More than a dozen times in the past two weeks, as I’ve driven down the quiet country lane I live on, a heron has flown up right in front of my car. To see this majestic bird up close, and in seemingly slow motion, has given me much pause for thought. There was even one time where it flew in front of me, up the path of the road, for a few hundred metres. Absolutely enchanting! There was clearly a message I needed to hear.
The spiritual symbolism of a heron is one of stillness and tranquillity. For the heron, these traits are necessary to recognise opportunity. But what of the human? What can we learn from the heron?
By creating stillness, we manifest the best of our lives. Like the heron with one foot in the water and one on the earth, we too can find that balance. Water symbolises inspiration, empathy and imagination; and the earth symbolises practicality, abundance and solidity. Can we merge these to create a beautiful life for ourselves?
Humanity is going through a global crisis. In our quest for health, freedom and safety (and honest answers!), we’re finding ourselves in a world riddled with discrimination, division and segregation. This is so far removed from our human desire to connect and have meaningful relationships with those around us, it is understandable that so many people are struggling with their mental health.
Who do we trust?
Where do we turn?
What’s going to happen to us?
Fear dominates the mainstream media, and filters into people’s lives like a toxin penetrating into our cells.
The heron has reminded me to nurture myself with silence, quiet, and calm. From this place of peace, I am able to be in a state of composure, level headedness and serenity. There are many ways to avoid overwhelm and the fear saturation levels dominating our world. If I may, here are just some of the ways in which I give myself permission to be aware of the world drama while keeping myself in a state of grace.
Quite possibly the most important is my mindset of being grateful for my life. From the moment I awaken, before my eyes even open, I am affirming: I am so grateful for my beautiful life. I then mentally give thinks for all the goodness in my life, and the loving relationships I have with family and friends. I give thanks for my body, my home, my work, my creativity, my freedom. I also write these statements of heart-felt gratitude into my journal. There is power in putting words onto a page.
Early in my day I walk barefoot in the garden, my feet kissing the grass. The connection with Mother Earth soothes me, grounds my being, and reminds me that I am, to quote from the Desiderata, “A child of the Universe, no less than the trees and the stars”.
Reading positive and inspirational material or watching quantum-health videos on Gaia are opportunities to input knowledge and information which support my journey in life as a sovereign being.
I choose to eat nourishing foods brimming with life force, such as big heaping salads of fresh vegetables, seeds, nuts and legumes. Fresh juices nourish my cells at the deepest level of my being. I don’t drink alcohol or caffeinated drinks. This isn’t about being a goody-two shoes but honouring what is best for my mind and body at this point of my earthly journey.
At night, I sleep with my window wide open so that there is a constant source of fresh air.
We become the average of the five people we hang out with the most. Be mindful of the company you keep. Are you surrounding yourself with people who share horror stories of what’s happening in the world or who are creating a beautiful life through mindfulness, kindness and care. Do you have people in your close orbit who are aware and consciously embrace personal development?
Know that it’s okay to have your own thoughts and health narrative. This does not have to divide us. Live and let live.
I find myself listening to Mozart records over and over again. This takes me to a place of Infinite perfection. Find music that transports you in a nourishing way.
Connect with Nature’s time keepers. Watch the sun rise over the horizon. See the last hint of day light up the trees.
Turn off the TV or social media and stand under the night sky. If there’s one thing that has always had the most positive impact on me, it is this simple action. The stars remind me that I am part of something far greater than any human drama.
Deep breathing brings a sense of tranquillity. Read Breath by James Nestor. Even if you do it a few times a day, try breathing in through your nose for five seconds, and out for five seconds, several times until you feel your whole body settle down. It is such an easy practice to build into your day. It can be done any time and anywhere.
Allow yourself to engage with the world around you from a place of awe and wonder. Avoid taking anything for granted. Slow down.
I wake up each morning excited to live a new day. Personally, and professionally in my work as a funeral celebrant, I know how quickly a person’s life can change. One moment a loved one is with us, the next they’re gone. Tomorrow is not a given. Today. That’s all any of us has. So, enjoy this amazing life.
There is no one who can stop you smiling, and having a song in your heart. There’s no one who can tell you what to think (unless you let them). Expect the best. Create the world you want to live in. It starts in your home, in your corner of the world. You have a choice. You’re not a victim. You’re a sovereign being. You were made for this time.
Be like the heron. Slow, graceful, beautiful. You’ve got this.
What do you do that brings grace, calm and serenity into your days?
Veronika Robinson is an author, novelist, celebrant, celebrant trainer and editor of The Celebrant magazine. She lives in rural Cumbria in the north of England.