The noise is loud. Let's practice Deep Life.

The noise is loud. Let's practice Deep Life.

The relentless noise from social media, news and adverts is too much. Instead of seeking advice from external gurus or charismatic teachers, let us practice Deep Life and listen to what the world has to tell us.

There's so much noise out there

When Jane* joined my year-long experience, Rewild Your Soul, last Autumn, this is how she described her desires:

“There's so much noise out there and I'd like to take time to listen more deeply, behind the clamour. As we move through the world, are our hearts and minds tuned to the screeching tumult, or the joy and pain beneath it?”  

It's true, isn't it? There's so much noise out there. It feels like a barrage of opinion and adverts and tragedy. Many of us have stopped listening to the news or taking big breaks from social media.

It's understandable - our nervous systems weren't meant to be able to cope with constant information that triggers stress and not-enoughness.  

Practicing Deep Life

In Rewild Your Soul this summer we're exploring joy and wildflower meadows. Throughout the year, we've been getting to know our local place intimately – in the words of Sophie Strand, we have been practicing Deep Life:

“Deep Life for me is the practice of going to the same places near my home day after day and saying ‘what do you have to teach me? How do I need to best life my life?’ The beings that live alongside you will have more ecologically relevant information that someone who lives a whole country away.” - Sophie Strand interviewed in Rewild Your Soul  

We have been walking the same paths, visiting the same places over and over again and seeing how they change and noticing animals and plants and insects as we do – all the while asking: what do you have to teach me?  

What Common Knapweed has taught me  

This week, I got to know the meadow plant Common Knapweed growing in my front garden. Knapweed looks a bit like a thistle but it's actually more closely related to the Cornflower. It flowers relatively late in the life of meadow providing vital pollen and nectar to insects, such as the Meadow Brown butterfly.  

I learned that its Latin name – Centaurea nigra – stems from a Greek story about the centaur Chiron. Chiron, unlike the other more violent centaurs, was a wise healer and astronomer and is said to have used Knapweed to heal his injured hoof.  

I have been watching the Knapweed as it transforms from a bud, to a flower to a little container for seeds, snugly protected under the dying florets. It has taught me that although it looks like a prickly thistle, it is a generous, healing plant-being.  

Deep Life means following your curiosity

This is what it means to be intimate with the place where you live – small moments of noticing here and there done on your own terms rather than feeling like you need someone to tell you exactly what to do.  

Deep Life is about following your curiosity. Like a fox, you nose out and unearth stories inspired by science and folklore and begin to create your own so they weave into your body and soul. And once there they will be part of your story for life.  

Now when I see Common Knapweed it takes me into its world and, rather than rushing by to get my little one from school while thinking about all the stuff I didn't manage to get done and the last horror I read about on the news, I remember its generosity and healing and slip, momentarily, into Deep Life.    

*name changed  

Image: Gary Ellis via Unsplash

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