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Archive for September, 2012

There are many different places I like to hike in nature. Most of us have favorite spots. I have a particular spot that I have gone to many times where I can just sit and reflect. I first discovered it when hiking with my Corgi, Magik. He loves to adventure as much as I do. Awhile back we found a trail that was hidden from the main trail. We navigated the Poison Oak, came to a stream, and on the other side was a little sanctuary — a slab of stone, a seat covered with moss surrounded by ivies and Bay Laurels. Here I can sit while Magik sniffs about, unseen by passers-by on the upper trail.

Waterfall

Photograph © 2012 Theodore Herzberg

My favorite time of day to come here is twilight. It is quiet and still in the forest. It’s just before the crickets start to chirp real loud. I tend to walk more quietly, more observantly, imagining faces in bark, and eyes from a more natural world watching me.  I may be thinking limiting thoughts, but here in this space I know there is a bigger picture. So I keep that in mind as I head for my Sacred Place. No matter what I am feeling, I always can feel reverence for nature, and this cherished spot. Here I sit still for a moment acknowledging the nature around me and giving thanks for its presence and beauty. Sometimes I come to this place when I feel peaceful but other times I come in a torrent of emotion, maybe anxiety, dread, anger or chaos. However I come, I know that here I am safe, and here magic can happen — a shift in my emotions and my awareness. I can more easily receive insights to problems here. Stories I am working on can come to life – characters can speak, scenes can unfold.

Brook

Photograph © 2012 Theodore Herzberg

I often bring a crystal, a favorite stone that I will sing into. My songs are wordless, nature often inspires them. The moment I lift my voice, the trees and birds respond. The wind will kick up, the leaves will start to quiver, branches sway, birds will venture near. I close my eyes and the melody of the forest and my melody become one. Then everything will quiet and I will listen. I listen to my inner voice, listen for insights and understanding. Something always comes, maybe a new scene for my story, maybe insight into how to handle a situation with a loved one or at work, or maybe I will flow love and healing into the world. There are endless possibilities. I do know that magic happens – beyond words.

Photograph © 2012 Theodore Herzberg

Often when I am in this Sacred Place, I will see people on the upper trail, deep in conversation, and yet again I reflect on how healing the woods and nature can be for everyone. So many people come here to run or walk, so many conversations transpire that only the trees hear. I wonder how many of these people, if not all of them, leave the woods feeling more refreshed and rejuvenated, realigned with more of who they are, and possibly even with insights, direction and creative ideas. I wonder how many people recognize and acknowledge the gifts they receive from nature and give thanks to nature for its help. I often do, my song is my thanks.

Creating a Sacred Place in Nature:

Find a spot that speaks to your heart and mind, to your soul and spirit, a place where you can have some privacy. Welcome it and let it welcome you, maybe with your presence, maybe with your words, maybe with a song or a yoga posture or mudra (hand movement). Your first time, allow yourself to get acquainted. Walk around this spot, touch trees, bark, leaves. See what is in this place. Involve your senses. Find a place to sit and allow the place to sense you. Imagine what it could be like if this Sacred Place could see, touch, taste, feel, hear and smell you. What would it sense? Once acquainted allow yourself to just be here for a few minutes or more, breathe and be. You might receive insights or feel a sense of well-being. The focus is on creating a safe place where you can recharge and rejuvenate and even give back to nature through your presence and intention. When you feel complete, express your gratitude. Let your heart feel full of thankfulness for nature, for this place and for the gifts you have given and received. Expect insights to come. When you leave, know that you will be back. Each time you come to visit, you will be building a foundation of safety where you can return time and time again to your very own Sacred Place.

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