With all the panic over the spread of COVID-19 and the tsunami of information circulating about, it can be difficult to know what to do to protect and or care for ourselves and our families. However, we all possess the innate ability to access a deeper wisdom, one that tells us what to do and when to do it. But, in order to access this information, we must first follow three simple actions: We must Ask, Listen, and Ruminate. Fortunately, Our Creator made for us a finely tuned instrument that can guide us to this wisdom–our body.
The mind is only one way to receive information and it can easily get bogged down in old programming and/or unresolved issues from the past. Our bodies, on the other hand, constantly monitor our inner and outer landscapes, instantly relaying vital information to our organ systems and brain. Our feeling bodies are capable of gathering vital information and, the ability to act on that information with clarity and integrity. What better time than now to become fully aware of your body and what it is telling you?
From my book, Soul of the Seasons… “With its never-ending “need to know,” the mind is driven by fears of the unknown. We all want to know what’s out there. We may even be tempted to fork over large sums of money for advice on spiritual, financial, and relationship matters. But in spite of the efforts to peer into the crystal ball of our future, the answers to our questions can remain a mystery until we commit to following our heart [guided by The Divine]. This is where trust and faith come into play.”
Before we can act, however, we must first be open to the wisdom that is always available to us. This is where Ask, Listen, and Ruminate come in. Accessing Divine wisdom requires the stillness and receptivity afforded us through the practices of prayer (asking), meditation (listening), and contemplation (rumination). These acts call forth in us the qualities of courage, faith, and trust in a power greater than ourselves to guide us. (Notice I didn’t say, using the mind to gather more information.)
“Deep wisdom cannot be accessed with the flip of a switch, like our personal cosmic speed dial. It cannot be FedEx-ed to your front door along with the latest self-help program. God won’t shout over the top of the music in your Zumba class or the argument you are having with your teenager. Like the element of Water, inner stillness cannot be grasped in your clutches. Instead, the sanctuary of sacred rest must be entered with grace, patience, faith, and humility, with empty hands and an open heart. And, when sacred wisdom arrives, quietly and without fanfare, you will know it from the depths of your being.“from Soul of the Seasons: The Voice Without A Sound
From Soul of the Seasons, A Winter’s Rest Chapter: “Birth, whether of new beings or new ideas, is almost always borne out of a place of darkness, essential for gestation. When we intentionally carve out a sanctuary for quiet rest in our lives, we open the door to our most imaginative, most innovative creations. When our life becomes too busy, too frantic, and too noisy we often cry out, “Be quiet! I can’t think!” The truth is, it’s not only that we cannot think. . . . We cannot hear.
Though prayer is a powerful component of spiritual practice, contemplation also is essential. Meditation, which can be defined as focused contemplation, is a time set aside to hear what divine wisdom is telling us. Some spiritual teachings refer to this ability to hear at the deepest level as the act of listening to “the still, small voice.””
Rumination, another key element in utilizing wisdom, allows for the energetic digestion of important matters of the heart. This period of emotional and spiritual digestion helps to sustain our constitutional nourishment. Just as in the body the stomach breaks down ingested food and shares the wealth of nutrients with the other organs, when we are emotionally and spiritually balanced, we can share our abundance with our loved ones, our community, and Mother Earth. Without a season of rumination—a time to adequately break down and assimilate our experiences—our emotions [and even the best information] can begin to stagnate and solidify.
In a world that is spinning with daily crises, taking time to practice Asking, Listening, and Rumination is no longer a luxury. Information on how to pray, meditate, and contemplation practices are readily available and help us to make the best use of stillness of mind and heart. These essential practices create and maintain constitutional balance and harmony, qualities that have never been more critical to our health and well being.
Blessings and Grace to you.
NOTE: Everyone’s spiritual practice is different. Sitting in lotus position for hours may not bring you the stillness you need to clear the mind. Sitting by a body of water, taking a warm bath, focusing on your breath, hugging a tree, or a walk in nature are all effective ways to calm the mind and spirit. Use what works best for you.
For More information on practical steps during the COVID crisis visit my Facebook page Plant Spirit Medicine by Melody
To Order: Soul of the Seasons: Creating Balance, Resilience, & Connection by Tapping the Wisdom of the Natural World.