Life is full of contradictions and polarities. I’ve been giving that a lot of thought lately. This was inspired by my recent attendance on the Weleda Signature massage course, in which we were considering lemniscates and their representation of opposites and how two are needed in order to create balance. Male/Female Light/Dark Day/Night.
The flow of opposing forces creates life. I spent some time thinking about this and how living in harmony with nature can affect flow in my life. As a result could my own wellbeing improve?
I recently stumbled across a great book called The Path; A New way to Think About Everything on one of my trips to Waterstones . It tells us how making small changes in our lives can bring profound results. The Path is based on Chinese philosophy and how ideas from centuries ago are hugely valid in today’s modern world. After reading it I thought I’d try some of the ideas out for myself and see if the central theme of the book could further develop my understanding of lemniscates and opposing forces which were raised in the Weleda training. Is a ritual the opposite of being spontaneous?
Creating a daily ritual.
Confucius said that rituals and fully emersing ourselves in the same practice at the same time daily allows us to momentarily create a short-lived alternate reality in which we exist but have no negativity. When we break from the comfort of our familiar ritual we sacrifice our mind to larger more fear-based emotions.
So I chose a daily ritual. Walk my dog at exactly the same time daily; 8.30, for as many days as is possible in a week. Take the same route and try to do it in exactly the same time regardless of weather.
What I noticed was that after a couple of days I felt comforted by knowing the path, I could look at differing things daily and a general sense of peace prevailed, creating a sense of feeling uplifted and rejuvenated. This peace then transferred in to my daily routine. I looked forward each day to tracing the same path and the familiarity it bought.
Becoming more spontaneous
In The Path, the authors talk about how Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi viewed spontaneity in its truest sense, not the way that we have come to view it in the western world – a hatred for predictability. True spontaneity has to be trained, so that we can flow with a process that allows us to do it unthinkingly, naturally and with grace.
So I decided to give my dog walks over to spontaneity. This took a while. I would say at least 4 weeks of walking the same route at the same time. My first change – I began to run. This feeling came from within, a spontaneous extension of my ritual. Knowing every pothole or bump on my route, seeing the same faces and dogs, has given me the energy to run my 3 mile dog walk. Today, I have noticed that because I am attuned to nature whilst walking, and I have no technology on my being, that sounds have become louder. The sound of a bird, or a deer hiding in the bushes is so clear. What’s more, I surprised myself with not wearing my watch and knowing I had a vet’s appointment at 9.45am I needed to be back in the car by 9.36 at the latest. When I checked the car timer on return to the car, it said 9.36! Being spontaneous has given me an ability to feel time in a different way. I have also noticed that spontaneity comes by allowing myself now to wander off-piste, but to feel comforted by the familiarity of an environment that has become my daily ritual.
Living in Harmony with Nature is a core part of my practice. If you would like to know how to use products that fully embrace nature and it’s rituals and spontaneity then please give me a call or visit my webshop.