“Nature Inspires peace of mind, joy, balance, and profound gratitude.”
– Lee Sunshine
As a child, I felt a deep sense of wonder towards the Earth, finding comfort in the shade of trees and the warmth of the sun. When I was given the opportunity to turn my observations into poetry, I eagerly accepted, realizing that this was the start of my journey as an author. I had always dreamed of writing my own books, and I am thrilled to say that this day has finally arrived.
I started writing poetry regularly in 2020 because I found that words flowed easily to me whenever I was surrounded by nature. Whether I was by the lake, in a river, on a trail, or watching the sunrise, I felt inspired by the beauty of the world around me. But it wasn’t just about the aesthetics. Being in nature also brought me a sense of clarity and connectedness. It helped me to be more in tune with myself and the Earth. One of the things that stood out to me during my outdoor adventures was the deep sense of gratitude that nature exudes. Everything in the natural world seems to thrive on gratitude and reciprocity – from bees pollinating flowers, to the sun nourishing the land, to humans tending the earth and the earth feeding us.
Each of these poems sheds light on a lesson I’ve learned through experiences in nature. I am sharing these with the intention of letting my words be received by others, in the hopes that they may inspire someone else, just as nature has and will always inspire me. Through a combination of traditional and haiku-style writing, I dive into the world of Nature Inspires: positive affirmations inspired by God’s greatest creation.
“I ain’t gonna lie…” they say. I know the prompt says word but this phrase has been in and out of my ears a lot this summer. I hear it online and in person. What does it mean? How can you have an honest conversation with someone if it starts off with such a phrase. If the words following it are supposedly true, what about the others that came before, without the warning?
These are some of the thoughts that cross my mind when I hear someone say “I ain’t gonna lie…”
I’ve always been more literal than figurative with my speech, its just the way I am. So to hear people use “I ain’t gonna lie” so often as a preface to their own thoughts is both annoying and confusing to me. Why announce that you aren’t going to lie about the next thing you say, to me that makes it seem like lying is the default response. Now I’m not naive to the reality that people lie or give partial truths when communicating, but that doesn’t mean I have to subscribe to it.
My future travels will be joy filled and adventurous. A first step out of the United States, landing on an island that is home to nature I’ve never experienced. I plan on using travel as a means of teleporting myself to spaces new and lush with life. Opening up my mind to what can be instead of only experiencing my day to day living at home. Travel is a means of refreshing the mind. Taking no more than what is given as I move between one space to another. I don’t only wish to see the world, I want to experience what being alive feels like in as many environments as God will let me. I plan on connecting with the land wherever I go, sharing respect and gratitude for the Earth in all its forms. Seeing forests of all kinds, indulging in food, connecting with beings of all kinds, and learning about the culture of each place I travel to; this is all in the plan.
I’m a big believer in putting comfort first in life. Especially when it comes to my physical self and my environment. Some strategies I’ve found especially helpful with maintaining a sense of comfort day to day is:
Starting my day by taking care of my needs before working or doing anything else
Journaling every day when I wake or at least before sleeping, helps keep my mind clear
Wearing outfits that I both love and am comfortable in, never trade fitting in or ‘looking cool’ for being comfortable in the clothing that I wear. Clothing is an aspect of self expression, if you look ‘cool’ but are uncomfortable its pretty noticeable and can lead to issues down the line
Communicating boundaries when in contact with others, placing myself first instead of people pleasing
Working from home when I can
Having my favorite tea when I rise and making sure I have snacks that I like
Focusing on my breath and making sure I set aside time in my week to practice yoga
Active mediation, being in a meditative state as I go about my day to day
Making sure I spend time alone as much as I spend time with people
Before sitting down to write I found myself feeling shame for not doing as much as I would like. Looking through this creation of mine and taking myself too seriously. Introducing ridicule to a space within me that needs nothing but encouragement.
I write because it is something that I enjoy. I write because I like to share my thoughts and perspectives with others. I write because I enjoy reading the writings of others.
Reminding myself of this helps the flow resume. Lately I have been spending my time writing to reflect more than anything else. It sometimes makes me forget about this aspect of writing that I enjoy just as much. Crafting together a message inspired by my present moment. In this moment I wanted to share my feelings about an experience I had at a concert. A message brought to my heart from a moment of divine timing.
Flashback to October 15th 2022
I went to my first Princess Nokia concert and it was one of the most special moments I have had in my life. I felt happy, present, free, and seen for who I am. Dancing to the sounds that filled the concert and connecting with an artist I admire; it felt other worldly. I’d like more of my days to have this same kind of magic. A magic that carries over well into the next day and seeps into all that I do. Including writing, freely expressing and sharing my gifts with others.
I showed up to the concert early, excited and nervous to be there on my own. Two days prior I’d started drawing a picture of Princess Nokia and intended to give it to her at this concert. This is the second time I’ve made such an attempt. For both the reason was the same; to gift the artist who has gifted me with so much inspiration and motivation with an image of themselves that is one of a kind. And this time it happened! I was right there front stage, singing along to the song”Blessings” really feeling the music when Princess Nokia called me onto the stage. In a daze of excitement I joined her and we talked for a moment, she asked my name and thanked me for my gift. I wish I could recall her exact words but my excitement blocked my mind from letting her words fully settle in. All I know is that was she said to me was kind. I gave her a big hug and rejoined the concert. She read the note I’d attached to the drawing out loud to the crowd, I felt proud of myself. It all felt so surreal and as the moment passed she began to speak about passion and having a purpose in life. If not for my passion I wouldn’t have had the courage to create the art that I do. Same goes for all of us. I appreciate artist like Princess Nokia, always showing up as herself regardless of outside influence. Her music has always spoken to me, she speaks her truth in a way that’s contagious. Seeing her live and experiencing this moment inspired me to always show up as myself no matter what, because it’s one thing to be looked at but another to be seen.
