Becoming Divine

USING NATURE AS A MIRROR feat. Rachel Strivelli

Episode Summary

The way we interact with nature is the same way we nurture ourselves.

Episode Notes

We aren't just surrounded by nature, we are nature. Join me and Rachel Strivelli as we talk about how to use nature as a mirror. Because the way  we think about the "outside" is the way that we are treating our "inside".  

Are you taking care of yourself? Is the way you expend your energy sustainable? Are you honoring your cycles and internal rhythms? Reflecting on nature can help us see where we are out of rhythm, and not just with ourselves. There is a flow and an intention to all of creation, and tuning back into it heals our relationship with ourselves and the divine. 

"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished." - Lao Tzu

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CONNECT WITH RACHEL:  website // youtube // facebook page 

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Episode Transcription

USING NATURE AS A MIRROR feat. Rachel Strivelli

Julia: [00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Welcome to Becoming Divine. My name is Julia Wesley. I am your host. And today we have special guest Rachel Strivelli with us. She is a writer, a celebrant of life, creative and spiritual coach, and she wants us all to live in a world where visionary women are starting new things they've been thinking about doing for ages, but we're waiting for permission to do.

She's giving you permission today. She helps men and women cultivate self-acceptance to gain more happiness and energy for creating what they desire in life. She's been featured on sites like Thrive, Global, Tiny Buddha, Scary Mommy, and Positively Positive. She shares her writing and videos at

And Rachel, thank you for being with us.

Rachel: [00:00:52] Thank you for having me, Julia. I'm excited to talk to everyone virtually.

Julia: [00:00:58] So today I know we really wanted to talk about using nature as a mirror.

And this topic really genuinely excites me because I love nature. So anytime we can talk about green stuff-- I was telling you earlier that I seem to have a brown thumb most of the time, but I have figured out how to take care of plants, but I love trees. I love being outside where nature can take care of itself.

So I'm excited to get into this.

Rachel: [00:01:25] Yes, I'm excited too. I'm also a nature lover. Oh, trees and all the plants make me feel good. And even though you're new into learning how to have a little bit of a green thumb, it's one of those things that I think, on the one hand, it looks easy to grow plants, but it's actually not necessarily easy. And most of us, up until recent times had many things we were juggling. And so slowing down to take care of a plant or fitting that into your life is not always as easy as it might appear.

Like just to take care of a house plant.

Julia: [00:02:04] So in terms of seeing nature as a mirror would my current green thumb, but my brown thumb be like a  reflection in some way, of something I was doing, or?

Rachel: [00:02:13] That's a really good question. Whenever I work with people, I try to be cautious about, are we instantly framing something as a negative because it might not be a negative.

It's probably just an explanation of where you were then, and now you're in a different place because. I know you have a dog and you're keeping the dog alive.

Julia: [00:02:42] Yeah.

Rachel: [00:02:43] Some people can't keep dogs in their home because it's too much for them. And so I think at different points in our lives, there's different things that we connect to and it would be if you had no connection to nature at all? That would be telling, I think. But most people do.

And some of us, it's just, we don't have the opportunity to develop that relationship or the time  to explore what it's like to take care of house plants. Or attend to a garden, or go for a long hike because maybe there's other priorities happening.

Julia: [00:03:21] It's funny that you bring up my dog because before I got Buttercup, my puppy, my parents were like, you can't even keep a plant alive.

And I'm like, now hold on. We had pets growing up and a pet will tell you when it's hungry, but a plant, you have to be very sensitive. They wilt. And once they wilt, that's it. They're done.

Rachel: [00:03:41] Exactly. Yeah. The animals will tell you. And so in a way, maybe it's easier to care for them because they are working with us a little bit more, obviously.

Julia: [00:03:54] Yeah. Yeah. Plants are undemanding. So on a grander scale, when you step outside, how do you use nature as a mirror?

Rachel: [00:04:01] Yes. And so I'm going to reel back for just a moment here. One thing that we might want to reflect upon is in caring for a dog or a plant or some other living beings, it also can  illuminate our own habits about caring for ourselves and loving ourselves. Because I've known so many people who, and I've done this in my life too, of you have periods in your life where you're pushing yourself so hard, burning the candle at both ends.

