Getting back to nature is good for your health. Nature has no distractions. It exists in its raw, natural beauty. Just taking an hour to walk in the quiet sounds of nature is refreshing and healing. Our busy lives take us on a whirlwind tour of duty and obligations driven by time. Nature ,on the other hand, is driven by the rhythms of the earth and sun and the building blocks of life – the elements.
Let’s look at nature as healer and restorer of energy, vitality and inner peace and how to use the elements to restore our own inner nature.
Water comprises roughly 70 percent of the earth’s surface. It also makes up about 60 percent of our bodies’ mass. Water’s presence in our lives is quite considerable. Water appears as oceans, streams, waterfalls, ponds, seas, both fresh and salt water. All of it is similar to the emotions within us.
Our emotions as they stream through us at different rates and speeds, can change very quickly like the wind creating ocean waves. Our emotions can also be dammed up like a tree blocking the waters’ flow and our emotions can come in torrents like flood waters. Emotion is a moving energy in our bodies that we give expression to in form or actions, thoughts or words. It is natural to feel emotions in our physical body as the body acts as a container for feelings. Emotions are also learned over time in our childhood as we mimic the emotions we see in others in order to learn. Emotion is an energy sensation that is felt by the body and interpreted through reference to similar emotions felt from the past.
Through our childhood experiences, we learn which emotions we like to feel and which ones we don’t. One person feels the need and desire to freely express an emotion like anger, while another may have no tolerance for expressing anger at all. Some people feel it is not good to freely express emotions and may therefore be seen as reserved.
From a shamanic viewpoint, water is very much a symbol for our emotions. They are sometimes stormy, sometimes flowing and sometimes slow and stagnant. What is important is the willingness to first feel the emotion and then to allow for the expression of it. If we all expressed our emotions as they occurred rather than stuffing them or reacting to them, we would know exactly how we felt and how those in our lives feel. This would also keep our ‘internal waters’ clean and flowing.
Because our energy is constantly moving in our bodies, we must learn how to flow with that movement while still being responsible for our emotions. The axiom to ‘stay grounded’ is useful to apply here. It means to develop the ability to experience the emotions flowing through our bodies without going into a strong emotional reaction. Because emotion is learned from our past, any previous unresolved emotions of pain, anguish, anger or grief will also be triggered when we experience emotional reactions. They are triggered, because you have an innate desire to see and heal those past issues. The more unresolved past issues we have, the more our emotions can flare whether inwardly or outwardly. These kind of responses can have negative impacts on our health. Stuffing emotions that need to be expressed or having intense emotional over-reactions can affect the health of your heart, the emotional center of your body.
Water Awareness Ceremony
Go to a body of water that has a similar quality to that of your emotions. If they are held back, go to a dam. If they move swiftly, go to a swiftly moving river. If you have shifting emotions go to a place that has streams as well as a larger body of water. Sit and look at the water and allow your thoughts to quiet. Feel your energy dropping down into your body. Place your hand just below your navel and settle your energy until you feel your energy calmly gathered under your hand. It may take a few minutes or even longer if you have not practiced centering your energy before. Once you feel your energy more centered and quiet, look at the water in front of you and ask yourself how your emotions are like this body of water. Listen to the answers that come and know that your inner voice as it answers you has no judgments or negativity.
This is the way to distinguish the voice of your inner wise one from regular chatter or inner dialogue. As you continue to listen to your connection to the water, ask it what your natural emotional state is and what you can do to have a more balanced emotional state. Ask the water how you prevent your emotions from flowing. Continue to look at the water near you and farther away and ask what past issues still need healing so your emotions can be cleanly expressed in the present instead of seeping forward from the past. Listen to what comes and allow those feelings to flow. Ask the water how you can let go of these past unhealed situations knowing that the past is the past and letting go is letting the waters within flow. Listen to the answers that come. Imagine yourself as a molecule of water flowing in the water with all the molecules. Ask the water to help you heal. You might even choose to go into the water and float letting the waters heal you. Stay present with the water and let her energy soothe and revitalize you. Take the water energetically into your heart. When complete, thank the water for teaching you and showing you how to heal. At this point if you have not gone into the water yet, go in and submerge completely.
Aligning with water in different seasons using the Water Awareness Ceremony teaches you the different faces of water like the different faces of emotions.
Gael Crystal Light Warrior is the co-founder of the Institute of Shamanic Medicine. The Shamanic Coaching Program presented throughout Canada, blends the ancient healing ways from many different Shamanic Traditions throughout the America’s.