I'm in Love with a Crayfish

I have made friends with a crayfish, scroll down to find out what they said to me.

In other news:
Smocking - I've had my first few pupils take my smocking class "Hand sew a smock" on Skillshare. If you'd like to learn to hand sew from me, sign up for a free 30 day trial of Skillshare HERE
Rain Falls Retreat - Since sharing a couple of previews for my new album Rain Falls and More Like Me. I've had some requests to learn the harmony parts. I'm working on a 3 day virtual retreat where you will learn the songs, and carve out some time and space for inner reflection using the songs as a starting point. The date is to be announced..SIGN UP

"There's crayfish in the stream" said Rob
I don't even know what a Crayfish looks like, I'm embarrassed to admit.

We head down there all together and peer over the edge into the clear water. The sunlight sparkles on the surface making it hard to see what lurks below, but after a few moments to attune our eyes, there they are. They look like small grey lobsters. 

I go home a do a little bit of research about Crayfish and find out they need very specific conditions, including good water quality, to survive. We are very lucky to have them living so nearby.

As part of my practice to stay calm and centred I have started to do nature sits. This involves finding a spot in nature and sitting and observing for a time period. A bit like meditation, but rather than observing your own mind, with your eyes closed, you observe nature. Through these sessions I have closely observed coots and their baby cootlings, kingfisher, swallows, snails and more.

One day I decided to sit by the stream and see if I could encounter Crayfish.

I found a log to sit on, covered in ivy, nestled under a small Hazel tree and sat down to look. I observed the roots of the trees all around the stream bank. I noticed other surrounding trees and scanned the rocky bed of the stream in hopes of seeing a crayfish. It took about 5 minutes and there they were. Crayfish was very interested in what I was doing and walked all the way to the edge of the stream and waved at me with their oversized claws. I visited again the following day and they held up a leaf for me to look at (see picture below)

Either everything means nothing, or something means everything. I found these encounters with Crayffish to be significant.
One way I like to explore what these animal encounters mean I like to read up more about the creature. I found a weird study that they found that Crayfish can experience anxiety, and can also be medicated with anti-anxiety medication.

They electric shocked Crayfish ( a bit mean ) and found that the Crayfish who had been shocked hid in the dark more than those who hadn't. Then they gave the shocked Crayfish some CDZ (anti anxiety meds) and they started exploring the light more.

Anxiety is a normal response to stressors. In our lives we may experienced stress in our childhood or youth or be experiencing stress right now. Also our ancestors definitely experienced stress, due to all the wars and famines they lived through. They have proven that this stress can be passed down generationally. 

I know that I can get stressed. I also know that new situations and experiences can lead to more stress (as opposed to me hiding, which I am very good at) But in order to face up to the stress of living a full life I need to soothe myself. I previously wrote and article about the nervous system HERE. Staying calm and sane is a daily practice for me. I do this through nature time, walking, journeying, meditation, getting enough sleep, eating good food, being creative, yoga and staying connected to friends and community.

I was also interested to find all about the specific needs to Crayfish to live and thrive in an environment. I thought this was an interesting thought to ponder...Is my environment one that leads to me thriving? The things I have realised I need:
-Peace and quiet, not loud road noises or violent action movies within earshot
-Wild nature nearby that I can enjoy
-A clean and tidy home and work enviroment, free from clutter - I need to de-clutter more...

I have found peace and quiet and wild nature in my new home. Have you ever pondered this...Is my environment right for me? Does it allow me to thrive?

Yesterday I went to spot Crayfish again. I only had a few minutes as was heading home in a rush. I couldn't see them. How often in our life are we rushing so we don't spot the beauty and the mystery?

Have you ever tried a nature sit? I recommend giving it a try to find some more peace and clarity in life.

Lots of things to ponder. Thank you Crayfish for showing up in my life.

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