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Tracy Courtney

The Missing Link

Many names, ideas & practices have been created to try to define the same phenomenon such as, searching for god, the soul, the higher-self, looking within, etc. For simplicity, we will use the word “nature” as a single reference to these varied ideas. For centuries, we have created elaborate rituals & beliefs that we have tried to teach to others in the search for these elusive understandings. We have spent years & lifetimes secluded in caves, left our loved ones & homes in search of something more, spent countless hours sitting quietly meditating, doing hand gestures, pretzel-like physical routines, visiting & living close to nature, in the hopes of finding that elusive gold nugget.

We are attracted to these things because of how they make us feel. We do these things because they make us feel good. They are a much needed rest from other parts of our lives that sometimes make us feel tense, tired & less at peace with our existence. Having these outlets offers a glimpse of peace, serenity & a much needed chance to unwind. What if it were possible to find this quiet, relaxing space in a much simpler way? Instead of catching only glimpses here & there, we could tap directly into the source of this calm & peace & learn how to bring it into everything we do? There’s no need to stop doing anything that makes us feel good, but what if we could find those elusive answers with our own personal guidance systems? To have a tangible & physical source, that can actually provide the answers we’ve been searching for?

We have created many names to try to dissect, explain & understand different aspects of our existence & our behaviour. I will use some common words to try to convey a new idea. Many are familiar with the word duality & other common phrases like, “opposites attract”. What if our minds or as some prefer to call it, the ego, were the negative end of the magnet & nature were the positive end of the magnet? What if, in our search for the opposite of the mind/ego, it really wasn’t something mystical & elusive, but has been here right in front of us the whole time & we didn’t realize it? What if the ideas we have developed & clung to have been the veil that has obscured what’s right in front of us?

We can all substantiate why we choose to go into nature & spend time with our pets. During these interactions we feel calmer, we can relax & how many of us have realized that this is due to our mind/ego slowing down & becoming more quiet? Science has proven that being in the presence of animals reduces our thought waves, blood pressure & many other benefits. Could this be the answers we’ve been searching for, for centuries? Can these glimpses be an indication from nature that we can have this all the time if we choose to listen & learn something new?

Have the complex rituals & endless intellectual processes we’ve developed given us the answers we’ve been searching for? Have spending time sitting & listening to those we place upon pedi stools given us the answers we’ve all been searching for? I think it’s safe to say that they haven’t, so it’s time to let them go & develop a new way. Not one that involves more intellectual processes & complex rituals, but less of them.

What is part of nature? Everything around us including our pets & ourselves are all part of nature, & therefore we are all connected at some level. When we are with what we have termed nature, this usually refers to a secluded area full of plants, trees, mountains & streams. We can admire the beauty of these things & feel more relaxed with the quiet that surrounds us, but a rose or tree can’t interact physically with us & help guide us in how to proceed. Our pets on the other hand can! Our pets are our direct link to what we’ve been searching for & can provide all the answers we need if we choose to allow them to teach us what we don’t know. “It’s time to change the rules & return to simplicity”.