Last week I celebrated my birthday. On the surface, it was a pretty standard day, including 8 hours of work, and a nice dinner with my mom. Ironically (or totally in synchronicity), my initial plans of an evening yoga class fell through last minute, leaving me to follow a different flow. What I noticed at the end of the day, was that the universe had provided me with a beautiful opportunity to connect with the natural elements of our world-earth, wind, fire, and water. It was a spiritual recharge and reminder of the connection we all have to that which is greater than us and the cycle of life.
I started my birthday by meditating on a teaching of Abraham Hicks about the law of attraction (anyone familiar?), followed by some gentle yoga stretches. I listened to what my body needed, and moved into extended child’s pose. Child’s pose is an excellent restorative position, in which you spread your knees wide and kneel, laying your torso forward with your fingers stretched and head bowed down. I love getting into this pose when I’m needing some extra whole body nourishment. While in this position, I focused on firmly planting the palms of my hands into the ground. Sure, on the surface I was feeling carpet. But I was really focused on the natural earth down beneath the floor, all the areas of my body making contact with the ground, and noticing the weight of my body as I allowed myself to sink down. This perspective fosters a remembrance of the support we are always experiencing in our physical space, just by being. We only need to be present enough in our bodies to enjoy the ease of being physically supported by our earth at all times. Pretty cool, huh?
Fast forward to lunch time, and as someone who used to always work through her lunch, the idea of a true break is a big deal. The sun was shining, and as I no longer have an office with a window, I needed to get out from my four walls. I ate my lunch at a table next to a big tree, then decided to go for a walk a couple times around my office building. Feeling the breeze on my skin was refreshing. With the element of air, we can envision the wind blowing away something that is no longer serving us, or we can imagine it carrying well wishes to someone far away.
On my way home from dinner, I thought about how nice it would be to have a fire in the backyard. To my amazement, my roommate had a fire going when I arrived! I’ve always loved sitting in front of a good fire, watching the flames dance. There is something so mesmerizing about it. Fire can be a great element to destroy something that we’re ready to let go of, to allow the universe to receive the ashes and transform it into something else. And that’s exactly what I thought of while I sat in my backyard.
Finally, I capped off my birthday night with a bubble bath. The element of water can bring purification and cleansing. It’s no wonder many of us love going to the beach or other bodies of water. Water keeps things flowing, it reminds us of the ever evolving nature of our world. It can carve out the densest rock, reshaping what once seemed so solid.
Sure, the activities I listed may seem like nothing special on the surface. But I challenge you to reflect on how you spend your days. Chances are, a good chunk is spent starting at some kind of screen, under artificial lighting, in a concrete container. We can lose touch with our natural world so quickly. Bringing an increased awareness and appreciation for our natural elements can connect our spirit back to the rhythm and balance of our environment. Notice all the ways you encounter the elements of earth, air, fire, and water throughout the day. How might it feel to bring some extra presence to those daily activities? To slow down enough to observe, receive and release energy, and to feel a sense of gratitude for the perfect balance our natural world provides us. Perhaps you can develop your own meaning of how these elements show up and work with you every day.
For those days we can’t indulge in a full outdoor activity, here’s some suggestions for getting in touch with the natural elements
-light a candle or incense
-mindfully walk to/from your car, noticing your surroundings, feeling the breeze
-envision a glass of water detoxifying your body as you drink it
-walk barefoot outside
-use more natural lighting by opening doors and uncovering windows in your home
-drive with the windows down
I’d love to hear how you get in touch with our natural world, drop me a comment below!