“Lots of people hardly ever feel real soil under their feet, see plants grow except in flower pots, or get far enough beyond the street light to catch the enchantment of a night sky studded with stars. When people live far from scenes of the Great Spirit’s making, it’s easy for them to forget his laws.”
These are the words of Walking Buffalo, a chief of the Nakoda First Nation of Alberta, Canada, who in 1958 traveled the world on a mission of peace and understanding. He reminds us that harmony with the natural world connects us to Spirit—and the essence of who we really are. To have peace and understanding among ourselves and within our world, we need to be in touch with our common Source.
It’s all too easy to forget our connection to the natural world when we live surrounded by technology and the artificial constructions of our amazing modern life. Nature has a way of reminding us, however, when we have overstepped our bounds. The Native wisdom of Walking Buffalo asks us not to forget the sacredness of life and to pay attention to the natural laws at work around us. The air, water, trees, minerals, clouds, animals, birds, and insects are all essential to the sacred web of life which we too often take for granted.
Step closer to your essence by giving gratitude rather than taking for granted. Take a break from the city walls and Continue Reading
Everyone has a favorite spiritual setting, a natural place that speaks to your heart and thereby to your soul. Living on Maui, I find beauty in all directions—the lush green mountains, the ocean, the sky, the flowers. While filming The Shift, we had a chance to experience the spectacular rocky, windswept coast of central California. The sea can range from turquoise to emerald to steely gray in a single afternoon and when the fog rolls in, it swirls mysteriously around the dark branches of the pines. Surrounded by nature’s majesty, it’s easy to feel the presence of Spirit and reconnect with the love that supports all life. Wherever you live, you’re only a few hours (or even minutes) away from a natural setting that will revive, refresh, and inspire you. What scenery do you love—the shelter of the forest, the expanse of the desert, the peace of a mountain meadow? Give yourself permission to get away so that you can camp in the outdoors, swim in a river, lake, or ocean, ride on horseback, or ski down a mountain. While you’re making plans, take a walk in the park, breathe deeply, hug a tree, notice the natural world that surrounds us, and I guarantee you will feel closer to the real person inside.
My latest book Excuses Begone was written day by day—every day from February 1st to October 2008. My inspiration came from nature in the most beautiful way. Before beginning each new chapter in the book, I would drive 35 miles east of where I live on Maui and then hike over an incredible number of rocks and through trees for about two hours. There’s a place where a 50-foot waterfall drops into a pool, surrounded by guava trees covered with guava fruit.
Here I would stay right under the waterfall and just let the water cascade down on my head. In the hours I spent there, everything I needed for my next chapter would appear. I didn’t have an outline or any organization—just a beautiful, blissful place in the rain forest. It was almost as if God wrapped his arms around me and said, “This is what you’ll need for the next chapter. Just be at peace.”
After a couple of hours of being out there in nature and finding my own nature, I would come back and sit down to write and everything just flowed so easily and so beautifully.
That’s how it works when you follow your bliss. Everyone says, “That’s crazy—you have to drive 35 miles and hike two hours and it’s so isolated out there.” I wouldn’t even begin to know how to start a new chapter without making conscious contact with God.
That’s my way—it’s not the way—it’s just my way.