We hope you are all taking ample time to stop and appreciate the beautiful colors that are emerging this Fall season. Change is the one constant in nature, so it can a be a wonderfully grounding practice to stop and witness the churning, rhythmic flow of the seasons. I would like to invite you to take few deeps breaths the next time you’re outside, and feel the brisk air searching for dried leaves to rustle. Let the feelings of coziness and gratitude swirl within like a warm fire. Fall is a great time to feel deeply all of the changes and growing edges you’ve encountered in the last few moons, and to settle into acceptance and gratitude for this growth. The summer months flew by this year, and I feel like the brightly lit trees are reminding me to see the fiery phoenix that has been invisibly waking within.
As many of may know, I spend a lot of time sitting and contemplating nature. There is so much to be in awe of, so many presents to be unwrapped. While gazing at a tree dressed in the most vivid crimson and oranges, it occurred to me how bizarre this spectacle really is. These magnificent beings spend months sprouting leaves, flowers and fruits. Their green canopies, providing homes for so many creatures and shady retreats from afternoon sun, seem to be a permanent part of skyline. When taken from a purely visual stance, the green leaves that adorn each tree seem to be the only living part. And then they all fall off. First they turn radical shades, as if pretending to be spring flowers, desperately warning the approaching cold that the timing is all off. As the cold presses on, the leaves succumb, turning brown and finding their way to the earth. The tree then stands in apparent defeat, dead and cold. If you lived in a tropical zone and had never seen something like this before, it might seem as if the forest was dying. If someone then told you that it was totally natural and in a few months all of the leaves would return and the whole thing starts all over again, you might think it impossible. That is, you might disbelieve it until you saw it happen. Once witnessed, it seems not only possible, but completely natural. This is the power of experience.
If we reflect upon it, I’m sure all of us can find a moment in our lives when we believed something was impossible, only to be proven wrong by our experience of the truth. I can remember seeing a dried and crusty piece of rawhide laying against a shed in Arizona. My friend informed me he was going to make leather from this hide. I felt very sad for him, because I ‘knew’ that once a hide had reached that point, it was well beyond leather. It seemed completely impossible to me that something so hard and brittle could turn into a soft and supple piece of material. Fortunately, I learned that this impossibility was completely possible and it has changed the course of my life. Seeing this hide turn into brain tan was a most wonderful dissolution of my limiting belief. I not only learned how to make leather, but I was also given an invaluable reminder about my beliefs: they are not always correct.
Even with ample amounts of reminders, this can be a tough reality to integrate into our daily world. We need to understand certain limits of possibility in order to survive. Humans do not do well when confronting a moving train, for example. Eat certain plants and you will likely die, for another. However, there are examples of people who have been hit by trains and eaten deadly poisonous plants and lived to tell the tale. So while it isn’t wise to attempt either of the above examples, it may be wise to become aware of our beliefs of what is and is not possible. People used to believe that running a mile in under four minutes was entirely impossible. As was the goal of creating a machine that could fly and carry humans like birds. Today, many have broken the four-minute mile, and airplanes pass over heads at any given moment. All it takes is one person to do the impossible for it to become real. When many do it, it becomes normal. Then we all forget how it seemed insurmountable and move our boundary of impossibility out a little further. I’m pretty sure this has been a story of humanity for many thousands of years.
Fortunately for us, we have the freedom to choose which stories we want to believe. As adults, this can be easier said than done. We like to see the feat preformed or somehow experience the reality before we’re willing to let go of our belief. Once this happens, we gladly choose to change our minds, as that is the rational thing to do. Children, on the other hand, do not share in our rigidness of intellect. They have a special gift that allows them to be more open to possibilities. They allow themselves the freedom to entertain impossible ideas. This openness is often encouraged by adults to create joy and magic. Santa Claus is a perfect example. What adult mind would allow for such a possibility to occur in our reality. No one can visit every house in the world in just one night, right? And that doesn’t even address the flying reindeer or weight capacity of a sled. Yet, tell a child this story, show them the presents in the morning, and you have a true believer before you.
