Earth is home to a web of living things that are connected to each other through a kaleidoscope of relationships. Picking a leaf off the ground and contemplating it as an object in and of itself is very inspiring. Its shape and color, the way it feels in your hand, its delicate veins and the stem that once held it fast to the branch of a tree—all of these qualities reveal a leaf to be a miniature work of natural art. As we contemplate this small object more deeply and consider where it came from and what purpose it has served, we find that the leaf is one small but essential part of a system that harnesses the energy of the sun, plumbs the depths of the earth, and in the process brings into being the oxygen many living things rely on to live.
A leaf transforms the elements of its environment—sunlight, carbon dioxide, rain—into nourishment for its tree. This beautiful, nearly weightless, ephemeral piece of nature is a vital conduit to the branch that is a conduit to the trunk that is a conduit to the roots of the tree. The roots, in turn, draw nourishment from the earth to feed the trunk, the branches, and the leaves. The living beings that inhale the oxygen that comes from this process exhale the carbon dioxide that feeds the leaves through which the tree is fed. It is difficult to know where one cycle ends and another one begins.
One of the many gifts that nature offers us is a clear demonstration of the interdependence between all living things. The person who exhales the carbon dioxide, the clouds that produce the rain, the sun that gives light, the leaf that transforms all these things into sustenance for a tree—not one of these could survive without being part of this cycle.
Each living being is dependent upon other living things for its survival. When we look at the world, we see that this is not a place where different beings survive independently of one another. Earth is home to a web of living things that are connected to each other through a spinning kaleidoscope of relationships. We need each other to survive and thrive.
Change can enter our lives silently and this change can be just as important as change we have worked hard for. We all see things about ourselves, our relationships, and our world that we want to change. Often, this desire leads us to take action toward inner work that we need to do or toward some external goal. Sometimes, without any big announcement or momentous shift, we wake up to find that change has happened, seemingly without us. This can feel like a miracle as we suddenly see that our self-esteem really does seem to be intact, or our partner actually is helping out around the house more. We may even wonder whether all of our hard work had anything to do with it, or if it just happened by way of grace.
As humans, sometimes we have relatively short attention spans, and we can easily lose track of time. We may worry about a seedling in a pot with our constant attention and watering for several weeks only to find ourselves enjoying the blooms it offers and wondering when that happened, and how we didn’t notice it. Nature, on the other hand, has infinite patience and stays with a thing all the way through its life. This doesn’t mean that our efforts play no part in the miracle of change—they do. It’s just that they are one small part of the picture that finally results in the flowering of a plant, the shifting of a relationship, the softening of our hearts.
The same laws that govern the growth of plants oversee our own internal and external changes. We observe, consider, work, and wonder, tilling the soil of our lives, planting seeds, and tending them. Sometimes the hard part is knowing when to stop and let go, handing it over to the universe. Usually this happens by way of distraction or disruption, our attention being called away to other more pressing concerns. And it is often at these times, when we are not looking, in the silence of nature’s embrace, that the miracle of change happens.
Sometimes the motivation to help others may be an extension of a deep desire to heal a wounded part of ourself. Some people seem called to help others, often from very early on in their childhoods, responding to the needs of family members, strangers, or animals with a selflessness that is impressive. Often, these people appear to have very few needs of their own, and the focus of their lives is on rescuing, helping, and healing others. While there are a few people who are truly able to sustain this completely giving lifestyle, the vast majority has needs that lie beneath the surface, unmet and often unseen. In these cases, their motivation to help others may be an extension of a deep desire to heal a wounded part of themselves that is starving for the kind of love and attention they dole out to those around them on a daily basis. For any number of reasons, they are unable to give themselves the love they need and so they give it to others. This does not mean that they are not meant to be helping others, but it does mean that they would do well to turn some of that helping energy within.
One problem with the rescuer model is that the individual can get stuck in the role, always living in crisis mode at the expense of inner peace and personal growth. Until the person resolves their own inner dramas, they play them out in their relationships with others, drawn to those who need them and often unable to acknowledge their own needs or get them met. In the worst-case scenario, they enable the other person’s dilemma by not knowing when to stop playing the rescuer and allow the person to figure it out on their own. However, if the rescuer finds the strength to turn within and face the needy aspects of their own psyche, he or she can become a model of empowerment and a true source of healing in the world.
Some signs that you or someone you love may need to rescue the rescuer within are inner burnout from over-giving; underlying resentment; an inability to admit to having needs of one’s own; and an unwillingness to be vulnerable. Help comes when we allow ourselves to admit we need it, acknowledging our humanity and our wholeness by acknowledging our pain. The understanding we gain in the process will naturally inform and inspire our ability to help those in need to do the same.
We are multidimensional beings and our earthly aspects are a very small part of who we are. Many of us are familiar with the experience of waking up to the fact that our lives are no longer working the way we have set them up. Sometimes this is due to a shift occurring inside ourselves over time, and sometimes it is part of the larger shift that is currently affecting all humanity. Change is happening at such an increased rate that it is difficult to predict what the future holds. As a result, many of the old ways of planning out a life are no longer applicable, and if we cling to them we feel strangely out of tune with reality. If we are in tune with the energies around us, we will begin to question ideas that just a few years ago seemed sensible.