“Morita explained the idea of letting go of negative feelings with the following fable: A donkey that is tied to a post by a rope will keep walking around the post in an attempt to free itself, only to become more immobilized and attached to the post. The same thing applies to people with obsessive thinking who become more trapped in their own suffering when they try to escape from their fears and discomfort.”
I once was trapped in my own suffering, I picked up this book early in the year. But didn’t feel called to finish reading it until after I had a chance encounter with a lovely young woman. She had Ikigai as her screen saver and a tattoo on her arm, I took this as a sign to continue reading. So I did and the wisdom within was ready for me to digest.
Reading this excerpt in particular really helped me realize that although I am committed to living my purpose, to do so fully requires letting go of any need to suffer. The desire to let go significantly outweighed the part of me that’d been in a loop, repeating past energy and mindsets connected to this unwanted need to suffer. Since reading Ikigai, negative feelings I’d ignored resurfaced and this time I was able to face them. Acknowledging ones feelings is the first step to letting them pass through. This is a lesson I am still learning, each day I practice letting my energy move through me. Releasing what is not wanted with one breath at a time. Practicing what I love and focusing on what brings me joy keeps me from the past. As my mind has shifted so has my environment and the people in my life. Like attracts like, those who are also walking the path of less suffering have joined me in my pursuit.
I really enjoyed reading this book, it left me feeling lighter and inspired. To know there are communities thriving off of love and a natural rhythm to life lets me know my dreams are not futile. Some day I’ll be living off of life and what it brings to me, suffering long gone and a part of my past.
The idea of letting go kept me in a loop. The act of letting go has given me release.
I try to see the Beauty in everything
How could you not
when God's creations are everywhere
The sun in the sky
grass beneath my feet
Rooted in the I am, that I am
Nature is what I am
InBliss is where I tend to be
InBliss I am free
flowing through life with a stillness
joy meeting me at every turn
peace within mind
a heart filled with gratitude
InBliss is where I want to be
here right now
when my mind strays
or a cloud overhangs
I remember InBliss is where I want to be
so I say hello to the clouds
embracing the now, what is
instead of what I wish not to be
InBliss I find peace in my reality
no stress, just happiness
through Faith in the most high
God holds my hand as I walk along my path
Keeping in stride
InBliss is where I Am
-Lee Sunshine (2023)
To be In Love
Recognizing the light within and all around you
To be In Love is to exist within a state of constant Loving awareness
Loving everything that you are aware of
To be aware is a gift
To be In Love is to melt into this awareness
Our spirit knows Love
In Love fear has no home
An open heart welcomes truth
God is Love
Feel the wind, see God
Feel the sun's rays, see God
Look at yourself, see Love
Look at yourself, see God
God is within and all around
To be In Love is to be Green
Heart chakra emanating light
Energy flowing freely
Extending your Love
To be in Love is to return to nature
Our true nature, a state of being
To be In Love is to be unique
we are all unique in our ways of being
I am Love
I am Loving awareness
I am loving Awareness
I am awareness
-Lee Sunshine (2023)
Anger can be a catalyst for profound change. Change is a natural part of the human experience, no matter how much it may be resisted. Learning to flow with change can transform you into your highest self. The you that isn’t afraid to pivot along your journey. Pivoting is what happens when you are dealing with a situation or experience that feels familiar and you decide to take a different course of action than you usually do. A pivot inspires new ways of being. Personally I’ve been pivoting my anger, trying different actions when I am angry as a means of letting it pass through me instead of blocking my heart.
Admitting that I was angry at all was my first step towards changing this aspect of myself. I didn’t fully innerstand what my anger was trying to tell me, or why I yelled even when it made me feel worse. Listening to myself shout let me know I was dealing with something deeper. There is always something deeper, right under the surface, and waiting to receive light. Our anger usually has a lesson to teach us, my anger came to teach me alchemy. Alchemy can look different for everyone, it can be brought about by any element of your life. Making the conscious choice to transmute negative energy into something positive takes practice. Finding your favorite ways to transmute can simply begin with taking care of your needs. I realized when anger comes up for me, my need to be heard and feel safe aren’t being met. These needs gone unaddressed could lead to years of unintended suffering, but by choosing to pivot I am addressing them head on and creating something beautiful in the process.
I am currently learning how to transmute my rage into artwork, writings, and dance. It feels liberating and I am excited to witness my alchemy strengthen to the point where anger doesn’t consume me, but instead guides me. Serving only as a catalyst for the change I so lovingly seek.
For more on the topic of change, check out my podcast that expands on the ways embracing change has aligned me with who I truly am. Thank you for reading and I hope these words helped you in some way, feel free to share this with someone who may benefit!
Words long overdue, gone a bit long without writing
Felt like I’d forgotten how
Words aren’t overdue, just gone unwritten. You’ll never forget how as long as you truly listen
Words come to me when I welcome them through
Listening to words of affirmation replenishes my youthful spirit, replaces the doubt and “lack” of vision
Words within my imagination waiting to be written
There is no such thing as the perfect time, only the now
Words within me will not go unwritten
Words within me are not stuck
Put pen to paper or hands to keyboard
No matter the medium, keep writing
The more you write, the easier it will be