Updated: Jul 21
Stewardship, often attributed to the practice of managing land and its resources, carries a deeper essence beyond the tangible. The act of stewardship reflects respect, responsibility, and care for all life forms, human or not. And in the context of self-growth, self-stewardship embodies a path of conscious exploration, observation, and acceptance of our inner world, leading to personal transformation and fulfilling experiences.
Self-stewardship is the act of observing ourselves with a neutral and compassionate mindset, similarly to how we might observe the natural world. This requires a neutral mindset that is free from stories, plans, and beliefs. When we apply this neutral lens to our thoughts, feelings, and sensations, we can gain insight into our patterns and habits, which can empower us to make more conscious and fulfilling choices.
Cultivating observational skills is a crucial component of self-stewardship. Nature holds an unexplainable serenity and harmony that teaches us compassion, neutrality, and co-existence. Similarly, through deep presence, we can observe our own inner world without judgment or any filtered lens. Simple practices like settling into a quiet moment, focusing on the breath, and feeling the body's sensations provide opportunities for unbiased observation and centering, which is necessary for ultimate growth.
The journey to self-stewardship can come in different forms, and through various means, one of which can be land stewardship. Starting by learning how to be stewards of the earth, starting with small steps such as growing your food, planting trees, or creating a compost, one begins to understand how to take care of themselves. Ultimately, self-stewardship requires full responsibility for one's life, including owning it, seeking to understand, and keeping the commitment to be a positive guiding force in life.
Embracing the spiral of life, which brings unforeseeable ups and downs, is also a vital component of self-stewardship. Seasons of change in nature are linked to moments of life when we are tested, stretched, and sometimes even broken. But embracing the challenges, accepting them as an opportunity for growth, can be among the most transformative experiences of our lives, just as the changing of seasons can remind us of the cyclical nature of life. Both continuous transformation and the understanding that life is continuously evolving can help with handling the daily gritty moments of life.
Coming full circle, self-stewardship is a journey of self-acceptance, personal growth, and accountability. It requires cultivating the skill of neutral and compassionate observation, connecting with nature, and embracing the spiral of life. In essence, it is connecting with nature by tapping into the most valuable treasure of all, which is within ourselves, opening the possibility for a fulfilling life of self-knowledge, abundance, and purpose.