Nature has always been humanity’s teacher, illuminating myriad ways for us to live wisely, harmoniously and in greater balance with other species, and ourselves.

At times, we all learn and re-learn lessons we thought we had previously mastered. At this moment, it seems like the human world has gone batshit crazy just when believed we had made considerable collective progress in being more peaceful, more compassionate, and more tolerant of diversity and differences.

Many people have lost hope, wallowing in cynicism, anger and despair, and resorting to lashing out at, blaming and villainizing others. This collective tidal wave of human fear, distrust and negativity leads to deeper paralysis, stagnation and entrenched conflicts producing even more disruption, destruction and pain.

Unlike in our human constructed world,though, in nature, disruption is not personal, nor is destruction. Something is always being born or coming out of what may look like total annihilation or devastation on the surface.

Even when human generated tidal waves of crazy appear to be crashing on our home shores, nature is always showing us how to move forward, no matter what is happening outside of ourselves. The universe of which earth is part of is infinite, vast, beautiful and full of mystery. Yes, there’s a lot of chaos and there always will be, but there’s opportunity for inspiration, miracles and growth all around us if we dare to change our perspective and perception.

For me personally, I may do this by stepping back, moving away from distractions, and finding a quiet place where I can just be for several minutes. I close my eyes and tune in to how the breeze or wind feels as it flows across my body and the landscape, continuing to take deep breaths until I can feel my heart rate and breath relax. I repeat, this time smiling, as that also helps me come back to the moment.

And the moment is where the non-human beings with whom we share this planet live and dwell. They don’t worry, they don’t fret, they don’t question. They deal with obstacles, disasters and catastrophes as they happen, and yes, some survive while others do not.

Daily challenges and opportunities are the norm and not to be feared, nor is the future, or allowing what happened in the past to paralyze the present.

Being present, breathing deeply with my eyes closed in a quiet space and place, I tune in with other senses, listening to bird song, our cat Ren slinking in the bushes in search of grasshoppers or larger prey, leaves falling and tumbling to the ground. I tune in to trusting that I will always be o.k. if I listen to my heart rather than what the latest newsfeed, tweet or announcement tells me how to feel or react.

I trust that the world will be alright, that what I wish for others I also wish for friends and family members. When you stand on the edge of a vast canyon or ocean or look up at a brilliant night sky, it’s easier to connect with what untold generations of humans have always known, that we are a part of yet never apart from a benevolent universe and planet that wants us all to thrive, to be kind, to live and learn, to love, to fall, fail and then get up again, doing the best we can and know how to.

The earth, and the universe is bigger than any and all of us. That’s humbling and inspiring, yet the earth is our one and only home where we will choose to either live or perish together.

Let’s break new ground for others to follow and create a ripple effect of powerful, positive planetary change. Let’s gather in peace, trust and remembering that we all belong, that we are all needed and valued, that we are all scared at times, and that we all want to be safe, loved, respected, heard and understood.

Again, nature shows us ways to move forward. When you’re feeling discouraged, feel what you’re feeling, but remember that nature’s waiting for you, no matter where your feet are, to help you come back to yourself. You are unique in this world and you matter-we all matter.

And matter, ultimately, is what we are also all made of!