Refresh, Restore, Renew: Celebrate the Nature of the Human Spirit
Aug 30, 2013 10:57AM
By Deborah Belaus
High-tech, low-touch lifestyles can cause us to drift from an intimacy with nature that restores our spirit and supports our physical well-being. Reconnecting with nature in ceremonial fashion can help bridge the gap and counter unhealthy influences imposed by unnatural environments.
Nature provides a fountain of inspiration for a sacred ceremony celebrating and forwarding a positive life intention. It may be used to breathe new energy into our body, calm the mind, express communion with the source of life, reevaluate our journey and open our heart to new possibilities.
Author Richard Louv, in such books as Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle, cites myriad instances of nature’s power to heal and regenerate us via what he calls “vitamin N.” He attests, “Walking in natural areas improves our mental and physical health.” A walk in nature, incorporated into a ceremony, starts a subtle shift as we more deeply breathe in the richness of nature’s oxygen freely given by the trees and plants.
Ceremony or ritual provides a clear link between a hope, intention or question that needs answering and conscious acts of preparing ourselves to move forward. Having a trained celebration officiant pose pertinent questions as part of this preparation often sparks an inner dialogue with our self and our Higher Power, as well as with loved ones. Focusing on the wonder of nature and our place in it sets the tone. A thoughtfully conceived event then works to create a higher energy vibration that resonates with our intended purpose and enables it to richly manifest.
Here are some suggestions for structuring our own individual or small group nature ceremony:
* Before starting, make sure that participants feel safe. Take three deep breaths and slowly release. Listen to surrounding sounds and take in nature’s fragrances. Notice the body’s temperature and how the air touches the skin. Ask within: “How does my body feel? What emotions am I feeling?” Ask nature for guidance with anything that needs clarifying. Set an intention for a silent walk. Be supportive of others on the walk.
* Along the way, look for symbolism in everything around that may help heal and reconnect one’s spirit with nature. Perhaps an uprooted tree will provide insight. A tall, healthy tree might inspire a firm stand in the face of a challenge. Focusing on the simplicity of a dewdrop on a flower can calm turbulent thoughts. Look up at the sky and ponder new possibilities.
* Pick up a small item to be placed in a special spot at home as a gentle reminder of this restorative experience and an inspired prompt to walk again. Before finishing, relax into the flow of unspoken communication of nature’s messages.
As we create heartfelt ceremony and appreciate the Earth, we find ourselves moving through life with greater ease and purpose. Mother Nature is a reliable therapist. She leads us to our best self and helps answer life’s bigger questions. She’s happy to offer the gift of being freely present and only asks that we spend some quality time with her.
Rev. Deborah Belaus, a life-cycle celebrant certified by the Celebrant Foundation & Institute, helps to design and conduct indoor and outdoor wedding ceremonies in. Visit BrightPathCeremonies.com and CelebrantInstitute.org.
Celebrant Foundation & Institute is dedicated to teaching the principles, history, and practice of Celebrancy in a rigorous seven-month program which educates and certifies Life-Cycle Celebrants® in the art of ritual, ceremony, world and faith traditions, ceremonial writing, and public speaking and presentation. Celebrants are ceremonial experts and ritual creators, trained to officiate and guide individuals, couples, and families through key life events. Live, online courses start October 2013. For more information, visit CelebrantInstitute.org or call 973-746-1792.