Saturday, 22 October 2011

Reconnecting.....

The world is in a big mess, but whilst we run around like headless chickens trying to 'fix' it, we very rarely take the time to look at the root of the problem which is, I believe, 'disconnection'.  We have become SO disconnected from ourselves, from each other and from the natural world - that we don't even recognise the damage we're doing.....let alone take responsibility for it!

We seem to have become conditioned, on a global scale, to search for 'quick fixes' - but quick fixes never work in the long term. They don't work in personal relationships so how can they possibly be expected to work on issues as massive and on-going as declining biodiversity, climate change, deforestation, food security, pollution, waste.....the list goes on.  It's really no use papering over the cracks if we don't simultaneously address the root of the problem - i.e disconnection.

Addressing this disconnection is not something that someone else can do for us. It needs to start within - and then spiral out (nature loves spirals!) till it encompasses and envelops all of our relationships; our relationships with ourselves, with each other and with the natural world. There are no barriers to this process other than the ones you put up yourself by saying 'I can't'. You can!!! It really is SO simple; all you need to do is think in terms of changing your habits. The only thing that limits us is our habits.

TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Make it count! Perhaps you could make a list of all the resources you use each day and decide to spend just one day a week cutting some of them out. Then, use the time that you gain from (for instance) not using the computer, to go for a walk.  Take some long, slow, deep breaths; embrace the elements; listen to the sounds around you and know that you are a part of all that you see, hear and feel....not apart from it. Stop and look closely at what's around you...maybe squat down and count the amount of different grasses and flowers you can see from where you are. Do you recognise them? Can you name any of them? Do you know if they are edible or have medicinal properties? Plants are amazing and have a way of sucking you into their world so that time stands still and before you know it you have reconnected - albeit just for a few moments - with nature.

I've had people call me puritanical, fanatical & dickensian because I choose to spend one day a week (usually Sunday) without electricity, gas, oil, computer, mobile phone, car & money - but what I have re-gained from switching off on Sundays cannot be measured.

As an 'army child', my family were constantly on the move. This had its downsides, but one of the upsides is that my brothers and I constantly had new environments and habitats to explore. My childhood was full of mini 'adventures' in meadows, mountains, moorland, woods and hills - I made friends with the trees and flowers that inhabited these spaces as well as the birds and insects and I never once thought of myself as separate from them in any way.

At some stage during my early adult life I lost this connection - and for a few years (those in which I spent more time indoors than out) I struggled with myriad health problems. It wasn't a good time!

Choosing to spend at least one day a week in the slow lane helped me begin the reconnection process and I will never again know what it is to be 'alone'.  Whilst I am immersed in nature I loose all track of time and nothing matters other than the moment.

I have learned to recognise different sights and sounds; to know which bees or birds I might spot in which environments; and to tread more lightly so that I don't disturb the inhabitants of the hills, woodlands and river banks where I walk. I still make mistakes, but I'm learning from them. Just last week I was trying to video an amazingly active bumblebee nest on the banks of the river Severn, but in my excitement I sat too close to the nest and realised afterwards that I had disturbed the bees' landmarks and interfered with their flight path. I'll be more respectful next time.

Reconnection takes time - it isn't something you can hurry but it is imperative that we begin the process ASAP both individually and collectively. It doesn't matter where you start; getting to know yourself, the people around you and the environment you live in are all interconnected - so one will lead automatically to another. You may fancy plunging in at the deep end by going out and sleeping in a bivi bag under the stars....or you may decide to go and sit on a bench in the local park for half an hour. It doesn't matter how you/we do it....what matters is that we recognise that we are all a part of this amazing planet that nurtures and sustains us and that we start treating ourselves, each other and all other life with love and respect.

I hope this makes sense; it's difficult trying to express something so huge in a blog.

Wishing you a beautiful sunshine filled day...whoever you are and whatever you do! xxx

Some interesting links.....

Make a Nature Mandala; I did! - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXsr-Gu15Sk
The incredible Julia Butterfly Hill - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72Z2wmgLiTc 
Beautiful sounds and articles - http://wildsoundscape.co.uk/ 
Bumblebee Autumn nest - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v601uwJ8oIw 





16 comments:

  1. Lovely first post Brigit, will you bee (haha) having a followers button so I can keep upto date with your posts?, thanks x

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  2. nevermind it just appeared on the page :)

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  3. Excellent, thought provoking piece B.

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  4. Lovely post, beautifully expressed! Will share this widely, thank you :)

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  5. Than you so much for reading my blog post and for the lovely feedback!

    It's not the first blog post Dotty Delightful. I'm not very good at keeping it up though; I keep meaning to do more but I'm really slow on the computer so each one takes ages.

    xxx

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  6. 'today is the first day of the rest of your life', so powerful and yes i agree Bee it has to come from us and we can all make a difference.
    it both amazes and saddens me how disconnected most people are. you are so inspiring and not puritanical, just feeling and living from your heart and showing us all that it is possible to make changes.
    thank you beautiful Bee,
    peace and blessings
    Ginny x

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  7. Great post Brigit - thanks for letting me use it today on www.nextstarfish.com

    All the best

    -STEVE-
    x

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  8. Lovely post Brigit! So true. There is much ReConnection and ReMembering taking place even amidst the chaotic desperate grasping onto the old disconnected ways.
    Have re-posted here: http://ecomonkey.blogspot.com/2011/11/reconnecting.html xx

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  9. Yeah, mankind has become so far removed, and detached, from nature that we forget just how much nature and it's beauty can enrich our lives..your Sunday Switch-off is a really good idea and I will strive to do something the same :)

    David

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  10. This is exactly what I am hoping to do :) Life has become strained & chaotic for me lately..making me think about what I really want out of life. Being busy & stressed is part of life, especially running your own business too! I feel the need to reconnect with the outdoors & get in the slow-lane more than ever before! I live in a beautiful place but I take little time *to be* in it & absorb it & I miss it. My soul suffers for it. As the song says..We are stardust. We are golden. And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden :) Today is the day to make changes. Thanks for making so much sense x

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  11. If we could only 'all live in the moment' and treat this time as if it were our last, then perhaps we would focus on what's important and make a serious change for the better.

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  12. I really enjoyed this. you are so right in saying we need to turn off and turn on,if you will.we have got so far away from the roots of the earth. what a beautiful way to suggest reaqquinting ourselves.sunday seems to be the perfect day to do so as well. enjoy yours! :}

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  13. Bee. You express yourself very well. On a subject that's not always that easy to communicate. You will I imagine enjoy this tribute to the poem "the call of the wild" by Robert Service - It talks about "growing bigger in the bigness of the whole" I have learned to recite it by heart and it has kept me company when seemingly alone in the natural world many times.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zihYVz8tW4g&feature=plcp&context=C377e27cUDOEgsToPDskLf58sMUb1mo4u1nV9TEhso
    Best wishes

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    1. Thank you for sharing your tribute Alan....what a lovely thing to have learned by heart. it's very beautiful.

      I've also been enjoying your Hedge chef videos VERY much and hope you don't mind if I share them on facebook and twitter...

      B x

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