And if we were a house plant, we would be wilted. Yeah. We were a dog. We'd be like, can someone just take me for a walk?

But because of whatever's happening in life, whether it's, a really full school schedule or a new baby or a new job and school and all of these things added on, sometimes we tend to put our own needs on the back burner and push them aside. And it's only when we reached this critical point of wilting or having no energy or feeling anxious and depressed about life that we think, wait a minute, maybe something's not being fed here.

Julia: [00:05:07] Yeah. Thank you for bringing it up because that's exactly what was going on with me.  And oddly enough in these past couple years, especially this past year, I've had the opportunity to slow down and that's probably why everything is thriving. Because I finally figured out a better balance or a better flow. So that makes a whole bunch of sense. Thanks for backtracking there.

Rachel: [00:05:30] Oh, you're welcome. And so to answer your question about stepping out into nature. That is one of the places where I go and especially, so I'm a big gardener. And if I go in my garden, I can't expect instant results.

Unless I'm trying to mow the lawn or something, there's not going to be an instant outcome. I plant the seed. The fastest crop I can get is maybe 30, 40 days for small greens and things like that. But most of the things I'm going to plant, it's going to take anywhere from three to four months.

And so  it allows me to slow down my pace of, okay, it's not just, I wake up and I do this and I do that, and then I do some more things. If I'm going out in the garden then I, or-- for those who don't have a garden, maybe it's, you're going for a walk. As you spend time looking and noticing at the natural world, it moves at a slower pace.

And  I feel like modern life has largely valued fast pace accomplishments, all of these things that keep us pushing forward. And while those are valuable, we also need the slower pace and the things that take longer to grow. And so when I go out, it just it's like a reminder.

Okay. Time to slow down time to look around, time to notice. And not just, like I said, expect instant results. Like here I am. Everything's going to happen. Flowers are popping up that weren't there yesterday.

Julia: [00:07:09] I was actually just thinking about this earlier in the day. Why manifestation sometimes frustrates me because it's not instantaneous. And because it's not instantaneous, it requires that little bit of trust where you still have the same intention, but your part of it is done? That little uncomfortable moment for me. I'm like, how can I trust that's going to happen if I don't see it instantly?

And I consider myself to be someone who's a good manifester when I get myself out of the equation, but sometimes you're right. I'm so stuck in the fast-forward pace of life that we, especially in American society struggle with that.

Rachel: [00:07:52] And I'm so glad you brought up manifesting because it's a fun topic and you're right. Oftentimes things don't happen super quickly. And yes, there are people who will say, Oh, in 48 hours, I've manifested a $10,000 paycheck. Yeah. That happens in the world. But for most of us, that doesn't happen.

It might happen once in your life or, here and there, but the more common timeline is a longer timeline of more than two days or 24 hours, or even a month.  One thing that can be a fun way to keep that connection to your desire, but also have the non-attachment is if you find a plant that you have a connection to.

So I'm a gardener. So I like a lot of flowers, tomatoes, strawberries, things of that nature. But depending on where you live, maybe only a house plant. So like you could have a house plant that you're watching a new leaf unfurling or waiting to see when is this plant going to bloom. And if we can be mindful and maybe even notice every day. You can draw it in a notebook if you like to doodle, or you can write about it and reflect about it and really tap into where is the value of noticing a slow unfolding of something?

I have a plant behind me it's called a Christmas cactus. So it only blooms typically in the month of December, because when there's lower light it signals to the plant it's time to bloom.

So that's its natural rhythm. And almost all the flowering plants have a natural rhythm. There's something that'll signify to them that it's time to bloom. And so if we started thinking about manifesting as in, what if there's a rhythm to how things manifest? In the beginning  it is the seed that we plant and then we can't take the seed out though.

Like whatever practices you do with your manifesting, whatever it is, the thing that you consistently stay in the energy of, or the emotion that you work on embodying. I see that as the watering of the plant, the making sure that it's getting sunshine. So you're still letting it unfold as it is designed to do. But you're trusting that it's going to happen and not trying to accelerate the process. And yeah. There are ways I think that we can make manifesting happen sooner, but at a certain point there's only so much we can do.

