Timeless Spirit Logo    CHERISHING THE EARTH

A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine.     March Theme: "In Touch"     Volume 1 Issue 3     ISSN# 1708-3265

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Cherishing the Earth
with Toria Betson

Nature keeps me 'in touch'. It keeps me 'in touch' with who I am as part of a larger, interconnected whole. It keeps me 'in touch' with the spirit world. Because nature constantly changes, she has helped my senses awaken; as my 'five' senses, (touch, smell, sight, hearing and taste) have sharpened, so have my intuition and psychic senses.

I think change opens us. Many years ago I was speaking to an anthropology professor, of the ghost I had just seen while traveling in Morocco. She told me she had heard similar stories from many other travelers, and theorized the alert and receptive state one maintains while traveling, leaves one open to such experiences. Over the years, I realized not only did I have more psychic type experiences while traveling, but I had many more spiritual breakthroughs as well.

Traveling became severely limited once my husband and I had children, (although goodness knows, parenthood itself is a huge adventure!) and I began to think about recreating the traveler's state of mind at home.

As I began to record my experiences, looking for commonalities, I discovered something. The experiences I had closer to home, most often took place outdoors, in nature.

Travel and nature have something in common which I believe to be very important when it comes to being 'in touch' with all… change! Observing change keeps us alert, our senses heightened and focused on the here and now.

Most of us cannot travel all the time, but we can become more 'in touch', in nearby parks, woods and beaches. Even a small back yard can keep us 'in touch' with nature; simply observe how the sky is forever changing; watch the wind bring in and out the clouds.

Meditation helps one center and still remain completely aware of all that is around. By being aware of what is around us, we begin to connect, to feel a part of it. You don't have to sit in the lotus position with your eyes closed and an 'empty' mind to meditate. The kind of meditation I am talking about can be done by focusing on one thing, or on one of your senses.

By not thinking about the past and the future, (like the laundry which needs doing, shopping lists or what the person you just met thought of you), and instead, allowing yourself to be open and receptive in the here and now, you can be more 'in touch' with your senses and the world around you.

Here are some ideas to strengthen your senses.

Spend some time in nature every day, even if it's only for 15 minutes. If you can, vary the time of day you go out; get 'in touch' with nature's cycles; observe her changes. At first, focus on one of your senses at a time. Over time, you will find yourself aware of more without even trying, and synchronicities too, will become a daily part of your life.

Touch: Stand outside, quietly. Close your eyes and feel the wind caress you. Which direction is it coming from? Is it a moist or dry wind, gentle or firm? Can you feel it change directions ever so slightly? Know that as the wind leaves you, it moves on, to somewhere else.

Feel: Can you feel the heat of the sun shining upon you. Touch the moist earth, a cool stone, cushiony moss, silky water, the fuzzy underside of a leaf. Feel these things with your eyes closed and feel what they 'look like'.

Smell: Again stand outside with your eyes closed. What do you smell? Can you smell the musky dampness of rotting wood; smell wet leaves turning into soil? Maybe you can smell mushrooms popping up. Does it smell like snow? Each day smells differently.

Look: Investigate both sides of a tree trunk. See how different the north side looks from the south. Watch the sunlight sparkling on the water, like a million diamonds. See the grass; try to discover a path showing which way a snake, rabbit or mouse went? Watch as new leaves unfurl.

Taste: Have you ever tasted coming rain in the air? Try nibbling on a piece of tart and sour wood sorrel. Sample wild onions. Taste, really taste a wild blackberry.

Listen: Can you hear a leave fall? Do you know the different buzzes of a bumble bee, wasp, and dragonfly? Learn to identify bird calls. Over time you will begin to 'see' with your ears. You will know a blue jay is scolding some chickadees away, without raising your head to look.

Be comfortable in silence. In my opinion, talking is highly overrated; intuition and telepathy speak within silence. Treasure your moments with another by just being with them. How are they feeling? Are they comfortable, nervous, happy? What are they thinking about? You will be surprised at how much you can learn without a word being spoken.

The next time you watch a sunset with another, try sharing it without speaking. Words can never describe a sunset as well as what you see when you look into their eyes.

Be patient with yourself. Nature is constantly changing, but some of those changes happen so gradually you will barely notice them until time has passed. One day you will look back and realize how 'in touch' you have become with the larger, interconnected whole, and with all of your senses.

There is no better place to get 'in touch' than among nature, and no better teacher than nature Herself.

Toria lives and learns in the woods with her children and husband of fifteen years. She loves to garden and cook the organic vegetables and herbs she grows. Toria is a Spiritual Counselor, Intuitive, Empath, and Reiki II practitioner. She assists clients through tarot readings and shamanic journeys at her website, Toria's Tarot or you may contact her by email.

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