Love in Nature

My friend, Shirley Showalter, has a blog whose posts I never miss. Recently she asked, “What do you do when the world seems wrong, and you are sad, lonely, confused, or anxious?”

I responded, “When I’m in a place of discouragement and overwhelm, I submerge myself in nature. In my experience, the two things that people yearn for the most are: (1) to love, (2) to be loved. It’s in nature that I find reassurance for both of these needs.”

Shirley replied, “I would love to read about how love reaches you in nature. It’s easier to feel one’s own love going out, I think, than universal love flowing in. Do you agree? Maybe you will answer this question in a future post!”

Hence, this post was born. 

I realize that everyone’s experience is different, and people embrace many different beliefs. This post just happens to be about how nature informs me of love. 

Nature has taught me a lot about faith, it helps me to draw near to what many people refer to as God, and others call Goddess, Yahweh, Jehovah, Jesus, Moses, Allah, Krishna, Light, Mohammed, Supreme Being, Buddha, All That Is, Source Energy, Shiva, Universe, Higher Self, Creator, Brahman, Spirit, Mother Earth, Father Sky, the list goes on.

It’s my experience that the name we use isn’t as important as our relationship and interaction.

How does love reach me in nature? When I contemplate earth’s beauty—especially the cycles, the repeated refrains—it touches me deeply, and I feel loved. And in this love, I am recharged. In this love, I find reserves of strength I didn’t know I had. In turn, I’m able to love more deeply.

How does nature make you feel?

© lauriebuchanan.com

I Saw the Face of God

This is the final post from my San Miguel de Allende experience. As a participant in this story, I was unable to take a photograph, nor would it have been appropriate. As such, I’ve pulled a photograph from my archives; a photograph that represents what this woman was to me — a lighthouse.

Standing in the central part of San Miguel de Allende taking candid photos during their colorful, Day of the Dead celebration, my attention was caught by an elderly woman who’d journeyed in from the campo — the outskirts of town.

Bent from time and weathered with age, her small gnarled hands gripped two short sticks to steady her steps as she slowly progressed. A swathe of fabric wrapped over her shoulder — positioned at an angle across her back — sheathed her few worldly possessions.

And while many others who visibly fared much better asked for handouts, this elderly woman looked neither left nor right, but remained focused on the task at hand — to make it into the cathedral.

Curiosity piqued, I followed her. Ever so slowly she made her way to the third pew from the back on the right-hand side. I sat in the back pew on the left to study the elderly woman unobserved. Her silent sermon spoke volumes to my heart as she sat with eyes closed, palms upward in supplication toward the crucifix at the front of the church:

Keep moving forward — even through the pain
Don’t be held hostage by the opinion of others
Limit material possessions — they are a burden
Make time to sit with God
Believe

Carefully folding money so it would fit, I quietly made my way across the aisle and gently pressed a bill into her work-worn, ancient hand, tucking her fingers as I did. Before I could step away, gnarled fingers grasped mine, while her other hand slowly and repeatedly made the sign of the cross — touching my head, chest, and shoulders — as she spoke.

And while I didn’t understand her words, I clearly understood that I was being blessed; that her cloudless, silver-grey eyes took in far more than my features — they took in my heart. More importantly, as my tears washed down her deeply lined face, I knew that I was looking into the face of God.

When was the last time someone looked into your heart?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan

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The photograph featured in this post was taken at Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia.

© 2012 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Collect Call for God

Call Box by Laurie Buchanan

Call Box by Laurie Buchanan

Regardless of the religious tradition or spiritual path, at least one basic ingredient is shared; prayer and/or meditation. I’m often asked if prayer and meditation are the same things. In my experience, they’re similar, yet different. I think of prayer as talking with Divine Love and meditation as listening to Divine Love. Most of us have the talking part down pat. Many of us struggle with the listening part. As one of my clients says, “Even though it’s simple, it’s not always easy.” Simple and easy aren’t the same. Simplicity is efficiency, a clearing of clutter—mental or otherwise; while easy is uncomplicated and trouble-free.

Whether we pray out loud or speak from the quietness of our mind, our words and thoughts are things—they have a vibration—which means they’re powerful. In her book The Dynamic Laws of Prayer, Catherine Ponder wrote, “When you pray, you stir into action an atomic force. You release a potent spiritual vibration that can be released in no other way. Through prayer, you unleash a God energy within and around you that gets busy working for you and through you.”

(Photo was taken with self-timer in Ardnamurchan, Scotland)

 

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Listen Up

Apple Blossoms by Laurie Buchanan

Apple Blossoms by Laurie Buchanan

Different from hearing, one of the benchmarks of a great communicator is their ability to listen:

We hear dogs bark, tires squeal, birds chirp, a siren wail, and church bells ring. When we hear, it’s usually passive. A passive listener is oftentimes busy formulating their own response while another person is speaking.

Listening is active; it’s something we invest our self in. An active listener pays attention; they take in what’s being said. By intent, when I listen to another person I remain aware of their inherent divinity. This practice prevents me from interrupting. Most of us would never interrupt Divine Love—God.

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com