And, same with like your dog or your plants or whatever, like you can feed your dog, but it's got to make the decision to eat the food. And so being in nature, I think is a really lovely way of reminding ourselves not only of the pace of things but of this co-creation. And that we can enact things.

We can take action, we can do things, but there are other beings in this whole space that also are interacting with things too. And the more that we can have, like this trust that you were talking about, and also a respectful attitude of okay, there's something that I want, but I want it for the highest good of, not just me, but everyone else involved.

Like I want my  garden to be harmonious, not just for my tomatoes, but for the bees who come in and for the lettuce growing there.

Julia: [00:11:30] Yeah, you touched on something that I was going to ask you.  On a more global  consciousness perspective, how do we see nature act as a mirror for us?

Because we're currently trying very hard to destroy the planet and we're doing a real good job. .

Rachel: [00:11:45] Yeah, that is a great question. So I'm, and I'm glad you asked me questions. Cause I'm all about the big thinking, the big ideas and I'm starting to get chills, which happens to me and what I'm getting ready to say something.

Julia: [00:11:59] Let's hear it!

Rachel: [00:12:00] Yeah. But to some degree, I'm not a hundred percent sure where I'm going to say.

Julia: [00:12:04] Trust. Yeah.

Rachel: [00:12:05] So first off my personal place that I'm coming from. So all of my life, since I was a young child, I've been really connected to the planet and concerned about the destruction of the natural world.

And so for much of my  life where I was looking for careers and working at various jobs, I kept on searching for  a field where I'm helping people to care for the earth, to be eco-friendly, to grow organically. And so I did this in various different ways, but there was a part of me that was still constantly seeking where I felt like, can I go further?

What is a bigger idea? What is a better way to do this? And I kept on searching.  So for a while, I was teaching people organic gardening and it, within my soul, I started feeling this stirring of this is bigger than me nurturing just people who want a garden. That I need to be nurturing the unfolding and the full expression of people who have all different types of desires, who may not care about plants really at all, other than they look good over there and sometimes I eat them.

And so then what I really started recognizing through a lot of journaling and sitting in nature and just this process of searching and seeking was that it a little bit goes back to Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

If we don't feel that our own needs are taken care of, it's very hard to take care of others outside of us. And yes, sometimes caring for another can facilitate like an awakening  because I have this other human or animal or whatever to care for, I better take better care of myself.

But a lot of times what I think has to happen first is we have to care for ourselves and feel in a good place if we're going to care for the planet. And so that led me to this work that I do now thinking I want to get in a place where I'm supporting people so they can feel whole, so they can feel loved.

So that then when they want to go out into their community or their region and care for the planet and do the things that they want to do, they feel fulfilled, grounded, nourished, and nurtured already. So that they have that energy to reach out and connect.

So that's part one to my answer at one level, but the other level that I feel that I've really connected with a lot is that  I think the earth has a soul. And there might be people who are like, that's a weird idea. Whatever, I believe it. And I think it's a living entity, maybe not in the way that we define you or I as being alive, it's a kind of a different complexity. But the earth is alive, I believe.

And I think it has its own soul and that there's a spiritual plan the planet has. . . This period that we're going through yes, I think it's a rocky period. But I feel like the planet is working through us and with us to get us to see, what is the relationship that we have to the earth, to each other, to living creatures?

And for some of us, you only realize like how valuable something was after you lose it in some way, or it's not valued in some way.  I keep on believing that life will go on no matter what. Even though humans can be incredibly destructive. We're going to push the limit of destroying everything.

And I really keep on tapping back into my hope and belief that more and more people are waking up and saying, wait, let's do something that creates health and wellbeing and harmony for all beings, not just human beings. And yet, unfortunately, I think along this way, we've had species that have gone extinct.

I think there will still be more that are going extinct until humans wake up.  But even during the pandemic, I feel that it's like the stirrings of some people who hadn't ever realized before that this was something within them. People are feeling it in a new way.

Julia: [00:16:26] I hope you're right because if I'm going to be completely honest, I don't want to get to the point where we have to lose something precious before-- like those morons who blamed the Texas snow disaster for not having enough coal power.

And I'm like, oh, sure. Yeah. More coal. That's the answer here. And so I guess to an extent, they know that's the problem, but there are other people who believe these morons, and so they scare me a little bit because I'm like, I don't want to wait for you.

