February 2nd, 2022


Here we are.

In a place called HERE

In a time called NOW.


February 2nd, 2022

02.02.22

The New Moon occurred yesterday, Tuesday, February 1 st at 12:46 a.m. Eastern Time.

This time also marks the midpoint between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. It is

time to honor and feel, our awakened presence, right here, right now. The Earth is

beginning its “exhale” from the darkened stillness toward growth, light, new life. In our

hemisphere we look to the “groundhog” for some indications of this!

Both in the Celtic and our Cherokee indigenous wisdom, there were practices of living in

relationship with the phases of the Moon. When to plant, when to begin new projects,

new intentions.


This time can provide an opportunity for our mindful awareness and wellbeing.

For us now, it holds special meaning as we plant new seeds of intention in the cycle with

the Earth turning now toward Light, and the new growth of Spring. “How we spend our

days, of course,” as writer Annie Dillard reminds us, “is how we spend our lives.”

It requires our being awake, becoming aware of our own power by paying attention to

our own thoughts, our words, and our own emotions.

It asks us to make conscious choices about the quality of our being, our words, and

expressions that we want to embody rather than “mindlessly” or unaware, let be decided

by outside events.


Since becoming a Nature and Forest Therapy guide, I have been studying and practicing

all I can from “Earth’s wisdom”. I am only beginning to learn from my Chinese medicine

doctor Frank Iborra (White Crane Healing Arts) and his wife Miki, how this vast “Web

of Interbeing” connects us all, including the moon and sun, planets and seasons. At deep

levels, for me, it makes sense. When Miki reminded me that this is the “Year of the

Tiger”—and how last year was the Year of the Ox and “the ox is so slow!” Yes, and the

past year seemed slow, to me. A new energy is afoot now.


In the midst of all that is transpiring in our world, the enormous losses and grief,

uncertainty and fear, I have deeply felt some kind of shift arising, an uplift, and renewed

sense of wellbeing at the center. As though the Universe “has our back” in some way, as

we align with her ways. There are so many tools at our hand to assist us. One, for me is

daily readings, and daily meditations.


I am more dedicated than ever to my work as a guide, assisting others to connect with

themselves and the more-than-human world in the forests, rivers and earth. More

passionate than ever to continue teaching Mindfulness and the skills of wellbeing, and

the peace of “coming home to ourselves” and our own true nature. There is so much

suffering in the world over which we have no control, and yet, moment to moment, in

our individual and collective lives, there is much unnecessary suffering we can learn to

mitigate in our lives.


In the Mindfulness classes I teach, we have been considering the abilities we can learn

to“cultivate,” the qualities of wellbeing we wish in our lives. In one class we are

considering a “Word” for the year. This started as a path to examine “what is most

important” for us entering the new year. The word that emerged for me this year is

“Simplicity”. Each person has come to embrace one word, and unpack what that may be

connected with in our daily lives, what habits, choices, and intentions we have.


What is your one word? One aspect of life you would like to center around the year and

cultivate? Perhaps you might like to try as several of us have, drawing a circle, and

creating a mandala with the word in the middle, discovering what comes together in the

circle. Or simply sit or walk with this as a meditation. I’d love to know your experiences.

I will continue to share how Simplicity grows in my life this year. I’m already uncovering

some surprises!


With deep bows to all, for your presence,

May we be safe.

May we be well.

May we be happy.

May we live with ease.


Mattie

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