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Let the River of Song flow through you

Here in the northern hemisphere, the wintry weather is making way for the awakening energy of spring. 

Bird song, fresh new green leaves, sprouting bulb flowers, more daylight, and fragrant blossoms are some of the things I’m seeing here.

When I take time to be in nature with an open heart, cool things happen.

I was drawn to use my nature journal in a different way. I haven’t shared much of this creative process with you, but I'm feeling that this might resonate with you.

The whisper

Tuesday morning while getting ready for my work day, I heard the morning birds singing through the closed window- beckoning me- "come outside". I got this whisper in my head, and pushed it aside because I've got a full schedule right now.

But something inside kept nudging me, "you said you wanted to listen to the birds". The whisper was right- I DID say I wanted to sit out with the dawn chorus over the weekend but never did.

I decided it was time to listen to that quiet voice this time, and stepped outside to listen to the birds.

The air smelled fresh, and the sound of all the birds welcomed me. I set up a camp chair, a blanket on my lap with my nature journal, although I already decided that I wanted to quiet my analytical mind and just be in nature.

Stepping into nature

As I sat back listening to the chorus of bird voices, I noticed the impulse– to listen, identify and write down the name of each bird species. Its the old way that I've been working to balance with a softer, more open- hearted way of nature journaling.

Then I shifted my attention to the feeling in my body

I sat back, closed my eyes and relaxed my breath. I felt an expanding awareness and noticed how the bird symphony FEELS. 

I felt a spaciousness, openness, freedom….. Then colors, ideas and words came to mind.

Tuning in and creating

I opened my nature journal and grabbed some colored pencils and began writing in response to the birds- in a different way than how I normally nature journal.

My pencil moved across the page with each new bird I heard, selecting colors as they showed up in my mind’s eye.

When self-doubt popped up, I went back to quieting my analytical mind, breathing, and noting what color came next.

I layered colors and marks, added watercolor with my brush letting the strokes dance with the bird symphony, while enjoying each singer and movement of the paint across the page.

It felt good to be present with the bird song and how it made me fee without worrying about how the page looked like. It felt so freeing.

Flow journaling

After a few minutes, the colors felt finished and focused on the words that were coming to mind. I turned the page and began writing. I call this “flow journaling” and do this often in my gratitude journal. I let each word or phrase that shows up in my awareness be written on the page without censoring or thinking.

I receive insights through this process-- and I'll write more about this topic in a future post.

After a page of writing, it felt complete. I read through and highlighted certain phrases stood out to me, and I transferred them onto the colorful page of bird symphony.

Messages from nature today

Here are highlights of what came through this creative process

  • Let the river of song move through you.

  • Be here in the moment.

  • Listen with an open heart

  • Listen beyond the birds, letting the music move through your body. How does this feel?

  • Be like the trees who show you how to be grounded and receptive to what nature’s saying. They ground their roots into the earth, and reach their branches up high.

  • Be open and receptive, and your next right steps will become clear.

Using your intuition

The page you see here had been co-created with nature. When I trust myself and the insights I allow them to come to life to be known to me and shared with others. Its a reminder to me to bring playfulness, lightness, and openness to my daily life.

I’ve been honing my receptiveness to nature in this way for several years, but its not something that I’ve readily shared with others.

Nature is always there sharing wisdom with us, but we’re just not used to being receptive to it. Its something anyone can do, it just takes practice to be in stillness and receptiveness.

Most of us might have a place where this way of knowing nature and communication is openly received or shared.

My hope in sharing my experiences with nature is that we can open the conversation, and create a space where you too can reconnect with the natural world and your intuitive nature. And to make this more normalized in day- to- day conversation.

Have you slowed down to tune into what nature might be showing you?

Have you tried to "listen beyond the birds" to the unheard notes?

Have you used your journal to reflect on your experience with nature?

Let me know what you think. Does any of this resonate with you? or pique your curiosity?

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What a lovely, inspiring experience! Funny how I've done this in expressive arts experiences, but not really in my nature journal. It's a new way of thinking about the nature journal and I'm definitely intrigued. Thanks for sharing!

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