Life is like a River
Greetings and Salutations:
Life is Like a River. It flows with ups and downs. At times it is turbulent. At times it twists and turns. At times it is stagnant and dry. At times it is as still as a millpond. At times it plunges over a waterfall not knowing where it will land. At times it overflows it banks and then recedes. Along its way it sustains all life. Until, finally, it flows and surrenders into the ocean, where it is absorbed back into the greater whole only to renew itself through evaporation into clouds and then rain once again. But it always knows what it is — a river for the benefit of all.
This analogy has epitomized my life.
In my first life I was seen as a wild, adventuring, devil-may-care, international entrepreneur, globetrotter –a visionary and a futurist, always looking for the next horizon. Riding the waves of life. This adventurous spirit grew out of my childhood life in the “bush” and, later, extensive life experiences in various parts of the world, living among and working within different tribal and emerging cultures. Life was Rich. I was fascinated by all the variations, attitudes, religions and belief systems around the world. I dived into my love for understanding, bridging and celebrating our cultural differences. How else does one learn about life except through experience? I worked with the United Nations (had to know how that worked!); “going native” living with cannibal tribes in the highlands of New Guinea (back to basics); circumnavigating the world six times a first-officer on round world voyages (the ocean is awesome); stints in the business world of television, film, TV, music and publishing industries (now I understood “manipulation”); heading up a small, international advertising agency (forging global partnerships) – to mention a few. Alas, along the way I lost my sense of “Self”, becoming the good non-discerning consumer totally influenced by our modern western seductive marketing techniques that I was myself was promoting!! . I became “it”. I was immersed in an objectified world and had fallen into a pit of darkness seeing no way out.
Then, in 60 seconds, one life ended and another began. I flew a car off the freeway, over a cliff into a river with no way out. Upside down and sinking, unconscious, I merged with pure consciousness – that which exists in all things, at all times, there is nowhere it is not. I had received massive head and chest injuries leaving me with severe left brain damage with little memory– child-like in an adult body. It miraculously took me on a long, arduous (often terrifying) journey of 15 years before I was able to attempt re-entering human society.
With memory, speech, reading, writing and motor abilities severely impaired, I was wandering around for years without a lifeline. A 7 year-old child in an adult body. Alone, scared and lost, very lost – and sick, very sick from high brain fevers, seizures and blackouts. Stumbling, falling, crawling I had little comprehension of the world around me. I was now a society throw-away –”The Crazy Lady”. It was a long, winding road back. Many strangers helped along the way. It became a 24/7 effort and commitment with stubborn determination to find ways of re-learning all the things we all take for granted in life. Two steps forward, one step backward. With a learning ratio of 10:1 my intuition led me to combining many different modalities to trigger formation of new neuro-pathways. When allopathic medicine gave up on me, dooming me to a 12-year old for the rest of this life – I slipped into what would be called deep depression. Being institutionalized was NOT an option. There had to be a way through – with all my limitations. My only solace was with nature and her inhabitants. I trusted Her.
My incredible neuro-psychologist and my neuro-retrainer suggested I spend as much time as I could, away from humans (who terrified me), immersing myself in natural environments. “Nature will Heal You. Nature Will Understand”. And it did. For three years in an African Savannah I communed with the wild animals, birds, flora and fauna, dipping into the human created world only as absolutely needed. Being in stillness, observing, listening and honoring my blessed invitation into the natural world.
I owe my re-wholeing to the beauty and wonder of our Natural World. Nature taught me so much, not the least of which was living in present time with acute heart awareness – the type of awareness that did not require any left-hemisphere processing. Nature made no demands upon me, except to honor and respect Her boundaries and the basic nature of each species– and all species responded in kind. Her variations embodied in species, the sounds, colors, shapes and textures fascinated me, leaving me in a constant state of awe and reverence. This brought me to the fundamental understanding that we are all of one energy source and just manifest in different forms, for different purposes, at different times. I wondered why all species, except human, honor their true nature and purpose in the incredible symbiotic dance to sustain this beautiful planet. I also knew that the healthy balance of our natural world is crucial to ALL species and to our human health and survival yet, clearly, we had forgotten this.