And back to the Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, how can we as a species feel safe. If the planet that sustains us is no longer safe for us?

Rachel: [00:17:05] No. Yes. Yes. And oh, and here's the other thing I'll say, Ooh, I'm feeling the chills again.

I don't want anybody listening to be like gosh, she's just little miss positivity. And she's just saying, don't worry about anything! Because even though I do have a positive point of view, I donate to local nonprofits who are working on sustainability. And also what I had to come to a realization was, and a place where I'm putting my faith and trust is I'm only one human being.

And so  my impact will be what it will be, but I'm not going to be a Greta [Thunberg], having these huge protests all over the world. It's not my inclination. It's not my makeup. It's not who I am. But each one of us can be an activist. If you want to use that term or an advocate, if that one feels better for you, in the way that is doable for you.

And this also fits in with my worldview about every person has their own tendencies, our strengths, our talents. And so when I go to a protest, I feel like I'm not doing anything. I know that I am. Some people get energized from that, and they feel incredible. I would rather be writing an article, making a video, educating, creating a workshop, that type of thing.

That's my zone of genius and my place that I feel happy doing the work.  And this is why I keep on trying to nourish people and encourage them is, I think when we're all in a better place, we can all work together.

And okay. Are we a hundred percent going to all work together? Probably not, but most massive changes don't take a hundred percent of the population. They say it's somewhere between, it could be as little as 15%, but normally somewhere around 30 or 40% of people. And so each one of us can take a role in caring for things to the best of our ability.

And as that wave passes and more and more people are doing it, then there's more and more change happening.

Julia: [00:19:20] I like what you said about how, when you go to a protest, you're helping, but it doesn't really feel like you're helping because it's not your makeup.

That's what I would call your blueprint. So when we work in alignment yeah. When we work in alignment with what our soul's blueprint is, then it feels as if we're making the most impact because we are. Because you're tapping into your power and where your source comes from. And that's how you can, multiply the change and the efforts. I like how you brought that up. That was cool.

Rachel: [00:19:46] I agree with the blueprint because as you said when we are tapping into what our strengths are, it feels amazing. And then I think that's the sign too, of like you are making good progress. Whereas some people, they want to be working on the farm or creating new, innovative eco-friendly windmills or, compostable packaging. I'm not, I don't want to work with chemist lab designing those things, but somebody does. And that's amazing.

Julia: [00:20:17] Yeah, exactly. And some people are designed to shout and get people's attention.

And some people are designed to teach once they have their attention. And some people are designed to create solutions once we finally decide we want them,. And the thing is, if you're operating outside of what fits best for you, if you're trying to shout when maybe you should be in a lab, you're going to feel completely ineffective.

Rachel: [00:20:39] Yes. And again, back to the nature as a mirror. So when I'm in my yard, looking at my plants, the Oaktree is not trying to be a Dogwood tree. The Dogwood, it'll only get to 30 feet tall. The Oaktree, I don't even know how tall they can get. A hundred feet, maybe? They work with their blueprint to have their full expression.

If they have the resources to fully express and they are just trucking along doing their thing. And that's the other reason I like getting out to reflect, in whatever way you can, reflect on nature is they, the plants and the animals and the insects, they don't have the ego and the worries that we have.

So it's a nice way I feel like, to reconnect to the divine and feel that sense of everything is going to be okay. How I am is a good way of being. I'm not flawed just because I haven't done certain things that I thought I would do by now, or that other people are doing.

Julia: [00:21:42] I really used nature as a method of self-healing. I  dealt with depression and anxiety, and one of the things that I did to deal with my anxieties is I would go on trail runs. And I love trail running. I live in Nashville and we have some amazing places to run and hike. And I need to trail run because I need to feel like it's a bit of an obstacle course.

So it forces me to pay attention or else I bite it. And you sprain an ankle or something. So it gets my attention. And what was great about nature is it amplified the connection that I felt was missing. When I was back in nature, I felt connected to everything.

I was breathing the air that the trees were creating. I was enjoying the song that the birds were singing. With every step that my feet made on the ground, I could feel it. And I think when we're talking about nature as a mirror, as you were saying let's not amplify like the negative parts.

