Image by Daniel Joshua Paul
How are you doing in this time? My experience is that it’s weird, and wild, and wonderful in certain ways, and really, really challenging in others. How about you?
Grief, loss, uncertainty. Inspiration, creativity, a feeling of a “pause” that is ongoing. These are some of the things I’ve been feeling, and I’m hearing from many people who are experiencing similar energies and emotions.
I’m needing even more rest than usual, and I’m finding that I’m wanting to move at an even quieter, slower pace than my usual pretty quiet, pretty slow speed. I want more unstructured time. I need to be outdoors as much as possible. I’m finding that I want (and try to allow myself) to just sit… watching the clouds, feeling the trees, enjoying the birds. These are the things that have been nourishing me and keeping me (somewhat) balanced.
The dogs and I are spending a lot of time doing this:
Sitting outside, sleeping outside, watching, observing, feeling. I notice that my dogs don’t ever say, “Oh my, I should really be doing something else, something productive, something useful.”
This thought does not enter their minds or their experience. They do what they do. They rest when they want to rest, which is most of their lives. They chase critters when there are critters to chase, bark at people and animals in the arroyo when they appear, watch the horses next door, and play with the ravens. (That’s right… my Afghan hounds and the ravens have quite a comical relationship. The ravens swoop down low, and the Afghans run with them… kind of chasing, kind of flying with them. The ravens know exactly what they are doing… flying low enough to entice the chase, but not so low that the hounds could actually leap up and catch them. It’s so much fun to watch them play this game!)
These are the things that are helping me stay balanced and grounded in this time: time outdoors, watching the birds at the feeders, time with my animals, quiet talks with friends, hikes in the mountains. Good, simple food; watering my garden; giving special treats to my chickens. Slow mornings, a balance of work and rest. Evening walks with the dogs, watching the sunsets over the mountains.
Balancing Time, Energy, and Activity
I notice that these things are especially draining and hard for me now: news, social media, too much time online… this has always been true, but now, my tolerance is even lower. Too much time “out” in the world, too much noise, too much activity. I have to be even more careful to balance my time, my energy, and my activity. I’m wanting to write more, talk less, drop even more deeply into quiet.
My sense, both in my own experience, and in listening to other people, and, as always, the animals, is that we are in a deep time of incubation, the void, the birth canal. We can’t go back to how things were before, and we aren’t clear at all where we’re going. We’re in a great pause, collectively and individually, and it’s dark in this tunnel. We have glimmers of light, of new possibility, of the new world that is being born and that many of us are engaged in consciously co-creating… and we’re waiting… dreaming… resting if we can… visioning… acting as we are called to act.
Breathing Deeply In and Fully Exhaling and Letting Go
I remind myself often to breathe, deeply, fully. To not hold my breath. To not, as the movie title reminds us, “Wait to exhale.” Exhaling fully, inhaling fully, living fully, in this moment, not waiting for the next.
Our animals, the trees, the flowers and plants, teach us this, over and over again. This moment, here, now, is everything. Can we fully live it, be in it, breathe it through our bodies and energy fields? This is my practice. Our non-human friends, guides, teachers offer us this wisdom by their example. What a gift it is to walk through this life, and this particular time, with them by our sides.
This week, whether or not you live with animal companions, I invite you to take some time, step outside, breathe, connect… with a plant, a bird, a tree, an insect, your cat or dog or horse…just feeling, settling, quieting. In this moment, we have all we need… in this moment, life is a beautiful, precious unfolding.
About the Author
Nancy Windheart is an internationally-respected animal communicator, animal communication teacher, and Reiki Master-Teacher. 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.
The Karma of Cats: Spiritual Wisdom from Our Feline Friends
by Various Authors. (Nancy Windheart is one of the contributing authors)
In The Karma of Cats, spiritual teachers and writers reflect on the wisdom and gifts they’ve received from their feline friends―exploring themes of radical respect, unconditional love, our spiritual nature, and more.