Several times a week I walk two miles around my neighborhood as a quick and easy way to get some exercise. All I have to do is walk out the front door. Thinking I can make even better use of this time, I usually listen to audiobooks or favorite YouTube podcasts. But I recently received a message through one of my tarot oracles that said I should be paying more attention when I am outdoors because when the Earth Mother lends you nature-wisdom, you know you have an exceptionally powerful ally to your cause. So I listened. I decided to turn off the podcasts and to leave the concrete sidewalks of my subdivision and drive to nearby trails more often. My favorite has been Cedars of Lebanon State Park, south of Lebanon, TN.

On a recent venture, upon entering the woods, I set an intention to try to use all of my physical senses. Automatically, I started the Runkeeper app on my cell phone so it could tell me how far and how fast I was walking. But then as I walked the app broke the silence, distracting me and giving me meaningless information. Within minutes I turned it off and focused solely upon the things vibrating around me.

It was the first week in April. The air temperature was approaching seventy degrees Fahrenheit. The trail was damp from rains a few days earlier. Some sections remained muddy. I was glad that I brought my trail sticks for added stability when crossing puddles and depressions. Many rocks and tree roots were spread across the pathway. I had walked this trail many time before yet this time I started getting nervous. The roots were gnarly, dark and snake-like. Hmmm. Were there any snakes actively looking for places to sun themselves? The thickness of the roots was near the thickness of a healthy water moccasin or copperhead. I swung my trail sticks more violently to appear menacing. I wondered, why am I thinking so many negative thoughts?

At the half mile mark, two young women with a small dog came from the opposite direction and passed by. I wondered if they had been concerned about snakes like me. It relieved me to think if there were any poisonous snakes ahead, their presence helped to scare them away from the pathway. For the next mile I felt less fear, yet my eyes closely monitored the heavily-rooted path. As a disciple of the Law of Attraction, it came to my mind that if I continued thinking about poisonous snakes, wasn’t this actually going to attract danger to myself? This was not like me nor was it in the nature of the positive frame of mind I have been cultivating for decades. What was going on in my psyche with so much attention to constant negative interpretations of what I was seeing?

Softly a shift in perception emanated from the Earth Mother to my inner guidance. It said, “Paul you are inventing this fear. You know these are harmless roots. You know that even today they are providing support for you by keeping you from slipping and helping you stay above the mud. They are solid footing for you.”

I spoke in return, “So why on this trip am I seeing them as dangerous and fearful?”

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