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Sunday, April 14, 2024
Column: Embrace nature and just go with the flow

Would it be tiring to confess that I have once again been inspired by a NOTL resident?

What can I say? I’m easily inspired. Or maybe more accurately – it’s easy to be inspired by the incredible people who live in this town.

This time? It was local artist and interior designer/organizer/Feng Shui aficionado Felicia Weinstein (see Page  16) who encouraged me to pause and reflect on my own life.

Holding nature in such high esteem, Weinstein has modelled her life, her art, even her career after the energy and passion she derives from it. She says, “We should all be more like nature,” and I whole-heartedly agree.

Am I going with the flow, do I let the influence of nature guide me, can I speak to the universe?

For the most part I do, I have, and I can, but I think we can all weave those mantras into our lives a little more.

Be fierce like nature – don’t back down.

Be balanced like nature – find serenity and stillness amid life’s chaos.

Be adaptable like nature – know when to go with the flow and follow life’s path.

Be present like nature – learn to be in the moment and focus on here, now.

The concept is simple really, as nature is. Through the complexities of everyday life, through the stress and the deadlines and chores and responsibilities – revel in the simplicity to just be.

Weinstein has incorporated so much of that mindset into her life – I aim to follow suit and urge you do the same.

Appreciate the beauty and the chaos, the growth and the destruction. It’s all a part of life and we can lose sight of that while living through the mundane tasks of our day-to-day routines.

With Weinstein’s inspiration in mind, for the rest of the week whenever disappointment hit or obstacles arrived, I tried my best to meet them with grace, calm and a sense of acceptance.

So, when I stepped out of Starbucks on Queen Street last Thursday morning to immediately drop my much-needed coffee all over the ground (and myself) – I simply picked it up, cleaned myself off and got another one.

When my husband’s truck battery died and I had to leave yoga to find cables and then drive across town to give him a boost, I just did what I could to help him out.

When I looked at the several baskets of laundry (from a family of four who seem to change their clothes excessively) that had gathered over the week, I just buckled down, dug in and worked my way through them – with as much gratitude and calm as I could muster.

Because, although I’m sure there is no divine reason behind my coffee mishap, and there likely isn’t some deep meaning to be derived from folding a week’s worth of laundry in one evening, I do think these are the moments that mark our lives. These are the obstacles that arise to challenge us to live in the moment and through the discomfort, even if it is tiring, mundane and very disappointing.

How else would we appreciate the truly spectacular moments when they present themselves? Like stopping to take in the gorgeous full moon on Tuesday, (I won’t get into the effect the moon had on me this week), or really noticing the sunset and appreciating how the colours perform against the sky – one of Weinstein’s favourite aspects of nature. Or even acknowledging the raw power and beauty of hidden gems right in front of us – like Niagara Shores Park and the erosion that can be seen along the shoreline. (So much more on that soon.)

As Weinstein showed me, nature is beautiful, destructive and inspiring – and we’re all living around it – let’s try to live a little more in harmony with the natural world and aim to go with the flow, as best we can.

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