Nature has many wisdoms and lessons for those who are open to her teachings. As children, we tend to be open to nature, but growing into adulthood, we can often fall asleep to our connection with the natural world. Our senses become numb to the voice of nature as we go about our lives until we forget that there is an entire world right before our eyes just waiting to interact with us.
7 years ago I went through a major life change where I began to “wake up.” Fortunately, nature was there, patiently waiting for me. Animals are wonderful communicators and messengers who are more than willing to interact with those open to the possibility. Here are 5 of my most profound lessons that I have learned from the animal kingdom in the last 7 years.
Lesson #1: “Accept your spots”
Not surprisingly, this lesson came from a leopard that visited my dreams. I had never had any previous encounters with leopards before, nor had I ever felt a particular kinship with them either. Sometimes we just don’t know who is trying to help us or who’s lessons that we are in need of.
The leopard has a powerful presence and I was very aware of the fact that they could take me down in a moment if they chose to. But they were not trying to intimidate me. Instead, they followed me in my dream until I stopped and stood with them. That is when the message came, “enough hiding, it is time to accept your spots.” The timing of this dream was uncanny. I had been doing tons of writing but not sharing any of it. I was too afraid of revealing my inner most thoughts.
After this dream, I began submitting articles to online publishers, such as this one. I have had the great privilege of connecting with amazing people from around the world, and it is because I quit hiding and accepted my own “spots” and shared them with the world.
I am grateful for the leopard and their bravery to not be afraid to stand out, because that is when we are truly shining. And even though I had not specifically asked for their help, it was their medicine that I was needing, and nature in her wisdom, sent them to help me.
Lesson #2: “Your perception is very limited”
This lesson came courtesy of my 2 dogs, Sidda and Chubs. They visited my dreams (I’m a dreamer, by the way, if you couldn’t tell that already! lol)
In the dream, they were running out west of our yard which is wide open field. This is where we have the honor of witnessing the most spectacular sunsets sinking behind the Riding Mountains right from our house.
Except in the dream, the sunset was far more vivid and dramatic than I had ever seen. It is hard to describe the intensity of the colors, but it was like everything was turned full volume and what I would normally see was way down on the dial.
As they were running happily in the field they said, “your perception of nature is very limited, because this is what it actually looks like.”
It’s easy to see why animals are always so in the moment when their experience of the world is so much more expanded and engaged than ours, but the good news is that it can be that way for us too if we choose.
I have to admit, since that dream, nature does seem more vivid to me than it had before. Perhaps because I know better now and my awareness has expanded, or because I am focusing on seeing the world through the eyes of nature itself. Now when I watch the sunset, I am even more absorbed in it than I was before. I can actually feel it permeating me.
We truly begin to feel the oneness of all life as we expand into this awareness and our perceptions open to what is really there.
Lesson #3: “Stop the toxic self-talk”
This lesson was squawked at me by the magpies. If you are familiar with the magpie bird, you will understand why I say “squawked.” Not blessed with a beautiful singing voice, they have a large vocabulary that to the untrained ear has the ability to get under your skin. I know this because for years I didn’t understand them and hated to have them around.
Growing up on the farm, the magpie was a loathed bird. Mostly because they had the reputation for sitting on cows backs and pecking at their skin until it bled. They are a scavenger type bird and would also steal dog food straight out of the dish on the front step.
There was a time that every morning, they would sit outside my bedroom window and squawk from 4 in the morning until 7. I hated them. With a passion. As ashamed as I am to admit this, I shot at them. I killed a few. They came back, stronger.
I realized I needed to change something. I looked into them deeper. I learned that they are very intelligent and deeply devoted to family. I learned that they are akin to writers. I began to soften. Then I was visited in a dream, where a mother magpie wrapped her wings around me in love. At first I was afraid that she would harm me for all of her children that I had previously shot. But she didn’t. It was then that I felt the forgiveness of nature. It wants nothing more than to love and forgive us and have a relationship with us.
I began to ask them what they wanted. I noticed a pattern in their squawking. They were only loud when there was something I needed to know. If I asked them what it was, I would usually receive the answer within the day in some form or another, and the magpies would become quiet.
During an especially dark time in my life when I was beating up on myself harder than usual, it was a friend of mine, bless her heart, who heard their message to me. (I was too caught up in my self-loathing at the time to hear them)
“Stop the toxic self-talk”, they said. “You are not bad, and this is helping no one.”
I picked myself up and gave myself some love. I am happy to say that they have barely been noticeable ever since. Except of course for the half hour that they spend every morning hauling bits of dog food out of the dish off to their nests in the maples at the back of my yard. I watch them now with a gleam in my eye and send them love and blessings. I know that they are here for me.
And I have also not noticed them on any of the cows’ backs either.
Lesson #4: “We feel everything you do, no matter how small”
This was during one of my first shamanic journeys that I ever did. It was quite the experience as I had the sensation that I was very small. I shrunk down smaller than a spider and went on quite the adventure. I was visited by a spider who thanked me for never killing them or any other insects in my home. It was also made clear to me that nature feels every act of kindness that we offer, no matter how small. Simply stepping around a bug that we notice on the ground, or setting one free from in our homes, or picking up that piece of trash. Rest assured that your good deed did not go unnoticed.
Nature feels your kindness and smiles back at you. Since that journey I have felt ever more encouraged to show gentleness to every plant, insect and animal that I encounter.
Lesson #5: “A garden is magical, let me show you”
You never can guess where your next important lesson will come from, and I would never have guessed that mine would have come from an insect that I have been picking off of my potato plants and dropping into a jar for certain death since I was a child. (Remember what I said about the forgiveness of nature?)
Yep, this last lesson was given by the Colorado potato beetle. A black and white striped, hard shelled bug that strips the leaves off of potato plants.
I can’t even guess how many thousands of them I have picked over the years, and this year I was making a stand to try to not kill so many. I dusted my plants with diatomaceous earth instead but I still did pick some bugs and place them in a jar of water.
Then one night this past summer, you guessed it, I had a dream. In the dream I was standing in my garden, but I was only the size of a potato bug. It was quite an incredible sight to see plants from a bug’s eye view. My sunflowers towered higher than skyscrapers it seemed, and all of the plants were so lush and their color so vivid.
I was soon greeted by another potato bug and, like the magpie, to my surprise, the potato bug was friendly and stood with me before he said, “your garden is magical, let me give you a tour.” The plants were speaking amongst one another as we moved through them, and there was a feeling of joy and serenity. It truly was magical.
I have always felt a calm and peacefulness within my garden, but thanks to the potato bug, I realized that it is its own world unto itself, interacting and engaging with one another, trying to grow healthy food for me and my family to eat. And that all of life within my garden truly loves to have me there and share with me.
Growing our own food for our nourishment is truly a sacred experience, and if you do not have a yard for a garden, even a house plant will share their love with you.
What if we could all feel so open to sharing and forgiveness?
What a truly wonderful, beautiful world this could be!
And for my potato plants, the potatoes grow bigger when the leaves are a little stressed.
I hope you have enjoyed these lessons. I would love to hear from you and your experiences with nature as well.
Source: Wakeup world