Fresh perspectives 2017

by | Jan 12, 2017 | Uncategorized | 14 comments

 

 

How was your holiday?

Has it relaxed and opened you up to new levels of wellbeing? Have you returned with fresh perspectives?

It’s a big transition, taking a holiday. And also returning from one. You may be finding some of this challenging.

 

I’ve been hearing two different responses:

 

Busy holiday!

Sometimes the packing, driving, unpacking and full-on family time of a holiday can be so demanding that you may feel like the orange-clad workman whom I overheard on the roadside. He stood there, arms folded, complaining to his mate . . . ‘And so I come back to work to get a holiday!’

 

Speed bumps

Or, you may have had such a fabulous time that the transition back to work feels jarring, bumpy, and difficult. You drop the ball, you fumble to remember things, you rebel against answering a long list of emails. You just want to run back to that delicious sense of leisure.

                       

How do you return from the openness of summer (outer or inner), back to your life, without contracting into flatness or ending up just plain grumpy or resigned?

 

First let’s enjoy more of the airy lift that summer brings. In my last two newsletters I wrote about how we can connect more fully with the earth/trees or with water. Now it’s time for air.

 

Watching the sky

Did you lie on your back on the sand or grass, and look up?
In summer it feels as if there’s a lot of sky, and you may have found yourself watching it, and feeling as if you were floating through space.

Did you become caught in the drift of clouds, the lazy hum of insects, the flight of birds or the wonder of moon and stars?

I did. The first week out on the coast was windy, and I watched clouds rising up out of the hills in full-blown formations. I became attentive, looking for changes that might indicate rain, or calm sunny days. I felt relaxed and big-spirited as I sky-watched.

My gait changed. I strode out over hills, wandered along bush paths or splashed lazily along the margins of sea and stream.

 

 

 

 

The invisible element

It is the cloud-bringing wind that makes the air visible, along with flying insects or birds.

A dandelion seed head floats on the breeze. A monarch butterfly flits past the flower heads. High above, a hawk rides the air currents.

And then the air carries sound across distance: the booming of the surf at night, the cry of a morepork from the tree tops, or the wailing of the wind.

 

The inner season

If you are one of my northern hemisphere readers, and summer is not your season right now, I hope you are enjoying a dip into our summer by proxy.

Of course the inner season of opening can occur at any time.

Maybe the inner summer of the heart arrives when you fall in love. Or it happens when you sing your soul out with a group of friends, or when you attend a comedy show that has you laughing so hard that your inner barriers crack and shiver into tiny pieces and you start ringing with joy like a bell that sounds out only good news.

Anything that gives you the inner summer experience may also present the challenge of the return.

You may be tempted to sidestep this challenge or ignore it.

 

But experiences of heart opening need to be integrated, not wasted.

 

And so here are some tips that might help.

 

Tips for the return

 

  • Capture those fresh perspectives. There will be new insights and clarity gained from your summer opening. Capture them as soon as you can, through journal writing, drawing, or creating an altar with a candle and a few evocative symbols.
  • Make a clear resolve. What do you want to take forward from this time? What would be two or three simple ‘tweaks’ you could make to your lifestyle that would harness more spaciousness? Write them down, starting with the words ‘I will.’

Note: keep your action steps light and manageable!

  • Integrate. Build the new pattern into your life and review the difference in a months time. If it’s been beneficial, then recommit.

 

Off-screen

Right now, I’m sitting outside on my deck, writing to you by hand. From time to time, my eyes lift to the pohutukawa trees that hold pockets of sea in their arms, or to the cypress that lifts its long finger to the sky. The chirping of birds mingles with the laughter of children playing. A breeze shivers the leaves of the lemon trees.

For me, this summer has coincided with plenty of time off-screen. Coming back to town and the computer, I find the screen presents a challenge and makes me wonder how I can maintain the fresh perspectives that opened up while I was away in nature.

I’ve made a resolution: to exchange screen time for ‘green time’—being with nature— this year. I will consciously increase my time on the earth, with bare feet when possible, and I will continue to practise the rich and wonderful ways I’m learning to stay connected with the earth, the trees, the waters and the air.

 

 

 

I wish you well with bringing the gifts of summer into your life, and creating more breathing space and wellness.

 

‘The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.’

—WB Yeats

 

P.S. Would you like to learn more about rich and wonderful ways to build earth connection? Click here to find out about my new Sacred Earth course, which begins on February 14.

