For centuries, alternative health practitioners have explored the healing potential of natural rhythms and vibrations of the earth itself. The view that Mother Earth possesses healing powers to restore itself is substantiated by examples of positive long term outcomes following natural disasters such as forest fires, and droughts where local ecosystems bounce back over time. The acute or chronic negative impacts of nature’s chaos on itself is often reversed or set-right by a homeostatic flow back towards stability, evenness, and wholeness. Nature has a way to settle itself even after horrifying events threaten or kill ecosystems. Nature by definition is a life-force, or a force of life that propels itself forward in a perpetually regenerative motion at a molecular and perhaps quantum level. When the world is silent, and when you are silent in the world, it is possible to feel the earth’s vibration created by life’s regenerative motion.

I am often reminded about the alarm bells ringing in Ontario over the purple loofstriffe plant debacle of the time that warned people about this plant’s ability to suffocate fresh water systems in smaller lakes, creeks, and bodies of water outside the city. Similar alarms were raised about the health of declining frog populations and birch trees across the province as well. Although distressing trends and warnings were real at the time, these shorter-term impacts did reverse. I witnessed the revival of the beautiful birch tree, diverse fresh water shorelines, and rebounding frog populations firsthand as a cottage owner for over twenty-five years.

As a therapist, these examples of nature’s resilience both taught and reminded me about healing. People, like the earth ebb and flow between periods of good health and happiness, and poor health and distress. This is a natural flow, an oscillation of physical and mental well-being that like Mother Earth herself is in constant motion. Even when the earth is silent and still, similar to the experience of looking up at the stars on a dark clear night while standing on an expansive field, you can feel the earth’s vibrations. So too, when you allow yourself to be still and silent, will you begin to feel your own vibrational life force. This journey into the self is only possible when you learn to practice what being still feels like. Being still with yourself will allow you to get in touch with your personal life energy and to grow in familiarity with it, who you really are, and for those in need, how to heal.

Your healing journey in this sense requires that you trust your own natural regenerative force to continually drive you forward to a state of balance that simply feels good and right to you personally. A state of wellness is an entirely subjective and personal assessment. Only you know how you feel. One of the most rewarding aspects as clinician for me is the privilege to witness so many people grow into themselves lovingly. In recent times, my high achieving clients have been asking me where this need and desire to think about the “next” personal goal comes from when their list of achievements is already so long! Posed in this way, ambitious people begin to appear to be suffering with some sort of compulsion to achieve that is pathologically manipulated to block the completely appropriate and healthy desire to achieve more. It is not your personal drive towards success and achievement that is unhealthy, but rather the tendency of a few to pursue ambitious goals without concern for personal wellbeing, the wellbeing of family, community, society at large, and the earth. It is this compulsive desire to achieve without consequence that contaminates your regenerative life force by threatening your own health and wellness in so doing.

When you begin to practice self-awareness in body, mind, and spirit by learning to be still and feeling your own life force, you will grow more and more attuned to what you need and want in your life. A less common but strongly suggested New Year’s Resolution for yourself is to learn to be still with yourself -to feel your own personal vibration or life force and to enjoy it. You will begin to see the places and people in your life who align, compliment, and boost your vibrational energy levels, and those people and places that do not. You will begin to trust your own feelings and allow them to guide you forward on decisions at work, home, or leisure. You will learn to separate the stressors and emotional pain of others from your own without a loss of compassion or care. You will learn to be available to the people who need and love you without disrupting your own inner sense of balance. The notion of finding purpose in the New Year must have this emotional aspect for you to get it right. In other words, continuing to live your life without this deep sense of awareness of yourself in nature is bound to lead you in directions that you cannot trust. None of us can trust decisions that are void or emptied of any personal or emotional feelings.

On the other hand, your personal life will vibrate with serenity and peace when you trust what you feel, even in the face of multiple demands. Give yourself the gift of personal awareness this New Year, and begin to find or reclaim purpose in all the little things that make up your life. Achievement means different things to different people, as it ought! If your desire this year is to learn how to knit like your grandmother did, to become the CEO in your company, to get married, to start a family, or to start a business, it is your life force that propels you forward as life has a way of doing. Make your New Year promise to yourself to protect that innermost gift of your own nature to be whole, happy, and well no matter where your life journey takes you.

Happy New Year in 2023!

Lisa Romano-Dwyer BSc, MSW, PhD, RSW

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