That's what nature did for me then is it was like, Hey, here's a part of you that you're not seeing. Here's the part where you're connected with everything. And so I just felt the need to bring that up. Sometimes when people think that I don't want to see myself. I don't want to see those scary things, I don't think nature's going to do that for you. It's going to show you all the parts that you're not looking at that are beautiful.

Rachel: [00:22:57] Yes. Oh my gosh. Yes. And I love your example. I feel like that's exactly what I think too. And sometimes when I've been grieving the biggest losses in my life, I felt like there wasn't another person who could really get it.

But when I went and sat outside and if I hugged a cat or a dog, I could just sit there and be with my sadness and feel okay. And it didn't make it worse. Eventually, I got this calming. And I feel like it works at a spiritual level, but also a physical level, like the running and the oxygen and all of that.

Your body was probably crying out for that, but you didn't even really know. But then when you're doing it, it's so healing at a soul level. And then your muscles are like, yeah, we're moving. It's fresh air. This feels good.

Julia: [00:23:51] Yeah, exactly. Especially your example of petting a dog or something.

Whenever I am really sad, there have been a few times that I've cried, and Buttercup, my puppy-- she's like, are you okay?  She wants to be there and console, and just be present, right? That's the beauty of  pets is they just want to help you be present  where you are. My dog has not ever tried to make me not cry.

She just wants to be there when I do. And I think that is well, first of all, so cute. So sweet. But on top of that, it's a great way to learn that you can be more than just one emotion at the same time. And to me, that was another thing that was really so healing about being out in nature and the trail running was because I'm like, okay, I can still be grieving or angry or, stuck in shame or stuck in grief, but also still be feeling happy.

Because  I just saw a really pretty flower. Like the expansiveness, I think is what nature taught me.

Rachel: [00:24:48] Yes, exactly. And I feel like some artists can evoke that expansiveness in it or a great speaker perhaps. But I feel that nature, that's one of its zone of geniuses. That feeling of expansiveness and connection, that when we're growing or going through a hard time and we start to get a little bit insecure or maybe a lot insecure and we're feeling uncomfortable and we  start to have tunnel vision and not see things in our periphery.

And especially if you're on technology a lot, which I know many people are with the pandemic. If you have house plants or step outside, you tap into this peripheral vision. You start to feel more expansive and it reminds you that, okay.  I'm more than just the person who has to complete a task for my job or the person who has to fulfill this responsibility for my family or my partner or whatever.

We remember that it's a big world and there's flowers around every corner. Or if it's wintertime, then frost covers leaves and we can feel some of that rejuvenation and expansiveness and openness and love. Because one of the things that I know is that self-love and feeling positive, it's like a soul hygiene thing. It doesn't last forever.

You take a long bath and you read an inspiring book. Like you need to do something again pretty soon! And this is one of the ways that you can keep on reconnecting and filling yourself back up with the soul nourishment that you need.

Julia: [00:26:35] There's a couple of things I want to hit on there.  One of the things that hit me today was how you feel connected to nature, but at the same time, you realize that everyone's having a distinct experience, right? So I was walking Buttercup. And I saw a little kitten in someone's window, just  fascinated by the birds outside, like chasing them around. And I was like, oh my god, like how cute. But for some reason it was so profound to me because I was like, I'm just here listening to tunes, walking the dog and this cat is just captivated. Like we're still connected, but at the same time, we're allowed to have distinct, separate experiences.

And so even though, I may be stuck in  a home that's unhappy. Maybe my parents are going through a divorce, maybe, yada, yada, I'm still connected, but I'm allowed to have a completely separate experience and recognize my parents' experiences as distinct. I don't have to pick up on that.

That's not necessary. Even though it's part of my ecosystem. It doesn't have to be what I feed myself with. And so for some reason, that just really, that just hit me real hard today. And I was like, thank you, kitten. Thank you, birds. That was lovely.

Rachel: [00:27:42] I love that. Yes. Yeah. And that's such a healthy thing. All of that's happening and it reminds you like you say, I could focus on the birds. I can focus on the kitten. I could focus on the path in front of me. Or I could  be dwelling in my head about fighting again.

