a reality that is ever-changing and always reliable in its truth, its honesty, and its depth of understanding.
How do we do this? We can connect with nature, our animals, the plants and trees and waters and soil around us; we can work with our spiritual practices; we can create a space to simply be in awareness and a state of presence that doesn’t require anything to be understood or figured out. Music, art, poetry…all of these return us to a place of connection with our basic sanity, goodness, and wholeness, even if our outer world appears to be disintegrating.
Poetry has often quite literally saved my life. As I have been feeling all that is unfolding within and without, this poem by Hafiz, the great 14th-century Sufi poet, has become a balm for my soul:
Hafiz, translated by Daniel Landinsky
Now is the time to know
That all that you do is sacred.
Now, why not consider
A lasting truce with yourself and God.
Now is the time to understand
That all your ideas of right and wrong
Were just a child’s training wheels
To be laid aside
When you can finally live
Hafiz is a divine envoy
Whom the Beloved
Has written a holy message upon.
My dear, please tell me,
Why do you still
Throw sticks at your heart
What is it in that sweet voice inside
That incites you to fear?
Now is the time for the world to know
That every thought and action is sacred.
This is the time
For you to deeply compute the impossibility
That there is anything
Now is the season to know
That everything you do
This excerpt from Chief Arvol Looking Horse, Keeper of Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe (read his full message here) reminds me that each of us is a prism in this shifting kaleidoscope, and that each action we take is essential, important, and sacred.
"Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of humankind.
"Did you think the Creator would create unnecessary people in a time of such terrible danger?
"Know that you yourself are essential to this world. Understand both the blessing and the burden of that. You yourself are desperately needed to save the soul of this world. Did you think you were put here for something less? In a Sacred Hoop of Life, there is no beginning and no ending."
For some of us, our action is continuing to do our work, raise our children, tend our gardens. For some of us, our action is to march, to demonstrate, to put our bodies in the path of the tanks. For some of us, our calling is to make art, or music, or to write.
Some of us will shelter refugees in our homes and places of worship. Some of us will write legal briefs on the floors of airports. Some of us will share food with our neighbors. For some of us, our most important action is to pray.
I’m trying to remember that each act of kindness reverberates throughout the world. How can I share my resources? How can I share my love? How can I use my voice, my body, my spirit in the most loving, life-affirming ways? What is the most essential, effective, and sustainable use of my energy and my gifts right now?
If there is any teaching that comes from the non-human beings of the Earth, this is it: Everything we do is sacred. As we open our hearts deeply to all life, honoring the sacred within and without, we will be shown the next right step, then the next, then the next.
This is the time for us to deeply compute the impossibility that there is anything but Grace.
Nancy Windheart is an internationally-respected animal communicator, animal communication teacher, and Reiki Master-Teacher. Nancy’s work has been featured in television, radio, magazine, and online media, and she has written for many digital and print publications. Her life’s work is to create deeper harmony between species and on our planet through telepathic animal communication, and to facilitate physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing and growth for both people and animals through her healing services, classes, workshops, and retreats. For more info, visit www.nancywindheart.com.