“A Product of TheirEnvironment….”
How often have we heard it said, when someone has “strayed” from the path and got into trouble with the law, that they were a ‘product of their environment’? We can easily see someone getting in with the wrong group of friends or being exposed to certain ways of thinking and acting as having a profound effect on the way they think and act. If we were to imagine ourselves as a cup of boiled water, then our environment could be likened to a tea bag being steeped in our cup. Depending on what sort of tea we choose and how long it is left in contact, determines what happens to our water.
Much of the environment that we are currently steeped in could be described as a ‘built’ environment, one that is rich in technology and so called labour saving devices, better ways of doing things and making ourselves comfortable. This environment is relatively recent in terms of our long-term history and our genetic determinants (which don’t change very quickly) and given the fact that humans are very adaptable, we have generally grown to accept and take as normal the built environment around us and the way that we live. This pace of life, the things that society suggests we should aspire to, the exponentially increasing amount of change and new information become drivers, goals or targets to which we attempt to adapt. It is not often that we get the time to stop and think if we are headed in the right direction, and what will be “the down the road effect”if we continue along this path.
The straw that breaks the camel’s back, be that health, relationships, sanity or loss of spirit is often a product of the concept of “more”. More is often seen as better, and continued growth as a way of satisfying ourselves that we are moving forward, but without any clear idea of the destination and what it will look like for us and our environment when we have travelled down that road. It is not often that we get the time………..
Finding what is true for uson a level deeper than the products around us and the changes that we can make to our built environment, becomes central to the essential task of developing our spirituality. Without a clear idea of who we are now, in relation to our true self and the path or way of life that gives birth to our purpose, we become rudderless and subject to the influence, forces and ideas that tea bag their way into our cup of life from the built environment around us. This environment, whilst having many positive attributes, often falls short of providing spiritual sustenance and a sense of balance that helps us to stay on track, it is largely interested in ‘more’.
Balance, by contrast, is a beautiful concept from Nature that attempts to always return things to harmony and sustainability, and whilst it would be naive of us to believe that our recent (genetically recent) exposure to mobile phone radiation, microwaves, chemicals in processed food, pollution in our air and water, chemicals leaching out of plastics, TV, marketing, stress, rushing and keeping up with society doesn’t have any effect on our cup of life, there is still a quiet voice within us that at times senses the gap between where we are and what is true for us on deeper levels. We often yearn for more balance in our life.
If balance is both core to and reflected by Nature, and we are a part of Nature (it is sometimes easy to forget that the same laws that govern nature govern us!)it makes sense that we return to Nature to find balance and sustainability. To reconnect to the timeless rhythms and cycles that provide a nourishing contrast to the synthetic metronome of modern society. To return to natural places that remain largely unchanged in our memory apart from the effect of a different season. To remember what has always been true for us in an environment that offers stability for a wavering soul.
Nature brings us home to a quiet reflection of the “other parts of us” that can be easily neglected in the pace of our modern lifestyles, a place where balance is better and we can grow to rely on the gifts that She can exchange.
Australia’s Indigenous, (the holders of wisdom for how to live in balance and sustainability in this land) regularly went “Walkabout” to reconnect natural parts of their internal landscape or spirituality to external landscapes that called them to take their place in it at that time. They responded by making the journey and walking the path of reconnection because they deeply knew it was right and good, not just for them but their environment. We can take a leaf-or a forest-or a beach-or a mountain top out of their book and respond to that voice within us that wants to close the gap on what is real in our world and what we may be currently experiencing. There is no better place to do this than in natural environments that call us to take our place.
If you have felt this call to nature, or are behind on responding to calls you have had in the past, then I encourage you to take any opportunity and join us at the Find Yourself in Nature event , and become a product of a real environment.
Nature will be provided!