How many days has it been since you’ve gone to the forest? Since you sat there alone, quietly reconnecting with the place where you truly come from – nature – Mother Earth? Entrepreneur Jesse van der Velde guides you in exploring how we have become disconnected with our truth and what awaits us in establishing that connection again. Reconnect and explore:
- How do I cope with difficult emotions?
- Am I escaping my emotions by “working hard?”
- What is REAL around me?
How many days has it been since you’ve gone to the forest? Since you sat there quietly by yourself, taking the time to reconnect with the place where you truly come from – Nature – Mother Earth? When was the last time you stepped away from the usual outlets – going out, partying, or watching Netflix? There is a deep connection with Nature that has been lost in our Western culture. It is there, waiting for us to reconnect with, and thus a deeper connection to our inner truth on the path to becoming.
You ARE Nature
In essence, we are nature. Yes – there are obvious differences between you and a tree; you and a stone; you and the water; you and the fire. But at the same time, there is so little difference between you and that rock – we are all part of a collective consciousness – a source of information; a source of energy.
That energy is deeply interconnected with Mother Earth and is always communicating to us. Mother Earth doesn’t have a mouth, but she has her own forms of communication. She communicates to us through the wind; through the fire; through the water – storms, hurricanes, and fires – these are a sign of our imbalance with nature.
Our imbalance with nature is a reflection of the imbalance that lives inside of ourselves. Our “progress” has distanced us so much from our connection to Mother Earth.
You call that “progress?”
In the Western World, we pride ourselves on our developments in technology and convenience. We go as far as labeling these accomplishments as “civilization” and “progress.” Sure. We may have invented more thing and discovered faster, more efficient ways of accomplishing small and big tasks. But the question is: Is this true progress? Are these advancements bringing us closer to who we are?
Is it possible that “progress” is bringing us further from who we are?
If we understand that being human also means that we have emotions, and that we go through life trying to achieve goals merely so we can feel a certain way about ourselves – we can understand that we often do things for the sake of “progress.”
This progress is driven by so many emotions, including motivation, but also struggle. Many of us feel a certain emptiness or restlessness inside of ourselves. We feel a certain fear that we are not good enough; that we need to achieve. We think to ourselves, “What if I don’t do this? What if I don’t do what I’m capable of?” These concerns are so common in the world of personal development.
In observing all the emotions that live within us, the question becomes: “How do we deal with those emotions?” For so many people, working harder is their way of dealing with the spectrum of emotions that arise throughout life.
Working becomes an escape from these emotions; from these struggles. We become temporarily happy with what we achieve by working harder.
And for others still, escaping to our worldly pleasures is the perfect escape: going out, partying, or watching Netflix. While there’s nothing wrong with any of these things – it is so beautiful to connect with the people around you and to celebrate life.
But if this becomes our entire life – if this is the ONLY way that you deal with what lives inside of you, you will always be faced with a form of emptiness.
Unresolved emotions leaving you with unanswered questions.
Working harder or enjoying worldly pleasures will never relieve us of the festering question: “Who am I, truly?”
Connecting to What is Real
As amazing as Hollywood films might be – they are not real. What is real is the Mother Earth below you. What is real is the fire crackling under the stars. What is real is your complete presence with this moment. What is real is whatever reality that lives inside of you at a particular moment.
We need to redevelop the ability to reconnect to that reality.
We can learn how to redevelop this ability by look at how the old shamans and tribes nurture this connection.
Old tribes – they go into ceremony sometimes every week, working with the plant medicine of their culture and region. Plant medicines like Ayahuasca, San Pedro Wachuma, and sacred mushrooms.
They sit around the fire, sing their traditional songs – songs that have been sung for maybe thousands of years – passed on from generation to generation. Songs that preserve their culture, history, traditions – reconnecting them to their ancestors.
Perhaps the most crucial component of how tribes nurture their connection with Nature is simply BEING in Nature.
Go to Nature – Because Science Said So
The simple practice of going into Nature – being there by yourself, sitting with your butt on Mother Earth, feeling the energy of the wind and trees around you – this is the connection to what is real. Yet it has become so forgotten in our Western World, despite how simple it is. We’ve almost gotten to the point where it is strange to simply sit in Nature.
In our Western World, we speak the language of science – if something is scientifically proven, then we trust it. It’s almost like we trust science more than ourselves.
Case in point: for so long, the benefits of sitting in Nature have had little scientific support backing it up despite our intuitive call to reconnect with our roots.
Luckily, scientists are catching on to what ancient tribes have always known: the benefits of forest bathing. Scientists are discovering how it influences our neurotransmitters, the alkalinity in our body, and our overall well-being.
Nature as our Mirror
Whether you come from science or you come from intuition, maybe it is time to bring some more nature into your life. Redevelop a habit of just going to the forest and sitting there; of just being, letting go, and surrendering to the present moment. Or build a fire and listen to the flames: “What are these flames representing?”
From participating in and guiding so many plant medicine ceremonies, I have learned that the fire speaks. When we take a plant medicine, we enter this level of consciousness that is always there, yet hard for us to see. When we see that reality, we see that the fire can be a mirror.
The fire is a mirror to our soul; a reflection of who we are. Sometimes the fire mirrors our past; sometimes it mirrors our future. It is very possible that you can see the past or future in the ceremony – a future that you are capable of creating.
The fire is also an excellent mirror for our deepest questions:
- What am I breathing into this moment?
- What is my current reality?
- What am I feeling and experiencing?
- What am I believing?
Letting Go to Reconnect
If we let go and detach from our external world, we can connect to what is true; to what is real within us. I know that when you hear these words for the first time, they might sound fake and you might ask: “What does it mean?”
Only YOU can answer that question; what does it mean to YOU? Can you find that ability to be just present?
Letting go allows you to find that completely blank space within you, where you can finally hear the truth within you. Where you can access even deeper questions:
- What am I dreaming into being?
- What is the vision of my life? How would you like to live?
- Who would I like to be when I die?
- What is it that I’d like to teach to my children?
Letting go allows you to reconnect with what lives inside of you and ask: “Is this the way that I’d like to do things? Is this what I’d like to teach to my children?”
Because we don’t teach through our words; we teach through our actions. We teach through the examples that we set. We teach through what we live unconsciously. If you want to be a great teacher to your children, be conscious of what is currently unconscious.
Letting go allows us to hear Mother Earth speak. We can tune into her and feel how she informs us with her energy. We have all known that energy travels faster than words because we’ve all experienced that moment when you just knew what someone was about to say and you knew it before they said it: energy travels faster than words.
The more that we become in tune with our own energy and with nature, the more that we simply know. The more something else will start reinforming us – something of greater intelligence, whether it is from Mother Earth below us or the heavens above.
We are all on a path in life of remembering what we already know; reexperiencing this wisdom and bringing it back into our own lives.
The question is: How many days has it been since you went to the forest? To just sit there, by yourself, quiet and alone. With your heart and with your breath? Inhale and exhale – let go – surrender. Detach from everything. When we breathe and let go – you will allow something greater in you to inform you. That is a process of its own – that is a journey worth walking.