by Deb Matlock
One of the most important things to me is to live in a way that honors my authentic, rhythmic, and sacred connection to life around me. I deeply value and cherish feeling myself as an intricate part of life on earth as well as the world of spirit. I love so very much to spend time outdoors simply being with the natural world. When I have the chance to follow the ebbs and flows of my energy, my need for rest, my love of activity, etc. I feel more alive, calm, and creative.
However, I often struggle to create days, let alone weeks, where I can live completely in accordance with my own wild and natural rhythms. Instead, my days are often driven by appointments, obligations, and responsibilities that do not always exist in a way that is ideal to my nature. My mind and heart are easily distracted by situations in the world that are larger than me and essentially out of my control. I know I am not alone when it comes to having these kinds of days. How then, on days like these, do we find ways to live in a sense of deep and sacred connection, fully entrenched in the wild rhythms of life? Below are a few thoughts.
One way to help fuel a sense of connection is to choose a daily connection topic to hold and consider as we move through the day. One of my favorite topics is birds. When I focus on birds throughout the day, I hear more sounds, notice more movement, and really see the world in a different way. Birds come in all shapes and sizes, spend time on the ground and in the air, and fill many roles within the ecosystem. Focusing on birds has helped me shift into a state of calm, clear, connection…even if I am stuck in traffic or pounding through email. Some other topic ideas; clouds, weather, flowers, trees, insects (one of my favorites). The list is truly endless!
Another idea is to challenge ourselves to see deep connections everywhere. If I am in the shower, I can image where the water is coming from and the journey it had to take to get to my faucet. If I am in a meeting indoors, I can focus on wood decor in the room and imagine a small tree growing in a forest somewhere. Even fibers in the carpet, synthetic or not, have connections to life on this earth. I have occupied many hours in airport terminals taking a “nature walk” and considering these types of connections.
Exploring the stories of others, humans as well as the other beings on this earth, can foster a very deep sense of connection and shared experience. How did their day start? What are they spending their time doing? What seems to be a challenge for them? What is beautiful and amazing about them? This sort of activity can get us out of our own heads and into the world around us. It can allow us to see what we have in common with others as well as where we might lend a hand.
Lastly, one of the most profound ways I have found to live in a sense of sacred connection is to regularly ask, where can I be of service? What gifts do I have that I can bring to the world? Even on the busiest, most harried days, this kind of thinking can lead me right back to what I am doing and why. In fact, often, this clarity makes it OK to have a lot of email to answer and meetings to go to. Sometimes it is these very acts that are the best expression of connection in a given moment.
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Deb Matlock grew up in the mountains of Colorado and is deeply committed to nurturing the connection between people, animals, earth, and spirit. She has spent twenty-five years working as a professional environmental and humane educator and naturalist. Additionally, Deb offers shamanic-style spiritual guidance, animal communication, nature connection workshops, and retreats through her business, Wild Rhythms. She is passionate about helping people find connection and deep spiritual meaning in their lives and in the places where they live. Deb holds a Master of Arts in Environmental Education from Prescott College and is pursuing her doctoral degree in environmental studies at Antioch University New England.