What if we used this magic of an open mind to inspire a new way experiencing the world? We have plenty of evidence to suggest that our ideas of impossibility are not founded in fact. What if we allowed our minds to explore the outrageous, to invite the improbable? How many boundaries would we break free of? Where would we go as a people if we opened to every potential we have as humans? I imagine a world where there is no such thing as impossible. Imagination would be our only limit. Your children live in this world right now. I invite you to join them, if only for a moment. You may find that deep down in your heart, you’ve never let go of the belief that anything is possible. It may be buried by hard lessons and disappointments and despair. The world may have conditioned you to forget. But inside a small flame has continued to burn. Anything is possible, and you’ve always known it.
Ahhh! Doesn’t that feel good to admit? You can still be responsible and make wise decisions. You can be an adult and take care of your family. You are also aware that anything can happen and you won’t block yourself from seeing something completely new and unimaginable. The impossible is totally available to you.
Our children live in this magical space of possibility. Nature opens them to see that their truth is not only founded in reality, but is a natural state of awareness. Only through conditioning and the challenges of failure and defeat do they learn to suppress this inner knowing. Our task as adults is to help them navigate the challenges with grace, strength and courage. To help them maintain their spirit of innocence and belief while learning the ropes of maturity and wisdom. This may seem like an impossible task, but we know what that means. It means we can do it.
At Wildheart we spend a lot time with children exploring imagination and awareness (while in nature, of course). This is because we understand that our only limitation is our belief. If we can inspire kids to continue to believe in themselves, to believe in the world, to believe in the impossible, then we are creating a healthier planet for everyone. At the end of our last week of summer camp a parent asked her daughter what she took away from the four weeks of camp she attended. She thought for a second, then responded with full confidence, “Anything is possible.” It was a magical confirmation for us as instructors, because we often don’t get that direct of feedback about our work. Moments like these keep us going!
The other evening, we shared a similar sentiment with parents who signed up for our eight and nine-month transformation programs. We invited them to envision the positive changes they would like to see for their children and for their families as the result of going through the process with us. One of my favorite sayings from our business mentor, Katie Cavanaugh is: “If you can envision it, you can create it!” Increasing the wellbeing of our children and our families is not only something we can imagine but something that we can make real. Can you think of one tiny shift you could make in your state of mind or in your actions to bring more joy, love, harmony, and compassion into your family life? A tiny change might look like taking three deep breaths before responding to a family member during a stressful conversation. It could be planning a technology free family outing. I invite you to choose one small realistic shift and actually do it today. It may seem unlikely that one small change could make a large impact in your life and the lives of others but we invite you to open to the possibility that it can. Please write to us or comment on social media what your tiny change was and how it felt to do it so that we can inspire each other as a community! If you and your children enjoy connecting with other families with similar values, going through a group process can be quite rewarding. Although our Sacred Arts 8-Month School of Wizardry is full, we have two more spaces available for Wildheart Girls’ Empowerment and for Wildheart Warriors for ages 10 – 13. Registration closes on October 14th.
The more we can break from old patterns and make small powerful changes in our mind and actions as a collective the more we will see our world shift to a more harmonious reality. What do you think will happen when more people start giving their valuable energy to thoughts, feelings, and actions that will create wellbeing for all? If we really understand that anything is possible we can observe the aspects of our world that are rooted in fear and unconsciousness without believing that those things are set in stone. In focusing on other potentials, we stop feeding the unhealthy patterns in our minds and in the world. Let us encourage this natural understanding in the children that the world is never static and that it is always full of potential. Let us remind them that they have everything they need within them to find a path that will bring them joy, health, and happiness in their lives. And let us be the examples of that starting with that tiny change that we will enact today.
Thank you for opening your mind to a broader view of what is possible. I look forward to hearing about your tiny changes and the ripple effect they have in this world.
Founder / Instructor
Wildheart Nature School