This second life is very different now. I am very different. Almost a 180 degree shift. Through this journey, I have learned the importance of connection, compassion, deep understanding, self-trust, constancy, forgiveness, respect for myself and others, and found myself manifesting a latent creative talent – all revolving around my beloved Nature – the love of my life. Nature will heal us if only we will grant Her the respect and dignity She deserves. It is the source of our very life’s foundation and She will guide us to provide Her with what she needs to sustain a healthy biosystem … if only we will observe and listen.
Testing the waters as I crept back into human society, I was driven to discover what it was in Nature that brought such profound healing, insight and understanding to me, and my brain, and the deep, and profound reconnection to life. I wanted to share this and draw humans back into the same beauty and wonders of the natural world that I had experienced. How to do that?
I began to work with the unique and beautiful images that I had perceived within Nature. This photographic work took me off into many exhibits (scholarships and Awards) and re-schooling to learn how to process these images. Subsequently, a series of these sacred images became the staging designs for a 10,000 person event by His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s for his world address, “Compassion and Healing” commemorating September 11th, televised worldwide on CNN. This further confirmed what I had found … that when humans are exposed again to the beauty and wonder of Nature we all saw as children –the cellular memory swells up within us, producing awe and renewed respect for ourselves and each other and our world around us. Magic occurs as we again regain our sense of purpose and belonging. It is a powerful reconnection and reawakening to that child-like innocence and wonder we all had, but have lost touch with – and long to return to.
I cannot get through a day without being conscious of the incredible natural beauty all around me – the sun, the gently drifting clouds, the ever-changing weather, the trees swaying to and fro in the wind, the birds with their incredible song repertoire and watch them spread their wings as they rise up and down from Mother Earth, the flowers in all their shapes, colors and textures and sheer wonder and beauty that embraces me in Mother Nature’s womb. I am constantly astounded at how she gives so generously to us and how she has so much to teach us, including the natural cycle of life i.e. creation, sustenance and dissolution. She is in motion and change every second of every day, surrendering when She needs to, bringing forth new life when it is time — all interconnected to the incredible symbiotic dance of all life.
These days I have turned to social media as my contribution to awakening humanity to our interconnectedness. The world is in great need of reconnection and understanding. With the better part of my memory restored (but not all the faculties) I have found a way to embrace both my strengths and weaknesses by combining what I can from my old structured life, with the new second flowing life and am now in total service to the needs of our distressed planet. Drawing on my own experiences and neurological rehabilitation, I have founded The Natural Eye Project to help raise the human consciousness on the planet through the portal of our Natural World. My current website is designed to inform and draw humanity back into the urgency of reclaiming our duty and stewardship to Nature.
The Natural Eye Project has formulated a revolutionary strategy for the 21st Century to reach the greatest number of people, in the shortest possible time. It is a first-of-its-kind 21st Century global project and live event that crosses all barriers and boundaries of race, creed, color, gender, age and economic status in new and exciting ways. The project is capable of drawing us all into our interconnectedness with all planetary life in new and exciting ways and, from this reconnection, re-establish a set of guiding principles and values that re-ignite respect and dignity for both humanity and our natural world. This is growing more urgent every day.
Before I get off my soapbox, let me say one final thing: If we are to have any chance of sustaining life as we have known it on Mother Earth, time is of the essence. Trying to course correct by just moving the old rigged pieces around on the same old worn-out chess board will not work. Revolutionary Thinking is Required. We have to be willing to integrate the yin-quality of consciousness coming onto the planet, and to put aside any old “yang” and stagnant accustomed ways of operating if we are to have any hope of a planetary rebirth. The new answers will not and cannot come out of the old, decaying, crumbling paradigm – it has run its course. Humpty Dumpty cannot be put back together again in the same structures that created the planetary demise. A Renaissance and Reconnection to the whole organic fabric of life is required.
And just like the waters and rivers that sustain all life, we humans need pick up our mantle of obligation and duty to participate in restoring and maintaining a healthy, all-inclusive environment for ALL Life.
For the Love of Nature and with Great Respect I thank you for taking time from your valuable lives to read this.