Cindy Hoard

Inspirational Author and Psychologist

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There is truly no better time or place to reflect on stillness in life than when in a natural setting. This can be anywhere, where the only sounds are those of nature, the only smells are the scents of flowers, trees, grass, fresh rain, or even air full of a dust storm. The brilliant dancing light of the sun is a wonder to behold! Elements of nature create shadows be they clouds or winds whipping objects through the air. As the sun moves through the sky, the visions of everything continue to shift and change.

What can you experience in the stillness of nature?
Our brick-and-mortar world can separate us from the wonders of nature.
How often do you take even 5 minutes to drink in the many immediate aspects of nature?
Do you frequently stop and take 3 to 5 deep breaths to bring yourself into the present moment?

My recent visit to Sante Fe, New Mexico and the Synergia Ranch provided immersion in nature. So much to breathe in. Mountains, breezes, apples on trees, pears falling to the ground, fresh herbs and vegetables brought to our table for wondrous meals. The sunsets and sunrises were moving and reminded me of the eternal cycles of daily life. Precious views of the full moon and planets, Jupiter and Venus moving nearby. What majesty and other than the full moon, visions unseen because of our artificial lights in the city.

Settings like Synergia in New Mexico and the Merritt Center in Payson, AZ have offered me wondrous days of healing in nature. But I have also found that even a walk in my neighborhood or walking the labyrinth at my church on the mountain in Arizona each provide surroundings where I can be totally held in nature. I can just breathe deeply, refresh and refocus myself.

Where can you experience “Mind Like Sky”?
What do you do for yourself to be immersed in nature and experience what many in the meditation community describe as “Mind Like Sky”. We can enter this space even if we don’t have the immediate surroundings of nature.

Being aware and surrounded by the sky, thoughts can be like clouds that pass through and don’t require our concentrated attention. Trust that any thoughts that are critical will come back around again when we can address them IF they need to be addressed. We can complicate our thoughts with continued efforts to problem solve, to plan, to try to anticipate all of which take us away from the present moment. Our breath can guide us to attend to sensations going on in our bodies in the immediate, present moment. When our focus is on our body sensations, our thoughts can fall into the background, away from dominating our attention.

When are you present in the moment for yourself?
Are you indulging in immersion in nature or settings that wrap you in the present moment? Where are places in your life that surround you in such a manner that you are more likely to be fully present in the moment?

This gift to yourself will ultimately enrich those around you.

Self-care is a legitimate, essential need to cultivate.