Preston, December 4, 2008
This summer I found myself on my first solo in nature. In other words, I was alone in nature in the same spot for four days and three nights. It opened up a new way of being in nature and I guess being in general. Solos or nature quests spring out of the traditions of most native people. It is a simplified version of their vision quests that they do for their rights of passage.
First what is nature by the way? What does it mean? Some people distinguish nature and culture as opposites. Nature is understood as the wild areas of the world untouched by humans whereas culture is what is humanly created.
I think this distinction might be useful for our daily language but I still don’t agree with it. Why should humans be separated from the rest of the creatures on our planet? Are we not sharing the same resources, the same air, the same water and even the same life? I think so.
Back to the solo experience. So four days and three nights within a 50 meter radius of my tent. I found my spot up towards the ridge of the mountain. I was not sure what to expect. Should I be afraid?
I was not afraid since I love being in nature; hiking, mountain biking, camping, being fairly active and comfortable in the wilderness.
I probably should have been a little afraid. Not of the fox that came by, or of the lemming, the birds, playing around my site, not even of the reindeer who came and greeted me. What was most challenging was being here in nature that I love, but in a whole new way. Being still. Not doing anything. Being with my own thoughts. Being exposed to myself in a new, clear and ruthless way. Get closer to what some might call source. Why should that be frightening – I am together with myself all the time? I should have gotten used to that by now. But no… I am always distracted by actions, thoughts, plans, and other people so I never really stop to explore what is underneath this blanket of noise. So all of a sudden seeing the distraction of thoughts, beginning to notice deeply ingrained mental models was a welcome challenge for me.
Intuition. Why is it important, what is it, and how does it fit in here?
Firstly I think that the ability to listen to ones intuition and acknowledging it can truly open up new perspectives and deeper insights. My experience of listening to my intuition is that it gives much more interesting results than I could have produced with my rational mind alone.
Secondly. What is it? There is something strange about intuition. We don’t really know what it is, but we still use it and talk about our gut feelings or that we just had a sense, or we can feel the atmosphere in a room where there has just been a fight.
I think intuition is closely connected with being present and aware, letting go of judgment, being alert and open to more than reaches the eye or the intellect.
So what is the link to nature?
I think that by quieting down in nature and learning to be aware of your thoughts and other distractions that are taken for granted we can clean and train our organ of intuition. This makes us more creative, more in touch with what is going on around us. How people are feeling. What the state of the world is. What quality and nourishment our food gives us.
When I came out from my solo, I met up with the 12 other people who had done their own solos and we shared what had happend. Or we shared our experence, because nothing really happens. That is the beauty of it. I did not get any esoteric visions, but I went home with a clear feeling that nature is where I feel at home, it is my work and my playground. I got a very clear feeling that I am part of nature this experience I want to share with others.
I have during the last year started a company where I invite people into nature. I see nature has a powerful way of helping us be more aware, more present, more in touch with nature as a whole and with our ability to listen to our intuition. This in turn enables us to be more creative, better leaders for ourselves and others, more relaxed with a deep-felt sense of the importance of creating sustainable systems that are in balance with nature, since we are all part of it.