Reconnecting with Nature: Somewhere Between Heaven and Earth

Posted on April 6, 2015 by

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Reconnecting with Nature: Somewhere Between Heaven and Earth

By Tameko Barnette

When was the last time you stood outside, took a deep breath, and exhaled? When was the last time you realized how fortunate you are to be on the Earth?

While this may sound cliche, it is important to take note of where we are. As of late, many of us are spending a lot of time on who we are, where we come from, and what are we supposed to do while we are here. All of these elements can lead to a full, healthy life; yet, to reiterate, it is imperative to take note of where we are right here, right now.

As we take another look at reconnecting to nature, I am reminded of the breath, the air we breathe and the ground I stand on, sleep on, and find nourishment from. So many questions to mind. How often do we realize our ability to breathe? Do we understand that our breathing changes as we go through a variety of emotions, feelings, thoughts, and situations?

TLB MAATWe know that Ma’at stands for balance, harmony, order, truth, justice, reciprocity, and righteousness. Fortunately, Ma’at can also be found and cultivated in other practical ways in our lives. One of the main ways is through breathing. Breathing is divine order that can keep our emotions, thoughts, and overall lives in a much better state of balance and harmony. When we are balanced in mind and body, we are more likely to make choices and handle situations in a responsible (righteous) way that leads to reciprocity and is on a firm foundation of truth.

I’d like to suggest a few breathing exercise to help cultivate Ma’at within:

  • Wherever you are sitting or standing, begin to breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose, then, exhale in the same manner out of the mouth. Do this with your eyes open or closed, it’s up to you. This can be any time you feel frustrated or when you are tired and need a little boost of energy.
  • To promote balanced mind and body, you can try what is called ‘regular breathing’ in yoga. You can inhale through your nose for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of four, and exhale through your nose for a count of four. With this exercise, you keep your mouth closed the whole time. It quickly creates a feeling of peace, balance, and relaxation.
  • Another very simple, yet powerful breathing exercise is to just sit down and pay attention to your breathing without any special techniques. Take note of your breathing as it is in any given moment. This helps you assess where you are in your mind and heart – mental and emotional.

Question: What type of foundation are your feet standing on?

We see the Earth as the place where you can grow a nice garden, go to the park, and get you where you need to go when you leave the house, but the Earth is also our teacher.

What does the Earth teach us? The Earth can teach us to appreciate ourselves as we are and nurture ourselves. We can spend an enormous amount of time nurturing others and teaching others (myself included) that we will put ourselves on the backburner. The Earth, if you listen to what it’s saying, is reminding us to nourish ourselves FIRST.

We can find the stability, creativity, beauty, and peacefulness within the elements of the Earth as we study and cultivate Ptah and Het-Heru.   Why Ptah and Het-Heru you may ask? I am using these Kemetic divinities as reflections of nature.

TLB PTAH

Ptah is self-created along with being an example of strong foundation and theTLB HET-HERU importance of our spine as stability of our bodies. Het-Heru is representation of the Tree of Life, particularly, the Sycamore Tree (pictured above). The Sycamore Tree grows in abundance in Southern Kenya and they exemplify an element of nature that is self-created and represents a strong foundation.

Here are a few ways to cultivate yourself as a co-creator of your life who can create a strong foundation for yourself and your community:

  •  Try two simple yoga poses called the Mountain and Tree poses. For the Mountain pose, you will simply stand up straight. Your spine is straight, head is aligned with your spine, and your hands are hanging naturally by your body. Simple pose, yet powerful! For the Tree pose, starting in theTLB TREE POSE Mountain pose, you can bring one foot to rest on the side of your leg where your knee is for as long as you can. If you can’t get your foot up that high, rest your foot against the ankle of your other foot. Your hands should be in a prayer position at the middle of your chest or above your crown chakra (top of your head).
  • The next step you can take is to write down the aspects of your life that are not stable as far as you are concerned and would like to transform into stable foundations. As a writer, I can tell you that quite often we can see ourselves and our lives better sometimes, when we write it down. When you go back to read it, you are getting the truth from your soul.
  • Find a tree in your yard, a park near you, or somewhere else and sit by the tree, underneath it. Bring a notebook and pen with you. Meditate there.

We are all walking somewhere between Heaven and Earth. And it is up to us to make sure we are walking in balance and on a strong foundation.

Hetepu!

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