Symbiotic Spirituality? How so?
“Symbiotic” – I cannot think of a better word to describe what happens when we imbue the ordinariness of our lives with a spiritual perspective; or, when we consciously shift a simple walk or hike into a walking meditation filled with silence, focus and gratitude. The events of our lives are enhanced by spirituality; and, our spirituality is amplified by adding nature and movement. Our 100% experience becomes something more – so unlike when we multi-task (short intervals of 100% scattered throughout the day), or when we split (dividing any given moment into more than one activity, each with less than 100% of our attention).
The focus of my work is to create community, especially at the intersection of nature and movement and spirituality, in the Raleigh/Wake County NC area. I see this happening through the online sharing of ideas via a blog and related responses (“talk-the-talk”); and, by actual trail, greenway and labyrinth events at nearby parks, greenways and labyrinths (“walk-the-walk”).
This adventure started in early 2012 – with several months of daily tweets about outdoor gratitudes and on-going blogs covering “Let me say THIS about THAT,” “everyday spiritual practices,” “meditation walking,” and “journal entries” from my experiences with spiritual walks on trails, greenways and labyrinths over the last several years. In April 2012 a Meetup group for once-a-month activities was launched; then, in 2013 I’ll be offering several low-cost meditation walking guides for various trails in the Wake County area; and, fee-based services for leading group events – or - working with individuals to create their own outdoor meditation walking guides.
My name is Leslie Gernon, and I’m all about nature and movement and spirituality! I’m one of those people who could easily proclaim that “nature is my religion.” Second to that, I have been involved with the New Thought movement (previously through Unity, currently through Religious Science) for about ten years. Throughout my life I have always combined nature and movement for volunteering (National Ski Patrol – downhill and cross country), free-form vacations (bicycle touring in New Zealand, cross country skiing in Austria, hiking in England), and hobbies (running, biking, walking/hiking). And, in 2009, I was trained on labyrinths by Lauren Artress (founder and creative director of Veriditas). Over the last few years, I have shifted to walking/hiking at the local level, and with a spiritual focus. Thus, Symbiotic Spirituality is what I do – and – something that I want to share with others.
I am a Social Worker in the Wake Co. (NC) area and shift between macro work with organizations and projects, and micro work with individuals – sort of a “bingo” card of job changes so that I continue to learn, grow and have fun. I have MBA and MSW degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill which help me to see the world from a dual perspective – head and heart. All of my good ideas appear when I’m in motion – either walking/hiking or driving down the road.