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Do you love to be in nature away from other people?

Is there a part of you that prefers to be in nature, away amongst mountains, by the sea or in the countryside, where there aren’t any people and you have to yourself the splendour of nature? Do you get times when you want to get away from the stresses and strains of dealing with your fellow humans and the crowded cities? Just recently someone was telling how she comes into her own when in nature, in the silence and stillness of remote mountains and their vast and massive rocky majesty. I thought, “me too!”

Your special place, if that is what it is, is very important. My correspondent was saying that for her there was this raw force of nature that was powerful, moving and brought out her passion and creativity. For me, there is a sense of Oneness, like I am connected to what I behold, as a part of me. Many have written of how they are moved by nature; in fact it helped spawn a whole artistic and cultural movement, Romanticism. For Wordsworth it was also a spiritual experience, beyond the material. It touches your soul.

There’s also this feeling that people and nature are somehow separate. It’s as though we can only be who we are in the depths of silence and stillness, as one can also find in meditation. Of course it is us having this experience and we are people! Yet for those of us who feel like this, we feel that we have somehow to get away from other people for this to work. Hence so many go off to live in isolated settings, being the hermit or in retreats, or having a house out on its own.

If you have this yearning, then try it, and see what happens after a while. For some it works. Others can find that all sorts of stuff comes up for them. One person told me how suddenly he felt acutely lonely and longed to be back with his wife. The aloneness was scary.

However, the other side of aloneness is at-Oneness. It’s perhaps where you put your focus. It might also be your understanding. It can be also be where you go when in silence and alone. There’s the whole thing about how you manage your state, and connect with your Self within.

Then, when you go back, if you do, to be with others, you might resist it. Then again you might feel refreshed and more ready to face what comes. It is worth reflecting that there too is Oneness. In the middle of a busy street, crowded with people, there too is God, or however you conceive of an underlying Presence of Being. When we resist our connection with others, and keep ourselves away, we keep ourselves separate, and can potentially therefore prevent ourselves from connection once more. It’s harder to do, of course, since this connection with others so often brings up our stuff. Yet there can lie our real challenge and our real opportunity.

I coach people to develop their real purpose, direction and life goals. To contact me click here.

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Taking action when truly connected to who you really are

Taking action, making changes, moving forward in life and/or in work, we are at our most effective when truly connected to who we are. This is about understanding the nature of authenticity, our true self. But how do we know this for ourselves?

You probably already know it, for example when you feel “in the flow”, in the zone, you can be highly effective. “Flow” is a concept, also called “Optimal experience”, which was developed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Another example might be being “in love”. You might have had the experience that when in love all things seem, or seemed, possible. You can read about it in poems, hear songs about it, and read novels. A whole era of Romanticism in the 19th century was devoted to it. When people are “in love” they often tend to think that they are somehow truly “themselves”, complete, at one with life. The problem for many of us with this is that it seems to be temporary, and like the Romantics we might find ourselves regreting its loss and be more engaged with that than being present with the feeling of love. People can also confuse wanting love, ie being engaged around the absence of love, than actually engaged with love itself.

However, there’s another aspect to love, one that is for example experienced by meditators or those in deep prayer or contemplation. Here, one may feel a deep sense of love that is not associated with a person and to which many might give a spiritual interpretation. Here there’s no object necessarily, but just the sense of love. Here too one might feel complete and as One.

People report this experience in group work, as I have found through my work, where the depth and level of work has brought the group to feel very bonded and, they often say, “there’s a lot of love here”. Each feels it, but it seems also “in the room”, like we all feel it. I tend to call this “Transpersonal” love.

Reports by people who have had strong breakthrough experiences, either in their own personal work or often in group work too, are similar. They can report that they feel and expanded sense of potential, full of love, complete, “at One”, connected to everybody, and no longer worried or concerned by anything. They say things like they know who they are at last, that they have “come home”, and all is well with themselves and with the world. You can read about this in the work of Steve Taylor.

So, if we’re going to talk about authenticity, there’s several levels to this. There is for example where you might feel you’re being genuine but maybe without a lot of self-awareness around that. Then you might feel you’re being yourself, then you might have found your authentic self as opposed to parts you might have played in the past. At a deeper level, you might move on to have reached a point of Oneness, unity and love. The authenticity we tend to speak of that offers the most powerful and profound breakthroughs is the last of these, that of Oneness, total love.

We work to help people get a clearer sense of who they are in our programs, such as The Point of Awareness.