This is something I always struggle with when I find myself in any city for a long period of time, because let’s face it, city living is complete disconnection from the earth, nature and all rhythm and life connected to these elements. Fair enough some people just don’t get it the way I do. Perhaps they grew up in large cities and don’t know any different, or they’re limited by living in a poverty-stricken area of the world where travelling outside of the city is just not an option in their lifetime. That’s where we really have to find gratitude each day for having the ability to step foot in a jungle, a crystal clear ocean, a vast, dry desert or a snow-capped mountain surrounded in glaciers, whatever takes your fancy, some just don’t have access to this-ever.
As a surfer I love to be in tune with nature. It becomes a necessity in order to make the most of the ocean. The tides, the wind, the moon cycle, weather patterns, the formation of highs and lows and structure of the ocean floor. I’ll never grow tired of watching a big glowing moon rise over the ocean. When I took myself away from my existence as a surfer and placed myself in a large city in Northern Thailand for two months, I honed
into the very aspects that make up all the parts of the magic of life as a surfer. And what an experiment it was-gratitude multiplied. When I find myself in the city and it is a lifestyle that goes completely against my soul existence I tune in on the following:
This is relatively new to me, I’m talking only the last couple of years that I really started to learn and pay attention to what’s going on in our night sky. Even now, I’ve only touched the very beginning of the iceberg. Just like the ocean herself, there is so much mystery contained within the galaxies. I love how they’re both just so untouched and unexplored, so peaceful and far away from humans and more importantly human wars. The history of astrology is just as captivating as the mystery. The Polynesian culture is renowned for their abilities to successfully and navigate thousands upon thousands of miles of open ocean (the Hokule’a) solely being guided by the patterns of nature. Their biggest natural compass is the night sky. They track specific star patterns and motions that guide them in the direction of their intended travel. This is the same pattern that birds use for navigation. The degree of accuracy is absolutely mind boggling. Read more here: http://pvs.kcc.hawaii.edu/ike/hookele/on_wayfinding.html
So back to sitting in the city glancing out at skyscrapers and lots of concrete. You want to keep your mind on the patterns of the planets. In astrology it is believed the planets are all linked to events within the human existence. You have a bad week and wonder why everything is going wrong. Well if you did some simple research it could all be explained due to the positioning of certain planets. One certain astrologist I tune into each week is a guy called “Kaypacha”. Ok so he’s a long haired eccentric looking guy with rings on every finger, feathers in his hair and a quirky sense of humour- but he knows what he’s talking about. He has an in-depth three-dimensional computer program and he will walk you through where the planets are currently sitting and what that all means in layman(ish) terms. Follow the page “Mystic Mamma” on Facebook as they post his weekly reports. At the time of writing this the latest report is here http://www.mysticmamma.com/kaypacha-report-i-always-get-just-what-i-need/
Of course nothing beats going out and gazing at a night sky with your naked eye but this can be a bit of a struggle thanks to the strength of the city lights and pollution.
Sunrise or Sunset
Again this can be a bit hard because there’s so many buildings and houses to obstruct your view. The body is made to rise with the sun and set with the sun. That was the theory back in the days anyway but how many of us actually follow this? In summer I become pretty close to this pattern as there’s more light to surf with. The point I’m getting at is when you find yourself in the city, watch as many sunrises and sets as you possibly can to keep your body in rhythm! My most memorable attempt to catch sunset was when I went on a mission to find the perfect spot to take a photo of the setting sun, away from the endless rows of houses and estates. I skated my way down a big hill, walked up the next hill preparing myself for a breathtaking view on top of the world, only to be faced with another rolling hill stacked with houses. So on I went until I made it to the top of the biggest hill and sat on my board exhausted but greeted by a fiery sky and an approaching storm. As the sun set, dark clouds rolled over and thunder began to roar. A classic electrical storm began to form and lightning covered the sky in long forked patterns. That’s when I got a little too close for comfort. The storm literally passed right over my head and lightning began to strike earthward. One was so close to me I felt the heat coming off it and quickly got on my skates out of there! I got a little more than I bargained for, but it sure beat sitting inside the house watching the 6pm news like the rest of the zombified city.
Connecting through the food you eat
I find this a bit hard to explain in word form but if you were to try a detox of pure fruit and vegetables for two or three days you would understand what this feeling is close to. Get creative, juicing, fruit smoothies, vegetable soups, it doesn’t mean you have to eat raw heads of broccoli just to comply-although I do this regularly ;). What you will notice is just how much this type of diet allows you to tap into the natural world around you. It will also supply you with an abundance of energy, pure energy that is-not the same feeling you get from refined sugar and caffeine. Eating raw foods that are from the earth contain so much life force, especially ones you pick “live” such as bean sprouts. Growing in popularity are little mini-pots of sprouts or spinach that you can sit on your window sill, babysit and add to your salads when you like. I’ve even seen them in big chain supermarkets and I love this positive influence. Wherever you are in the city you can almost always grow your own herbs or small vegetables. Even in an inner city apartment you can do this on a window sill or balcony.
The biggest difference I notice with a largely raw diet is my quality of sleep and dreaming. There’s a certain kind of peace that buzzes around your body and mind, a feeling as if your resting head is so close to the earth that you could be laying directly on a dirt floor, covered in nothing but leaves from the forest and you would be comfortable with that. My dreams are much more vivid and happier, the type of flying dreams and going to natural settings like forests, waterfalls and oceans. This is the topic of another story which I will expand on later.
Chemical free products
It has taken a few years of practice but most of my cosmetic products, household and cleaning products are all naturally derived. I feel as though I am living a hell of a lot more consciously when I choose products that don’t contain scores of unknown chemicals, or even worse known carcinogens that are ending up on my skin. Also thinking environmentally where those products end up- down the drain, I’m able to think about what little thing I am doing for the earth each day. I call it conscious living because I become aware of the way I go about my day and the impact I have on the world around me. I also love the feeling of using natural products knowing I am lowering my risk of getting cancer through unnecessary chemicals.
Meditation & yoga
In line with keeping a healthy mind, body and attitude, yoga and meditation are a must. Meditation comes hand in hand with dream time. Taking your mind into a place outside of thought and just allowing yourself to sit in stillness is vital for staying sane in cities that never “sleep”. It is also especially important if, like the majority of us, are locked
into social media and the virtual world which is far from the purity in which our ancestors were brought up. Yoga is all about being present and freeing up the flow of energy throughout the body. It can become very easy for tension to be locked in certain areas of the body, causing stress, restlessness and short-temper. At worst physical injury can be the very result of holding onto stress or negative emotion, especially internal organ malfunction or muscular degeneration. I ensure I practice yoga daily, if only a quick sequence upon waking and before resting at night, to keep the body moving and energy free-flowing.
So even though it may feel like you’re disconnected from the natural world around you all you need to do is step back into her power and flow. We are all from nature and in the end will return to nature- a simple statement that can often be forgotten in our hectic fast-paced lives.