Finding my path to self-care through nature

I encountered a creature's nest yesterday on my walk. It was an ordinary day, but somehow the extraordinary facets of this earth's creation stopped me in my path.

Hiding in the poles of a metal fence hung a perfectly empty wasp nest. As a person who works with Spirit Totems and Power Animals from the Shamanic perspective, I recognized that the wasp is a powerful totem. If stung by a wasp one is urged to consider the act a 'wake-up call.'

I prefer to avoid such encounters. I try to heed the quiet urgings which guide my spirit. Thinking of the wasps' power gave me pause to reflect. How tempting it is to ignore those gentle pulls at the heart until we reach that point of urgency that calls us to awaken before we face irreversible consequences. How easy to ignore our heart instead, only to later wonder why we get so full of worry, stress, boredom, depression and dis-ease. Like a grown-up, we chide our inner child, "Don't we have places to be?"

"Here," the nest quietly reminds me. "You have a place to be and it is where you are, at this unfolding moment."

I pause. I study its fascinating structure, the hexagonal forms in a spherical 'home.' I discover my inner fascination. Discovery is the first part of the journey to self-care, which is the beginning of healing. To be healed I must know the answer to what I need.

The hive starts with a single hanging thread and a need. A need for place. I am here and I am not. My mind is a thousand miles away in a second, but at the core of myself I am here, and I have the same need. I must start with the same thread. My actions serve the collective and myself. Where to begin? I start my discovery. 

I wonder at how this little nest hangs up there on a spindly 'thread.' The balance is the key. Placing my balance of my being, my heart, my inner 'nest' on a single thread, I suspend myself and build outward, like a labyrinth, weaving each pocket to hold the contents of my life. It is precarious work. Too much weight and pull and it could easily come crashing down. I have learned the hard way. The complex structure of our minds requires the utmost care, which relies on a stable foundation.

I marvel at the hexagons perfectly paired and interconnected. Isn't it remarkable, I muse, how each pocket is inextricably connected. I, too, am part of those structures, interconnected to each part of my life, which too often pull me off my center and urge me to be anyone, anywhere but who and where I am. 

I imagine myself as the wasp, part of a whole, and yet she came from her own tiny pocket in the hive, uniquely hers. So she has her own gift. As a healer, an early teaching I received was that I am part of a collective, and to serve that collective I must discover my own strengths and where my gifts are best served. The learning of a healer is unfolding continually. It needs much strength for the journey. The buzzing nest hangs in the balance. A lot weighs on that thread – the health of the hive.

My self-care has evolved through simple observations of nature. The balance of strength and fragility and how my own unique gifts – storytelling, communion with nature, fascination with the mind's complex structure – can inform the path my life follows. 

I now recognize that, like the hive, all begins from the carefully balanced center. From there, all my collective energies simply hum. 

Melissa V. Lampl
Contributor & Founding Member

My background in wellness begin with a BA from Scripps College in Psychology where I focused on the interconnectedness of health, positive psychology, yoga, well-being and mindfulness. My desire in promoting wellness, inner balance and harmony with nature led me to Frontier Co-op and Aura Cacia. I studied aromatherapy at the American College of Healthcare Sciences and am a proud member of Frontier Co-op’s team, serving as an Aromatherapy Educator for the Aura Cacia brand.

Share Your Thoughts

Julie M 1589433457

May 10, 2018 - 6:43pm

Beautifully written

Melissa Lampl

May 14, 2018 - 7:56am

Thank you so much Julie!

Ava S 1983596257

May 10, 2018 - 7:22am

I go into the forest preserve on hiking journeys frequently. Yes, it’s wonderful.

Melissa Lampl

May 14, 2018 - 8:01am

The more I go the more I realize there is to appreciate. I intend to hike and stroll in the forest more often this year. It is so healing and so full of wonder.


May 17, 2017 - 10:54pm

Nature does wonderful things to our mind and body in a very subtle way. That’s why I always love taking a troll in the park or walk in a trail.

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