How do we decide the course and navigate our own life?
Of course I guess we all like to believe that we determine how we act and feel but do we let others influence us? Do friends, family, work colleagues get in the way of us doing what we want to do or trying to achieve something extraordinary. Do they undermine or encourage? Are you navigating your life?
Do we let the swings and roundabouts of social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat etc.), TV, radio and the news control or over influence the way we think, assuming of course we believe what they are saying in the first place?
Do we worry too much about what we do or do not have, or what others will think of us if we do something different?
I was listening to a radio programme recently which mentioned Natural Navigation, a term which has been coined by Tristan Gooley. It struck a chord with me as a potential topic for a blog.
“Natural navigation is the rare art of finding your way using nature, including the sun, moon, stars, weather, land, sea, plants and animals. It is possible to navigate naturally on land, sea or even in the air.”
He has a unique approach to this topic. He is not promoting it as a component part in a set of survival skills (although it would no doubt be useful) – mainly because most people are unlikely to be in a situation where these abilities are required.
What he does suggest however is that Natural Navigation can help to enrich journeys and improve our connection with the world around us when we are outdoors. If we switch off the GPS and ignore the map and compass for just for short while and become aware of our surroundings, we can have a better chance of answering the question, ‘Which way am I heading and is it the right direction?”
I am not suggesting that we completely ignore what is going on and cut ourselves off from the outside world, withdraw from social media and electronic engagement or take no notice of friends, family or colleagues.
A time and place to think
I think though that taking some time to disconnect and enjoy the experience of being alone, or at least ‘in nature’ can be beneficial. It can allow us time to think, to reflect and check whether the direction we are headed is still the best for us – without the accompanying noises of the 21st century.
It doesn’t have to be a forest, remote moorland or mountains. It can be a garden, a local park or even a riverbank just so long as you can unplug from today’s anxieties and thoughts and plug in to something bigger, more universal. As well as feeling better for it, you can often find new insights and answers to questions which have been bothering you.
Why do I believe this? We have spent much time and effort over the past few millennia focusing on economic growth, material wealth and collecting things.
As my friend Christa Mackinnon says in her latest book, (Shamanism – Awaken and Develop the Shamanic Force Within):
“This has produced materially wealthy societies, but has neglected our inner and spiritual development. We have lost our connection to the Earth, to our souls and to the sacred within and without, and are deprived of deeper meaning and purpose.”
I believe that we can be more assured in our personal direction if now and again we can take the time to listen to the clarity of our inner voice as well as to the wider universe.