Julia: [00:28:00] Yeah.  I think for some people, self-care sometimes ends up as like a chore, like I'm busy. They got to get to put the kids to bed. I just came back from a 10-hour workday. I don't have time to take a bubble bath. I have time to pass out in bed. And I think the thing about that is you have to  think of self-care like housekeeping. You're going to always have to keep house or else you're going to be living in filth.

That's the thing. And then eventually you get so used to just taking care of the home, that becomes normal. And anything else you're like, how does a person live like that? Like, how did I do that? That's what happened for me and my mental health. I took up meditating every day and I was like, this is such a chore, I hate it so much. But now I still do it every day, because it's part of my self-care and it's part of my new normal.

Rachel: [00:28:48] Yes. And, for some folks, it might just be that you haven't hit upon a self-care practice that fits with your life right now. And like you say, when you started doing a meditation, it was like, great, 10 more minutes.

I do meditation Monday through Friday in the mornings, and then on the weekend, it's trickier to fit it in. Cause the kids are always all around. And so sometimes I don't do it till the end of the day, but I can notice my reaction levels, my happiness levels on the days when it happens in the morning. The rest of the day flows so much better.

And so I know, okay, meditation has to be a part of my self-care. Like you said, it is for you, but I think especially in busy times of life it's valuable to experiment with is there a different thing that can give me what I need that fills me up in this time.? And do I need more help? Do I need to change my life?

Sometimes it's a wake-up call. Like, this life isn't sustainable and what am I working for here? And those are bigger questions that can't be solved with one bubble bath.

But if, again and again, in your meditation or journaling, you're realizing, wow. My workplace is the thing that drains me, or I'm having problems parenting. And I don't know what to do about that. Then that's an area that needs more attention, more love, more reflection poured into so you can see what do I need to alter? So that I can live a life that feels sustainable nourishing and all that.

My children are pretty young right now. My youngest is two. And lately, I've had to experiment with, okay, on days that are really intense, what can I do with him that's enjoyable for both of us? So that at the end of the day, if there's not a lot of time for me to read a novel, which is one of my things I do for relaxing and self-care, what can I do with him that doesn't feel draining?

And it's taken some experimenting, but the more that I do it, then I get that energized feeling of, okay, I'm doing something that's good for me. That's good for him. That fits within our lives.

Julia: [00:31:07] Yeah. I like how you use the word sustainable and nurture because those are two words, typically that we use for nature.

How is this sustainable? How are we nurturing it? And you can treat yourself like a house plant. Yes. You need to be watered. And I even think that just being outside in nature is, first of all, grounding, but it's also meditative and it's its own spiritual practice.

Rachel: [00:31:29] Yes. A hundred percent. I agree with you. 

Julia: [00:31:32] I actually know people who just to relax, they just stare outside. I think there was a famous guy who was maybe not a great guy, but that was one of the things he would do. Is he would stare out a window and just sit there for hours. And I actually think that my dad told me about him.

He was like, can you imagine just sitting in a chair and staring outside for fun? And I'm like, you can go outside too. Did he know that?

I think that's another great spiritual practice because people tell me they're like, I don't know how to meditate. It's too hard. And I'm like, there's so many different ways.

Rachel: [00:32:04] Totally. And, even lately I've been doing like an official meditation practice. When my children were really little, like in the newborn stage or a little bit older I just would get outside and look around. Being mindful in nature for me, gave me the same things as meditation. And it's even if I'm working one-on-one with a client, I will try and find time to get outside that day for at least 15 minutes before. Because, and this again just is my own makeup of spirit, God, however, you want to see it.

As I'm out there being mindful, being present, then usually what happens is the client will be talking about something, and then she'll bring up a thing and I'll say, Oh yes, that was on my list to talk about today. So here's what I have to share with you. And it feels magical. And so I think, especially for people who feel that meditation is drudgery-- gosh, in this day and age, there's so many different ways to experiment with it.

Other ways that I do it, and I don't know if this is officially a meditation or more just communing with the divine, I'll put on a piece of music that doesn't have any words that I like that has a flowy feeling to it. I'll get out my markers and paper and I just start writing. I start doodling and the things just flow and it feels as good to me as a meditation or something else.

I feel connected. I feel that vitality. And it's also where I get in kind of a listening or receptive state. Because sometimes the things I draw or write, I'm thinking, Oh, I didn't know I needed to think about that today, but I guess I do.

