in the thick
a joint venture
With 60° temperatures on the horizon, Paul and I took a walk in the upper Arboretum of Carleton College. At this time of year, we yearn for warmer weather, yet what we experience are dense cloud cover, cold winds, and an occasional snow. In spite of this, there is something almost magical about the early walks of spring. We feel everything working together, waking up and full of restored energy. It seems there is yet another chance to align with the beauty that the world has to offer.
“The Japanese have a word for a nature walk, ‘shinrin-yoku’ which translates as ‘forest bathing.’ Scientific studies show that forest bathing reduces stress, anger, insomnia, and anxiety.” ‘The Art of Aging,’ by Sparrow, The Sun, April 2017, p.29.
Well, we can always use another bath, right? And, a change of perspective on cumulative emotions is beneficial. Ego balked at spending an hour on self care, saying that it was unnecessary. Ego is finite, contained within Body, and thinks only about itself; its boundaries are tight and confined. Higher Self, on the other hand, loved the idea of a walk, being out in nature, and feeling closer to Source. Higher Self goes beyond Body and thinks of others. It is unbounded.
Higher Self The sun is shining, and the Scylla are just beginning to peek through the dense leaf cover of winter. Body’s senses come alive as they open to the gifts that Source provides. Surprises are everywhere! Let’s walk together and then we can work together.
Ego I could be spending this time brainstorming ideas for future dialogues.
Higher Self Soak up the forest environment, soothing your expectations and anxiety.
Ego Without me, you would never organize your work week or meet your deadlines.
Higher Self You’re right, you do help me to be efficient, yet I can show you how to increase efficiency by first engaging in self care, like taking a walk. This activity relaxes the brain so it is calm. A body full of fresh air increases oxygen in the blood, allowing the body to be happier and more flexible. A calm, happy, and flexible person is more likely to exceed expectations, perhaps doubling efficiency!
Ego So, perhaps there is some truth to this ‘forest bathing”? I’m still a little suspicious about the validity of our working together for Body. I have my expectations, and you have yours.
Higher Self First of all, you and I are part of Body; we’re here to stay within Body on this plane. We both have important jobs. You serve as an alarm system when Body is faced with risky or treacherous situations. I seek openings for awareness of Source. For example—when you’ve been pondering a question and can’t figure out the answer. I find an opening to Source, and, “out-of-the-blue,” you suddenly figure out the answer. This is Source revealed in everyday life. Body realizes its authentic voice (a gift from Source), recognizes the answer, and moves forward. When each of us honors the job of the other, without trying to control, we help Body to be balanced.
Ego You mean that I don’t give up my power to you? We do our jobs, kind of like partners, and Body reaps a stable life? Wow! I’m not good or bad. I’m not being downsized. I’m not losing my job. It’s more like a joint venture. I have work to do. And, so do you. Everybody wins.
Higher Self Now, that’s a step toward considering the well-being of the “other.”
© 2015 Barbara L. Krause