Seeing the Forest Through the Trees: A Lesson from Spirit
Sometimes lessons come at unexpected times in surprising places.
This past Spring I was taking a meditation class. The homework assignment was simple: sit outside and just “be.” Be with nature. Be with yourself. Avoid distraction. Quiet the monkey mind — the inner critic that likes to distract and confuse us. Sounds straightforward enough, right? But we humans have trouble keeping things simple.
So, I sat myself down in my backyard which borders on some woods. For the first few minutes I enjoyed ‘being’! I noticed the sound of the birds singing, the warm breeze against my face, and the flickering sunshine on the leaves and plants. Then, I thought to myself: why not do a little third eye practice while I sit? Our third eye or sixth chakra is the energy center for our psychic abilities, our intuition — a gateway that leads to realms of higher consciousness.
There I sat, facing the woods, and I began looking for spirit. I called out to them. I asked them to show themselves and they did. First came the woodland fairies. There were a lot of them, hanging out in their regular places — on the ground and in the trees. Then I got more specific, and asked just for Native American spirits to reveal themselves, and they complied too— stepping out all together from behind the trees. I was very excited! This was fun!
Then I asked those Native American spirits what I could do for them, since these relationships are two-way, and after all, I’m greatly advantaged by having a body, while they are in spirit form. What could I do for them in this physical world? Plant a tree? Build a garden? I wasn’t sure. However, I was not prepared for their answer. They simply said, “You can look at the trees. You looked right past them searching for us. Be with the trees.” I felt as though I had just received a stern ‘talking to’ from the Native American spirits who has reminded me of my original purpose in coming outside: to just be with the trees, not to search for something more exciting, something to distract me. I was humbled. I had been caught up in my own ego and ability to see Spirit that I wasn’t seeing what was right in front of me, the trees.
Feeling somewhat embarrassed, I sat back in my chair, refocused my attention, and simply “was” with the trees. I opened my heart and softened my mind and felt them. I felt their strength and compassion. Then the Spirits revealed themselves to me once more. This time without me asking. While I sat deeply connected to the trees I suddenly saw the Native American Spirits INSIDE the trees! I didn’t have to go looking for them and despite my initial perception that they had “stepped out” out from behind the trees, they did not. They were actually fully one with the trees — not separate at all. Oh course! That made so much sense. Native Americans knew they were not separate from nature. However, when I originally searched for them since I wasn’t even looking at the trees the Native American spirits needed to separate themselves from the tress to allow me to see them. Which initially appeared to me as though they stepped out from behind the trees.
Spirit guided me through this gentle lesson in mindfulness and taught me I didn’t need to go searching for what I was looking for. It was right in front of me the whole time. Stopping to just be present with what was before me. Seeing the Forest Through the Trees.
When we stop and fully be with ourselves, our breath, nature, animals, or our loved ones we are gifted with that which we search for.
Love and Peace,