Here and now

I’ve been engaging with the present lately. I’ve been reading Eckhart Tolle (A new Earth) and realised that being present is as hard and as simple as choosing it, right here, right now. There’s nothing really new in the book but somehow it has just clicked for me.

I wasn’t sure about sharing this here because I didn’t feel like I could articulate the connection between being present and connecting with nature. Then I came across this beautiful post about wild time.

In old Europe, the word “time” derives from the word “tide”, while the word “current” means both “tide” and “time”. Time is the tides of the ocean, shifting and changing with the moon. It ebbs and flows. It waxes and wanes. Time is fluid. It has a beat. A rhythm of relationship, the in-breath and out-breath of the web of life.

The post discusses how the Western construct of time is arbitrary and problematic and offers some alternatives. Reading about these different ways of conceiving of time soothes my soul in the same way as Eckhart Tolle’s writing does. Being present and stilling the waters of the mind allows the Earth to speak within. It’s about paying attention, opening oneself up to what is offered, accepting what is instead of imposing our own idea of how things ‘should be.’ Deep listening.

This is one of the wonderful things about hanging out with kids, they have a different sense of time. If you let them they can draw you right into the present moment. Mudpie Mama has a list of tips for walking in nature with your toddler that includes:

Let them lead – Wherever possible let them take the lead and follow their interests.

A leading me along Merri Creek

I couldn’t agree more, to my mind though it’s not just about child centred parenting, it’s that they are probably closer to nature than you so really, they’re a better judge of how to engage. They are more present and they haven’t learned how to march to the beat of the time gods, what a gift! Plus they are little sponges, their eyes and ears are wide open taking in everything the world has to offer.

A wake up call

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On Sunday I went to see the delightful Clare Bowditch do her Big Hearted Business morning tea thing. It was inspiring, it was energising, it was a relief to hear someone talk about passion for saving the world as an asset instead of rolling their eyes. It was also a profound eye opener. I hadn’t really considered that the work I want to do could be a viable business. I’m not actually sure that a business can be inherently ethical in the way I would want it to be, I need to think about it some more.

I spoke to lots of interesting people, it would have been great to do even more of that. I haven’t started a business but I’m branching out into new territory just wanting a career that I am whole heartedly involved in, that engages the best parts of myself. I need to speak to others who can affirm that that’s possible and that it’s a worthy endeavour.

At one point Clare started talking about marketing, what things come to mind?

slick, sales, targeting, awkward, segmentation, niche…

Then she asked – who knows what problem they are trying to solve?

I don’t know if it was because I raised my hand a little higher than the others. Perhaps the audience didn’t have a lot of people who really knew their problem. Maybe it was completely random but I suddenly found myself talking to my hero, Clare Bowditch.

The problem I want to solve is connecting people with nature, so that they understand they are actually part of it.

How are you going to do that?

I run workshops.

And what’s your background, is it therapeutic?

No, I have a buddhist practice and I’ve worked in the community sector for 15 years.

(Satisfied, Clare turns to the audience) Okay, so who here knows someone or feels that they themselves need to connect with nature?

Everyone. raised. their. hand.

(Clare turns back to me, nodding appreciatively. Thunderstruck I can barely bring myself to look around the room.) Okay so how are these people going to find you?

Ah, they can’t actually.

Right, thank you for your honesty, that’s what marketing is for.

That’s what this blog is for, so people can find me. I have the luxury of full time work, I’m not looking for an income, I’m looking for deep conversation.