Even though I grew up as a city girl, from a young age there was always an intimacy I felt with nature. Nature was not something that was needed, but every time I connected with it, I felt a return to myself that was pure, simple and very lovely. Most of my adult years have been spent in a concrete jungle. When life became intense, nature was a place where I would go walking and ponder. It was a reminder of the spaciousness that I felt within, so I could simply relax and be myself. A few years ago, due to not wanting to face some deep hurts, I threw myself into a journey of soul-searching, though ironically I did not turn to my soul, but instead looked outside of myself. Nature became my focus and where my answers were sought. I had a need within me to be protected, to be confirmed, to be blessed and to be met by nature – and therefore nature became something much grander than myself. Instantly, the equality with nature I felt as a child vanished. When I looked outside to nature for my answers, I was constantly reconfirming the belief that I don’t know: not only did that feel untrue, it left me feeling disempowered. As a result of feeling disempowered, recognition was constantly needed, thinking it would bring me closer to the power that we are.
This power was simply a feeling within myself of interconnectedness with everything; something that I could always feel strongly inside but hadn’t yet truly brought forth. I chose to believe there is recognition when we are ‘chosen’ by nature, and being bitten by a venomous snake whilst pregnant was my proof that I held a place in nature. It was believed in certain shamanic traditions that it is the living through natural disasters that actually gives one proof of having a place in nature – for example, some shamans are ‘chosen’ when they have been struck by lightning and lived.
However, being bitten by a snake did not allow me to feel once that I was powerful, in-truth it only left me feeling extremely powerless. Even though I could feel my choice of seeking recognition so as to not feel the discomfort of choosing and living this way, I continued to ignore my feelings and to remain arrogant until the traumas in my life forced me to stop and wake up. Nature had become this grandiosity that was much greater than me and was supposed to protect me. I had to look up to it – after all, I sang to the moon on full moon nights and danced to every rising sun. Despite this, I always felt lesser in comparison with it. There was almost a comfort felt in labelling nature as something so immensely grandiose that I had no power over, because then I would not have to take responsibility for a lot of things. When natural disasters happened, they were something that just happened without my control, and when something happened personally in my life, it was nature that I consulted before I reflected on self-responsibility. But how was the comfort of remaining in arrogance and ignorance truly assisting me? I looked for signs everywhere in nature – mountains became masters that I would speak with and wait for replies; leaves and lakes were ‘read’ – but this was mostly done with an expectation of what I would like to hear, and therefore the answers were not true.
Ignoring my feelings kept me locked up in the unknowingness of what is true. It was never really my responsibility but someone else’s, or the universe’s unfathomable ways that were incomprehensible to someone like myself. How I chose to live was constantly re-confirming the belief that I had no power in understanding what was going on around me.
What eventually changed for me was the realisation that the harmony I know within myself and that I see reflected constantly in nature, is not what I am feeling or seeing in daily life. For example, in the breathtaking presence of nature and in traditions that honor nature, human relations can still exhibit cruelty; allowing myself to truly feel this realisation was more painful than any drama that had happened. I could no longer carry on life this way. In essence, I stopped, or more accurately, my body forced me to stop looking everywhere outside for my answers. In the fragile state that my body was in, I literally had to stop and take stock of what had been going on in my life, and in my body.
What I then felt was that I was living in a constantly anxious state of wanting and seeking answers, so I chose to not perpetuate this disharmony anymore by taking back the responsibility for my life. I was inspired by Serge Benhayon presenting in a Universal Medicine retreat in 2013 to return to self-responsibility and commitment to life and gradually I began to feel a pervading harmony that simply came from within.
Nature has never stopped reflecting to me its sheer beauty, harmony and a love that is true. I have never stopped feeling this, with the knowing that what I am seeing is a reflection of what I know I am within. This was deeply felt when the need to look outside for answers and recognition was dropped.
I still love to look at and photograph the skies and clouds, but now every time I am touched by a beauty so deep there is an appreciation for nature in confirming the equal beauty and power that is simply the essence of us all. When the shutter is pressed I am taking a picture that is in confirmation of a true relationship with nature. We are so truly glorious that the skies cannot but reflect that back to us—when lived, we are the blessing that we see.
By Adele Leung, Image Director, Hong Kong
The Magic of Nature the Magic of God and Me