I am nature


I’ve always been drawn to nature

Nature’s fascinating oppositions and contrast come together in seemingly perfect balance. She is the one that inspires all my creative endeavors.  So it’s no surprise that I found myself studying everything I could find on Ayurveda. It came from a desire to let myself learn from her. To begin to understand on a deeper level, how intricately connected we are. Her qualities are constantly moving through and within this body. What struck me is how obvious it felt but somehow I hadn’t allowed myself to further explore this simple reality. That I am nature. Recognizing myself in her, acknowledging that her wisdom has the power to heal the world. 

Perhaps the significance of this realization is more simply understood when we think about the food we eat. Being assimilated by the body, food becomes part of it. One living being merging with another. With this in mind, eating and preparing food inevitably becomes a profoundly sacred experience. As full attention is given, chewing and eating slowly, feeling the gratitude of this communion, the magic continues. Creating the space where one can tune in and intently listen to the body’s subtle response. How does this truly make me feel? The crucial part is to be able to make that connection.

Nature’s messages are always there for us to access


It’s really about learning to receive them. When we have the strength to choose and be brutally honest with ourselves, we then inspire the change within. See, in Ayurveda, it’s easy to get lost in the dos and don’ts, but the rules are there so we can get to a place where things become increasingly apparent. Apply the rules, but also do it with a loving curiosity. What is this teaching me? Then comes a point where rules disappear because you’ve had the hands-on experience and you know how you truly want to feel. This is a practice. And I love this word because it invites a childlike approach, a beginner's mind, a humble attitude. We’ve only just begun discovering the mysteries of life. 

I am completely responsible for how I experience life

Now, what we know and what we decide to do with it are two separate things. What Ayurveda is teaching me is that I am completely responsible for how I experience life, and how to own that. The hardest part might be knowing where I stand, where I am willing to compromise, and what’s actually really important. I am fairly new to this and it’s a lot to process. If you are reading this, you probably know by now that we not only digest our food, but everything else life throws at us.

So, be kind

Your Ayurveda path will look different than mine. I am not without discomforts myself, but know that my state of imbalance might seem insignificant compared to yours. I know that some of you are suffering from illnesses, some rendering your ability to enjoy life nearly impossible. I see you. What I’m saying is that your circumstances will look different from one to another. This matters. Do what you can. Certain things will take much longer to come to terms with. As you start carefully unpacking, you may find yourself carefully stripping away more layers than you might have anticipated. It’s intricate work and it requires the willingness to cultivate patience, dedication, and compassion. 

Become your most radiant self

You might also find yourself being alone in your entourage taking on such a transformation. And if you are anything like me, you tend to prefer the backstage. Well, this is your time to shine, because as you learn how to become your most radiant self, the one you were intended to be, you surely will. Challenging our social norms might be the most difficult task at hand here. You’ve got this! And while on this path, take in every shade of every colour, every texture, every shape or form. See what you come across, and enjoy what you are finding. Let your creative self explore this art of being as you make your journey back home.

Valerie Gilbert lives in New Zealand and is enrolled in Hale Pule’s Agni Therapy program.

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