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Moving Beyond Anger and Fear

It sure seems as if anger, frustration, and our defensive posturing has only continued to heighten. I regularly hear stories from people in my professional life as well as in my personal world about how our individual and collective sense of fear, upset, and division has amplified. I have regularly heard comments along the lines of, "I thought it would be better once the heart of the pandemic passed," or, "I am just filled with rage and I don't know where it's coming from or where to go with it," or, "It seems everyone I come across is just so short-tempered these days."

Our human fears and angers and concerns mostly derive from feeling separate, alienated, forgotten about, or that we don't matter. What's the salve for that?

What I have found, time and again, is that when I spend time with nature, in whatever form I can, something deep in me stirs and is ultimately comforted. I am reminded that there is so much more to the world, and to my own life, than what human-to-human connections (or disconnections) provide. Whether it's marveling at the vastness and beauty of the stars through the images from the James Webb Telescope, or hearing about a local bear who cooled off in a koi pond, or talking with a friend in the woods about how the nature is just naturing, regardless of what humans are doing to themselves and each other, I reawaken to a larger sense of self and the world beyond what my own frustrations are screaming.

I've also been sharing with clients a task I've been given a couple times in my shamanic training, from various teachers, which I will offer to you. "Go outside into nature and ask for a teaching." You can be more specific - asking for a sign of reassurance, or a remembrance of faith or connection - but you don't have to specify. Ask, and give nature time to answer. Know that the answer isn't a "head" one - nature speaks from and to the heart. Open your heart and see what wisdom and care Mother Nature has to offer you.

Also, from Chinese Medicine, this is the season of the Fire element. Consider what you can do to truly nourish yourself. What will help your soul most come alive? Maybe it's time in nature. Or with friends. Or a pants-off-dance-off in your kitchen, belting off-key to your favorite song from your childhood. Doesn't matter what it looks like, just as long as it touches your own heart in a soulful way.

Of course, none of those things will change the reality of what humans are doing to each other. But it will help you soften your own heart, remember the good and wondrous and beautiful that is still all around, and help you reconnect with a larger sense of self and purpose.

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