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Laura V. Hyde

Gifts of the Soul
September 2002

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Laura's Current Column

by Laura V. Hyde

Greetings Soulful Living Readers!

Dealing with stress and making time to relax allows us to access our innermost self and our inherent gifts. Nature provides us with an opportunity to do both. No matter where you live or what kind of climate surrounds you, the beauty of nature is always nearby. The sunís rays, moonís glow and starís light are qualities we can all appreciate. And if for some reason you are unable to get outdoors, you can always visualize it and receive its benefits. So I invite you to read the following article, then create time for yourself to relax and de-stress.


Cradled in Nature's Arms

Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the
Earth are never alone or weary of life.
--Rachel Carson

As I continue to grow, I am becoming increasingly aware of my appreciation for nature and the infinite healing properties contained within itsí beauty. At a time when the world is shrinking and the population increasing, finding respite in nature is a gift to my soul and something I cherish, especially when Iím feeling stressed. Sinking into the splendor of nature has become not only a way of life for me, but my spiritual path. For I believe when we allow ourselves to connect intimately with nature, we are then able to connect with the most intimate aspects of our self. Thus the more we relate to and understand nature, the more we understand ourselves.

On a clear night, we can see thousands of twinkling stars, reminding us of the beauty and power surrounding us. On a sunny day, we are strengthened and uplifted by the energy from the sunís rays. A body of water has the ability to connect us to our deepest emotions, while mountains can comfort us with their grandeur and magnitude. With safe and open arms, nature accepts us just as we are.

Further, our inner child thrives in nature. Remember when you were little and had fun simply running barefoot in the grass? Or how about those times when you splashed around in a rain puddle, or better yet, when you sunk your toes right into the oozing mud? The three year old, six year old, or nine year old that still lives within you wasnít worried about how it looked to othersóit just wanted to let go and have fun.

Well now, as an adult, nature still has the ability to release you from whatever stress you may be experiencing: financial, relationship, health, work. Within the natural world, you can safely surrender your feelings knowing that it will lovingly take your burdens and ease your pain. Love is present within the trees, water, wind and animals, and available everywhere you turn.

In fact, earlier today, before writing this article, I experienced such love while spending some time at a nearby beach. After having had a somewhat stressful morning, I decided to spend some time alone in the sun, along the shoreline of the ocean. Taking my beloved dog, "Guru," I looked forward to relaxing and becoming rejuvenated before some clients arrived later in the day. However, upon arriving at my favorite cozy spot, I noticed a sea lion lying on the beach. This seemed unusual because sea lions do not normally rest in locations near people. Upon closer examination, I sensed it was struggling. Spotting some women nearby, I asked if they had called for help and they responded "yes," and that a rescue crew was on its way.

Being both a water and animal lover, I find sea lions fascinating. Symbolically, they represent balance, imagination, creativity and lucid dreaming. I found it interesting that this creature appeared on the very day that I was contemplating the need to attain more balance, and, expand my imagination to manifest a certain essence. While keeping this in mind, I realized I very much wanted to help this magnificent creature lying less than ten feet in front of me. I realized the most healing thing I could do was send it light until the rescue crew arrived. After taking several deep breaths, I began extending light and love from my heart to the weary sea lion. As I continued, I noticed that it was gradually shifting itsí head toward me.

Well, it was almost an hour before the crew arrived, and during that time, I felt my heart opening not only to the sea lion, but to every other living thing as well. By the time the crew arrived (consisting of a father and his lovely eight year-old daughter), I felt a profound sense of appreciation for the sea lion and all of the love that was being expressed within the situation. Others were also concerned for the sea lion. And as much concern I felt for the sea lionís condition, I recognized that we were all one and love was the glue connecting us together.

Before I departed, I asked the young girl if she enjoyed rescuing animals with her father. She happily replied, "Oh, yes! I really like saving the dolphins, theyíre my favorite!" She proudly continued, "Last month, we saved two dolphins from nets and even though they died, I got to know both of them and even gave them names." This wise soul was another gift to me as was the entire event, for she taught me that there is joy to be found amidst nature even during the most challenging experiences.

Today, affirm to ease any stress you may be feeling with the beauty and peace of nature. Allow nature to comfort you and nurture your soul. You will be reminded that you are not alone and are always surrounded by loveís presence. Sidney Lovett expressed it eloquently when he wrote, "Every now and then take a good look at something not made with hands - a mountain, a star, the turn of a stream. There will come to you wisdom, and patience, and solace, and above all the assurance that you are not alone in the world."

What elements in nature give you the most joy? My soul prefers sunshine, water and mountains, in that order. I have friends, though, who thrive best when surrounded by a quiet forest and gentle stream.

Next, how can you find comfort in nature today? Spending time in nature requires willingness. When we get too caught up in the busyness of our lives, we lose connection with our self and one another. Itís necessary that we take time to stroll a beach, gaze at the stars, or feel the wind upon our face.

Honor yourself today by making time for your soul to be cradled in natureís arms. Sink into the moment and absorb its healing energy. Observe what is around you and learn from natureís symbology. And most important of all, allow yourself to rest, relax and recover.

© Copyright 2002 Laura Grace. All Rights Reserved.

 Laura's Books:

Gifts of the Soul by Laura Grace              The Intimate Soul by Laura Hyde

Read Laura's Past Columns:

Read Laura's August 2002 Column - "Recovering Your Soul"

Laura V. Hyde
Laura Grace is Co-founder of Infinite Wisdom, an organization dedicated to the highest human capacity, and a national author and speaker. As a regular contributor for publications across the U.S. and Canada, Laura writes about human awareness and spiritual growth. Laura is the author of the widely acclaimed books The Intimate Soul and Gifts of the Soul, and the creator and teacher of various programs including the Self-Mastery Program, The Art of Compassionate Forgiveness, Wonderful Women: Reclaiming Our Power, Passion and Purpose, and Cultivating the Intimate Life. Please visit Laura's web site at: www.LauraGrace.net.

As a spiritual counselor, Laura provides assistance in person and by phone. You may contact her for a free brochure at: laura@laurahyde.com.





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