Julia: [00:33:55] I love that. That's also a really great way to get your body into it. The writing and the drawings, because it's so creative and also it's so physical at the same time. When we think physical, a lot of the time we're thinking, oh, I, I did CrossFit. But sometimes it's just involving your body and your senses.

Rachel: [00:34:13] I agree.

And yeah, sometimes it feels boring because you're like, I'm not  used to doing them. Yeah. Like you say, if you have a way you're moving your hands or maybe you're doing a walk or a  run or maybe it's Tai Chi or Qi Gong for some people, yoga is their way of doing a moving meditation.

But if you can bring movement into it in one form or another, I think that can help take away the little voice inside that's wow, I need to move. I needed to do something.

Julia: [00:34:46] So I, when I first got into meditation, I spent a lot of time crying because my thing was, I wasn't letting myself experience my emotions or emotions that I had deemed undesirable or unsafe.

So that was my thing. I had to let myself collapse. And for me, meditation at first was almost like a retraining of my nervous system and my body systems in general. Being outside in nature was so supportive to that because that was what I was trying to get back into the flow of. Like I didn't need to be on alert all the time, but that's what I had trained my body to do. And so it was getting back  into intuition. And I think nature is so intuitive. That's what that is.

Rachel: [00:35:28] Oh, yes. I totally agree. And I'm so glad you brought that up. I don't know if you talk about that a lot on the podcast, what you just shared, but sometimes the things we're avoiding like meditation, for example. If you feel a desire to do it, but then you keep on avoiding it, is because there are big things that you really need to address that you're constantly skirting away from and resisting. And it, yes, getting through that initial period of crying. And like you say, resetting your nervous system can feel uncomfortable. But the other end of it is worth it. And I, a hundred percent agree, nature can be supportive of that. It's a very non-judgemental life form to be around. Whereas, if you're just crying randomly around other people, sometimes they don't know what to do.

Yeah. Like you said, your dog, isn't worried about that. I can be a human feeling the things that I feel and being with myself, and yes, then like intuition and all of these other things can start coming forth. Because if there's a lot of judgment or criticism or we're moving too fast in our lives, there's often not a place for intuition to come and be heard because  it's more subtle than that.

Julia: [00:36:55] Exactly. And that's the thing about nature is it just creates space for you. And it recognizes  what you're going through is just a season of life. It's just a passing thing. Okay, you're doing this right now, but in a minute, you'll do something different.

And so it doesn't get attached. Yeah, nature is so great for non-attachment. Like leaves in particular like that's the whole thing like it has to shed its leaves. Yeah. Yes.

Rachel: [00:37:16] Oh, yes. And I know for me, I'm taking a deep sigh because in the fall I always ask myself, all right, what is it time to let go of this year?

What can I feel that it's time, that this isn't working for me? And I will go outside and watch the leaves fall and just let myself feel okay. Hey, I'm letting it go too. I'm letting go of things that were beautiful. They worked for a while, but now it's done and it's a new thing.

Julia: [00:37:47] That's a beautiful practice. I don't do that often. I hold onto things until they decompose in my hand. And I should have let go of that a while ago. Yeah, that's beautiful. Rachel, I want to be mindful of your time and I want to thank you so much for being here on the podcast, but before we go, do you want to tell people how they can find you.

Rachel: [00:38:04] Sure. So my website is called Soul Pioneer and that's spelled like the soul within.  I would love if you want to reach out to me there. I, a couple of times a year run a program called Nourish Your Soul with Nature where you get daily prompts and you experiment with some of the things we've been talking about  here. And the people who've gone through it really love that experience.

So if you connect on my website, you can instantly get a freebie called Seven Ways to Stop Dooming and Glooming and Brighten Your Day. I definitely think keeping a positive outlook on the future in our days can be really helpful.

I'm on YouTube. And I do post there pretty regularly. So feel free to connect to me and I'd love to be supportive in any way that I can for whatever you need to bring forth for your soul right now.

Julia: [00:38:58] I will have all of that in the episode notes and all of those links. And thank you so much for being with us. It was a pleasure having this conversation with you.

Rachel: [00:39:07] Oh, I agree so much. Thank you, Julia.

Julia: [00:39:09] Thank you. All right. Bye, everyone.