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Keep on Keeping on Down Life's Path

08/23/2011 09:45 am ET | Updated Oct 24, 2011

We all have little stirrings on the inside, but do we really listen to them? Do we pay attention to them? Most likely when you have a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and get into nature, then when you hear the snap of a twig or the crunching of a leaf, you become much more in tune with the dance of life and how you fit into the patterns of the universe. But first you have to hear that sound! These sounds lead to all sorts of resolutions and answers -- they truly do!

When a reader wrote and asked about having the Golden Door experience for her own, I thought I might share a few tips that I picked up so you could benefit from the inner wisdom I gained, and one of these examples would certainly be the quiet and calm that can be found in nature. I believe so many answers are in nature, and certainly those little voices telling us whether to have another child, ask for a raise or try our hands at our own businesses can be heard in the quietude of nature -- when we are alone with our thoughts, and we can see them in the tapestry of the whole.

If you can find a nice place to walk that perhaps has a little grade to it, and add a little shade to it, then you would have two ingredients that I enjoyed at the Golden Door. If you are in a flat place, then so be it, and if you have no trees to supply shade, then that's fine. Just please be sure to use sunscreen and a hat to protect from the sun's rays. Pack water and orange slices, a bag for trash, some napkins, a journal or book for poetry or musings and you are ready to take off. I would not suggest an iPod, because you are there to hear nature's music speak to you.

Walk with a friend and never walk so that you are out of breath. Just be sure you can walk and talk, and it's okay to be silent and just listen. You will hear birds in bushes or -- surprise, surprise -- there may be rabbits, squirrels, raccoons or any manner of creature who likes to hide in the brush. Watch for lizards and, of course, snakes who are more afraid of you than you are of them -- but steer clear of them nevertheless. Look for water, streams, creeks and signs of life there, and if you need to take a stick to protect yourself from spider webs overhead, try not to disturb webs that spiders have worked long and hard on -- some of the orbs are masterpieces!

It is said that the very act of walking warms you up, but warming up is never a bad idea and cooling down with a few stretches is a must with some calf stretches, hamstring stretches and over the head stretches with your arms. You can come up with a few of your own but the Golden Door likes you to stretch and elongate those muscles! On their hikes you have a shepherd and a leader because there are so many trails. You can get a hiking book for your area and follow the trails carefully. When you get to your destination, sit down with your oranges and write some poetry. A haiku is my choice, because I've been writing them for years and can do them quickly.

The Koi glimmer now
The sun dances on their scales
Playing happy tunes.
-- Patricia Rust

A walk can be most pleasant; if one isn't in the mood it can be enhanced by a mantra, repeated along the lines of, "I feel so wonderful when I walk" or "All the answers come to me when I walk," or you can make up your own to suit your goals and needs -- the foremost of which can be a peaceful heart.

In this year of the rabbit, the energy is gentle, creative and artistic with the potential for harmony everywhere -- under every rock you see on your path, behind every cloud that passes in the sky and beyond every tree that you think obscures your vision. A walk may allow you to see that they are all part of the tapestry that includes you and your gifts, woven just so, to make you a perfect part of the universe. Breathe in that knowledge on a magical nature walk that connects you with your source -- whatever your belief system may be. Then, relax and listen for answers. Let me know how you do.

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