Nature is the deepest healer. A large part of the attraction of the house sitting lifestyle for me is the opportunity to get to meet and create a bond with a variety of different animals who teach me about life and healing. The second big attractor, is the opportunity to live in and experience the healing potential of the natural world in different parts of Australia. So many places on this continent, be they on the coast, in the hinterland or the mountains, carry a healing potential for we humans.
Just being there, in that space and time, can stimulate the unwinding of the mental, spiritual and energetic knots which cause imbalance and illness in our lives. As an expression of nature, we have the capacity to heal our body, mind and spirit at the deepest level. But we usually don’t take responsibility for that, preferring to outsource it to those we consider have more knowledge, greater authority over us. When all we really have to do is go into the natural world and go with its flow.
Take the sea for example, no matter which part of the coast you happen to find yourself on, the sea is its own cosmos. One morning gentle and calm, the next afternoon, threatening violence to the beach, rocks and cliffs. It is a season unto itself and the big healing lesson it offers we humans-something we are not very good at practising-is accepting the inevitability of change.Can there be anything more invigorating, more thrilling than watching waves whipped up by the wind after a storm? They can galvanise us into action in our own lives when we realise that we can apply a similar force to the self or other imposed rocky impediments in our lives. “Everything changes” as the Buddha said, yes, even ourselves and our lives.
My animal companions teach me about the importance of living in the present and finding joy in the small things of life. To quote Susan Chernak Mcelroy in her book “Animals as Teachers and Healers ”
“Animals in their innocence and wisdom… show us a way back to a home they have never left.”
They also have the ability to heal themselves, instinctively knowing what to do when they are sick and know what is needed when they need to leave this earth. Sometimes, like my Blue Heeler Aggie, they can resist death because it would mean leaving us. This is something they do out of unconditional love for us because they know of our difficulty in accepting their death.
As the end of house sit approaches, I review what possessions I need to leave behind, donating them to local charities. I’d like to say that I find it easy to let go of some places, the animals and the natural world around them, but the truth is I find it difficult sometimes to let go of the experiences and emotional attachments or awareness I’ve had there. I can be well into another house sit only to find that I’m judging the current experience by a previous (usually good) experience. Still, this lifestyle is offering me many opportunities to let go of such judgements and learn how to flow with life.
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