“Being in profound relation to place changes everything about you—your voice, your smell, your walk, your morality.”
—Tyson Yunkaporta, Sand Talk
Cultural myths, new and old, have long served to dissociate us from ourselves and our environment. Ancient origin myths that speak of us as the creation of other beings or a supreme being convince us we are little more than secondary objects made by a higher intelligence and placed into the world for unknowable purposes. On the other end of the spectrum, where we find the mechanical universe built out of dumb matter, we are reminded that we arise from happenstance and that the appearances of intelligence and love are inherently meaningless.
Yet if we set the words aside, if we learn to interrupt the patterns of cultural descriptions, and place ourselves in the woods, at the beach, under the stars, in the rivers and on the mountains, we see through these inherited narratives as we begin to return to a resonance again with nature. It may at first just be an inkling of some enigmatic connection. But given the space to return to our senses, we can rediscover our thread in the web of life, reclaim our minds and return to the Earth.
To truly return to outer nature, we must reclaim our inner wilderness. At times, this reclaiming is a process of learning to tame a wild beast or slay a hoarding dragon. Yet, at other times it will be setting the culturally caged wild-child free again. It can be both a remembering and a forging anew, a nurturing and a weeding, a creating and a destroying of a path that only we can each ultimately discern for ourselves. It is a reclaiming of the soul, retrieving our outcast parts and returning them to the whole.
Undertaking to explore, discover and realign with our soul’s pattern requires deep collaboration with oneself. We must put the disparate, dissociated parts of ourselves in touch with one another again. Only at such an inner council fire can we come to understand our own complexity, and with that complexity craft a maturity from which powerful deeds may arise.
When we take the space to observe our breathing, we can become tricked by its simplicity and miss out on the subtle yet radical teachings it has to offer. If we are honest, we never find an object called breathing upon which we can rest our attention. This is because breathing is not a thing but a process. Breathing cannot be held like a cup and it likewise cannot be owned. The moment we try and hold on to our breath, our breathing vanishes.
As we sit with our breathing, we will understand that we are not only breathing in our environment but our environment is also breathing us in. Neither the inside nor the outside originates or owns the breathing. Breathing is a collaboration between the two or between the many and the one. Breathing is not something we have but something that has us.
Suggested Divination Meanings
What perspective am I holding that keeps me separate from the flow of this situation?
How can I tap into the power flowing to and through me?
How can I better receive the support of those around me?
What does it mean to be of service in this situation to both myself and others?
What does it mean to “share?”
What is the breath of this situation?
How can I utilize my breath to reveal deeper interconnection and empowerment?
What can I give up to reclaim my power?
What can I take on to reclaim my power?
Am I letting nature support me?