In the simplest terms, the shift we are undergoing right now has to do with recognizing ourselves as being more than human, remembering that our earthly aspects are a very small part of who we are. In truth, we are multidimensional beings. When we begin to realize this, the life we planned for a limited conception of ourselves no longer fits. We must meet the needs and qualifications not only of our bodies but also of our souls. This realization dawns slowly for some and with the suddenness of a bolt of lightning for others, and we all must find the way that works for us to integrate this new and larger sense of self into our life plan.
Sometimes a drastic change feels totally right, and overnight we might decide to sell our home and move to another country or quit our job and begin a second career. Other times, we allow the changes to proceed slowly, beginning perhaps with allowing ourselves to dream of a new life or just to ask the deeper questions that encourage us to discover our true purpose in life. Either way, know that this process is a natural sign of the growth we are all going through, and trust it to guide you to the life of your dreams.
Your very own inner wisdom should be valued more than any other and will always guide you in the direction you need to travel. Throughout our lives, we will encounter individuals who presume to know what is best for us. The insights they offer cannot compare, however, with the powers of awareness and discernment that already exist within us. From birth we are blessed with wisdom that cannot be learned or unlearned. It exists whether or not we acknowledge it because it is a gift given to us by a loving universe before we chose to experience existence on the earthly plane. Yet for all its permanence, it is vital that we value and honour this incredible element of the self. It is when we do not use our inborn wisdom that we begin to doubt our personal truths and are driven to outside sources of information because we are afraid. What we know to be true in our hearts is invariably true, and we discover how intensely beautiful and useful self-trust can be when we recognize the power of our wisdom.
Inner wisdom is not subject to the influences of the outside world, which means that it will never demand that we surrender our free will or counsel us to act in opposition to our values. We benefit from this inspiration when we open ourselves to it, letting go of the false notion that we are less qualified than others to determine our fate. The wisdom inside of us is the source of our discernment and our ability to identify blessings in disguise. When we are unsure of who to trust, how to respond, or what we require, the answers lie in our inner wisdom. It knows where we are going and understands where we are coming from, taking this into account though it is not a product of experience but rather a piece of our connection to the universal mind.
In the whole of your existence, no force you will ever encounter will contribute as much to your ability to do what you need to do and be who you want to be as your natural wisdom. Through it, you reveal your growing consciousness to the greater source and discover the true extent of your strength. If you heed this wisdom with conviction and confidence, the patterns, people, and fears that held you back will be dismantled, paving the way for you to fulfill your truest potential.
We have all faced moments in our lives when the pressure mounts beyond what we feel we can handle, and we find ourselves thinking that we do not have the strength to carry on. Sometimes we have just gotten through a major obstacle or illness only to find another one waiting for us the moment we finally catch our breath. Sometimes we endure one loss after another, wondering when we will get a break from life’s travails. It does not seem fair or right that life should demand more of us when we feel we have given all we can, but sometimes this is the way life works.
When we look back on our lives, we see that we have survived many trials and surmounted many obstacles, often to our own amazement. In each of those instances, we had to break through our ideas about how much we can handle and go deeper into our hidden reserves. The thought that we do not have the strength to handle what is before us can be likened to the hard surface of a frozen lake. It appears to be an impenetrable fact, but when we break through it, we find that a deep well of energy and inspiration was trapped beneath that icy barrier the whole time. Sometimes we break through by cutting a hole into our resistance with our willpower, and sometimes we melt the ice with compassion for our predicament and ourselves. Either way, each time we break through, we reach a new understanding of the strength we store within ourselves.
When we find ourselves up against that frozen barrier of thinking we cannot handle our situation, we may find that the kindest choice is to love ourselves and our resistance too. We can simply accept that we are overwhelmed, exhausted, and stretched, and we can offer ourselves loving kindness and compassion. If we can extend to ourselves the unconditional warmth of a mother’s love, before we know it, the ice will begin to break.
Our very own lives can be magical like the fleeting morning dew on a flower tip.
The world awakens each day from its nightly slumber, transformed by a sparkling layer of morning dew on the grass, on flower petals and leaves, on cars and car windows. These glistening droplets last only a little while, an integral part of what imbues the early morning with its aura of magic. If we sleep too late, we miss the magnificent display of sunlight playing upon an infinite amount of tiny crystal balls. To step onto the dew-covered grass is to anoint our feet with a form of water that comes only once a day for a short time, a rarefied gift of the night air that will soon evaporate in the full light of the sun. If we inhale slowly and consciously enough, it is almost as if we are drinking in this magical elixir formed in the boundary between darkness and light.
In one myth, morning dew is believed to be tears from heaven, and in another, the droplets are poured from the vessel of the goddess of dawn. When we see the earth draped with these shimmering drops, it is easy to imagine fairies bathing in the water, or a sky god weeping from a longing to be closer to his beloved earth goddess. Seeing the sparkling beauty of the earth emerging from darkness, we may understand this longing in terms of our own gratitude; how blessed we are to be here.
Perhaps heaven really does long to be here on earth, and perhaps that is why we are here—as conduits between the divine and the earthbound. As we drink the morning dew in with our eyes, our skin, our breath, it is easy to imagine that it really is a magical potion, a gift from heaven, a reminder of our true purpose, and a daily opportunity to be transformed.