We are going through an unprecedented rapid shift due to the sudden spread of the novel coronavirus. Massive change, plus uncertainty, with job loss, health risks and changes in day-to-day behaviors are leaving many of us not sure even what to think. At the same time, we may be feeling stuck at home without our typical mental health tools.
In this historic moment, you might just be able to do something really powerful right now if you're feeling strong enough.
So, what are we to do?
In this podcast, Deb Matlock of Wild Rhythms share simple strategies for connecting to nature's rhythms to find peace in uncertain times.
Meet Deb Matlock
Since childhood, Deb has experienced a deep, personal, and communicative connection with the earth, the world of spirit, and animals. Deb works as a professional environmental educator and naturalist, a shamanic practitioner, and an animal communicator.
Deb's company, Wild Rhythms LLC, is about deep connection to the world of spirit, the earth, and all inhabitants. Through spiritual coaching, shamanic-style journey work, animal communication, personalized retreats, field-based workshops, and professional trainings Wild Rhythms helps people connect with Earth and Spirit.
Who's Here With Me?
How can we build the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual strength we need to endure and even thrive during this time?
How can we turn to nature to deepen our personal resilience?
Even though we're practicing physical distancing, Deb encourages us to ask a simple question:
"Who's here with me?"
Even in your 6-foot distancing bubble, there may be a budding crocus or a blade of grass. Looking around, you may see clouds floating by, or birds or squirrels doing their thing. This could take 30 seconds or three hours.
Ask the question: "Who is in my community right now that I can be so close to?"
Acknowledge that life is here. You're not alone.
Noticing the onset of spring brings such comfort. Watching the tulips and crocuses grow and unfold are special familiar signs that not everything has stopped.
Rhythmic Connections to Nature
One way to engage with nature is to tune in to the rhythms.
Stepping outside for a moment and trying to breathe with a rhythm of nature. This could be a bird bopping around in a tree, wind blowing through the trees, clouds floating by or the ripples on the water surface.
A fun easy way to connect is to notice a rhythm and try to put yourself into that rhythm.
This reminds us that we are part of the natural world, and we are not alone.
We can change the way we talk about to differentiate that humans may be on lockdown, but the natural world isn't.
"Nature isn't on lockdown."
Creating the World We Want
The theme of the Online Earth Week Summit is "Creating the World We Want".
With everything changing, there is an opening now. This is a historic moment and a chance to shift and define a "new normal".
That's why it's critical that we figure out how to stay strong.
It's only right that as we work to be in balance with nature, that we turn to nature to strengthen us along the way.
This is the single most important thing we can do right now.
That's big work.
If we're in shock and low energy, unmotivated and distracted, we won't be able to step into the window and step up to lead the way.
This is the end of an era and the beginning of something else.
How Can the Rhythms of Nature Help Us Get Moving?
We've been instructed to stay at home as our number one responsibility during this time. But, for many of us, that has the side effect of decreasing the motivation to get enough exercise.
How can we tune into nature to get moving again?
One strategy is to choose an animal that you're attracted to. Study the rhythms and plan your day in a similar fashion. For example, using small birds in the bushes, there's a flurry of activity in the morning, then rest time, then another flurry of activity later in the day.
Another strategy is to consider your outdoor time as a chance to be part of a community. Instead of staying home alone, look forward to your outside time as a way to break the isolation and connect with all of life.
If you've got pets, notice that they're still moving and resting, and have their routines as living beings. They're not on lockdown.
If you have fewer constraints on your time, now is the chance to reevaluate your schedule. Make it your own, to match your natural rhythms.
We're the only animal that forgets we're an animal. We are animals and animals move.
Productivity is not 100 percent in the natural world. Similarly, we need cycles of rest as well as activity.
Animal Connections & Personal Resilience
Deb Matlock will be facilitating a Happy Hour as part of the 2020 Online Earth Week Summit.
Join us for fun activities and small group discussions to explore how to deepen our connections with animals to feel better in these rapidly changing times.
If you think about an elephant or a butterfly, it brightens our spirits and we need that now.
By connecting with animals and each other, we're building our resilience so we can be effective creating the world we want!