A few years ago, I began holding Women’s Circles so that a community of women could come together to explore their emotional and spiritual well-being. Each month we circled round and discussed what we as women have learned from our life experiences and how we have learned to listen to own inner guidance. We explored how we interpret events and people in our lives and how we allow those events and people to transform us and guide our paths forward.
Then last year just as the pandemic began to shut down our regular activities, I started to interview individuals about their life experiences and lessons they felt they have learned. I turned those experiences into stories.
The stories I will be presenting over the following months are from everyday people who have allowed all of life to speak to them and who have learned to listen to an inner voice and allow it to either guide them or in retrospect teach them about their journey on earth. Their life lessons come in all shapes and forms: heartbreak, trauma, death, physical pain, joyful and painful awakenings, nature and moments of stillness and meditation.
These individuals came to realize that all their experiences were either an opportunity to follow an inner voice of fear (anxiety, anger, feelings of worthlessness), or follow an inner voice of love (gratitude, truthfulness, resilience, self-worth, self-confidence).
Their stories are amazingly varied and inspiring, from simple moments of joy, to life journeys of heartbreak and healing. From truly painful experiences to moments of deep stillness and inner peace. And from seemingly unexplained random events to purposeful decisions.
These stories are rich in love and hope and connection to an inner wisdom. Their stories show that all of life speaks to us. And all of us have an inner guidance, a wisdom that helps us on our earthly journey and allows us to tap into love and compassion for ourselves and others. It is not always easy to listen. Neither is it easy to accept events in our lives as a way to learn and grow and connect us to a larger purpose. But this is our Journey.
I share these stories with the hope that you too will delve into your own life experiences and awaken to the fact that All Of Life is speaking to you ALL THE TIME. By developing your capacity to listen to your inner voice of love and by following your inner guidance, you can more fully experience living and appreciating the beauty of your Journey on this earth.
In many of the stories, the names, cities, states and specific details have been changed to honor the privacy of each individual. However, the lessons, and themes are exactly how each person told them to me.
Today I share with you two short experiences in which each person learned to listen to the Voice of Nature and in listening to that Voice gained a peace and a perspective that they needed in their lives.
The Storm by Charlene
A snow storm had just started to come in as I left for the hour long drive to my parent’s house for Thanksgiving. The further away from the city and into the countryside I drove, the harder it snowed. I began to feel tense and frightened. I had seen no other cars on the road in quite a long time and only a few farm houses well beyond the road.
What if I got stuck? What if my car broke down? Then I realized that my windshield wipers were so iced over that needed to stop to clean them off. I began to panic. I pulled over and stopped the car. I buttoned up my coast and prepared to go out and fight the snow.
But the moment I stepped out of the car, a quiet and peace enveloped me. I looked around and just paused. I felt as if I could hear the snow falling, and marveled at the beauty around me. For the first time in weeks and months, I felt connected, connected to nature, to myself, to something bigger than my own little world of daily work and worries. Everything was alright. Here in the middle of a deserted road, in the middle of a snow storm, I felt safe and protected.
This experience has stayed with me these many years. When in the midst of my sometimes crazy, busy daily life, and in the midst of this crazy often chaotic world, I go back to that moment I stepped out of the car and realized that I didn’t need to fear. I am empowered by nature and her beauty. I am surrounded by a gentle, quiet protection that is always with me.
The Mountain by John
Sitting on the rock formation, well worn by the thousands of people who had sat here before me, I finally relaxed. The hike up the mountain had taken a few hours and I was happy for the rest. My intention was to continue up and around the mountain to the next peak, but as I sat and looked across the valley to the mountain on the other side, I was awe-struck by her beauty.
I looked around and realized that I was totally alone. Usually other hikers were near-by or passing through. But no one was around. The only sound was a gentle breeze whistling through the pines. Not even the forest creatures uttered a sound. The heat of the noon sun must have driven them well into the forest where it was cool and where they could rest.
Nestling further into the rock, I finally felt something within me let go; I felt content. I hadn’t felt content for over a year. A bitter divorce, emotionally separated from my kids, no work in over 4 months, I was spent. I was tired of fighting, struggling, talking, arguing.
But slowly my struggles began to drift away as a new perspective enveloped me. This formation, this valley, these mountains had existed for thousands upon thousands of years. Ice storms and searing heat, floods and earthquakes all passed through. And yet, this place continued to share her peace and beauty. Could I do the same? Could I continue to share my love with others and reclaim an inner peace?
Something within me said yes.
The anger, the pain and struggles, the isolation that I had experienced in the past year were small compared to the on-going journey of my soul. The vastness of the mountain was calling me to forgive my past, understand the sacredness of the present and move fearlessly into the future. For the first time in years, I felt a renewed energy and was ready to step into my journey ahead.
In these essays, Charlene and John remind us that once we give ourselves the time and space to reconnect with nature, a sense of protection, peace and contentment can well-up within us. They also teach us how fierce yet enduring nature is. Through wind and snow, through heat and cold, nature transforms and renews herself. Much like we can do with our own lives. All we need do is open our arms and hearts to her. And sometimes all it takes is closing our eyes and imagining ourselves out in her presence; all it takes is the willingness to allow the strength, peace and contentment in.
And so I Invite You: Take a moment, an hour, or a day and step into Nature. Allow yourself to be quiet and still. Breathe in deeply and see if you can hear nature’s gentle voice speaking to you; then open your heart and listen to what she has to say.
Thank you for joining us. Please share this blog with a friend and join us next week for another story. And if you have an experience you would like to share, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. No need to write your story out, just email me and I’ll set up a call with you.