 

This post is an excerpt  from the Seasons Newsletter. To receive the newsletter by email, you may sign up on the Home Page of this website and receive a free audio gift.

14 Comments

  1. Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Juliet – here it is mostly bumps and is really frustrating, because they affect me but I’m not causing them … however I rise above and remain positive to life ahead … however a reminder of you that the seasons change and ours will improve as too life … take care and have a good 2017 … cheers Hilary

    Reply
    • Juliet Batten

      Sorry to hear of the bumps Hilary, and as you say your season will improve. Great that you can stay positive. Thank you.

      Reply
  2. Nadezda

    Hello Juliet!
    It’s a good idea – to have more green time instead of sitting at the computer. I love to watch clouds too, sometimes they remind me some animals or towers. Nature makes us more quiet and thoughtful.

    Reply
    • Juliet Batten

      Nadezda, yes clouds have so many interesting shapes. I find that Nature quietens me down too. I’m sure you find that in your beautiful garden which you tend so lovingly. Thank you.

      Reply
  3. Penny

    Oddly enough, and in-spite-of my northerly climate, I am having a bit of bother getting on after the holiday, the computer screen being one of the bothers. We have, however, had the most magnificent cloud formations, one of the benefits of living rather close to one of America’s Great Lakes, For several reasons, my time in nature has been sparse and I am hoping to remedy that soon. As always, Juliet, your post inspires me.

    Reply
    • Juliet Batten

      Penny, how wonderful to have magnificent cloud formations where you are living. You must show us some on your blog! I guess it’s harder to get outside in your wintry weather. It’s interesting that the computer screen is a bother for you too. Thank you.

      Reply
  4. Denise Poyner

    Dear Juliet. I am a fan of taking holidays outside of Christmas. I am affected by difficult childhood memories to do with Christmas. I fought my demons valiantly until I got it that I could structure Christmas and my holiday time how I would like to live it. I find that to be very powerful. At work I have a lot of screen time, and am now somewhat tuned to dealing with emails in the morning only, and only attending to anything urgent that may come up during the day by email. Otherwise, its a tomorrow morning job. Aaah! the soothe of green time. I have a new camera with a lovely telescopic lense to it. I have for the first time last night taken it on a walk around the riverbank to take photos of birds. The feeling of the grass beneath my feet with only basic shoes on was relieving. Even the mangrove lined river seemed peaceful to my weary mind. I haven’t particularly committed to green time, but prefer to be more opportunistic about it. Answering the call that comes in for bush time, or grass time, or sky time or bird time. I am lucky that once a month I toddle off to Motutapu Island to volunteer in the nursery. That’s an interesting twist to green time in that I am creating the green space by potting up native plants for the island. I am very rewarded by that. I will get some Australian green time at Anniversay weekend and some Whitianga blue sea time over Waitangi Weekend , and then plan or make opportunity for another round thereafter. Thanks for your lovely email about this. I know I am reminded of my need to do green time.

    Reply
    • Juliet Batten

      Denise, I enjoyed reading your comment and the ways you have been so intentional about how you spend your time. I can feel your enjoyment of your times in nature, and consciously taking green time. How wonderful to be able to contribute at the Mototapu nursery; that must be so satisfying. Thank you so much for responding so fully. Have wonderful times in Australia and Whitanga with your new camera.

      Reply
      • Denise Poyner

        Juliet, Thanks for your positive comment. I have felt uncomfortable about my commentary this morning. I write so deeply and with more detail these days in an attempt to express the meaningfulness in my life. It always contains trauma which is both uncomfortable and healing to express. But also, I hope, helpful to others in some way. Nature is critical to my wellbeing. I will continue to engage.

        Reply
        • Juliet Batten

          Denise, your words are very welcome.

          Reply
  5. kelleyn rothaermel

    The year seemed to have begun with a little speed bump for me, but now I am back on track and all is well. Lovely photos. Hope you have a great week!

    Reply
    • Juliet Batten

      Thank you Kelleyn, it’s always good to get back on track.

      Reply
  6. marja

    Hi Juliet Nice post. I think living in nz is a a continues blessing. The next adventure, relaxation indulgence in beauty is often only a weekend away. There are beautiful beaches, hills (although there are some on fire which is so sad) the mountains, all closeby and a walk in the weekend will give you enough energy for any challenges during the week.

    Reply
    • Juliet Batten

      Marja, thank you. I know how you are always discovering new and beautiful places to go, & I love seeing and hearing about them on your blog.

      Reply

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