Have you ever been completely thought-free?
The days are heating up here as I write this. It’s early morning and my plants and I already know we need to stock up on that H2O! The plus point is, it isn’t hard to get out of bed. I’m seeing the sun rise every day now. In that quiet moment, it almost feels like, with all the beings around me, I am taking a deep breathe in. There isn’t a thought of the coming day, there isn’t a need to be somewhere. Simply a sense that I am here.
Before you continue, do take a minute to fill up this short questionnaire. It will give you a chance to reflect on your journey and for us to hear your story.
How do you learn about another world?
Now that we have nicely wrapped up last week, let’s move on to this one. Think about a moment when you have moved into a new neighbourhood or joined a school, or a new company, or any new community for that matter. The people there will be new, they will have their own ways of doing things. As you walk into the room, there is often a small clenching in your gut as you wonder how to behave to be accepted or celebrated. Just close your eyes, take a minute to watch what happens next. Have you ever noticed, that you will first have this one friend. Someone who teaches you the ropes. Whom you can lean on to help you orient. He/She will introduce you around.
Shall we find you that friend?
When you get to the spot where you have been doing these exercises, look around for a plant or a tree who seems inviting. When you get there, ask it permission for you to sit with it for a bit. You will know if/when it gives you this. (Try not to over think this part. Go with what your intuition is telling you. For the moment, keep human logic, which requires proof and conclusions to work, aside)
When you have been given permission, go ahead and sit down. If your friend is a tree, and you want to climb it, do. For the next few minutes, try and make new discoveries about how your friend lives. We have a list that will guide you here. But, feel free to add or subtract according to what applies or feels comfortable. The key is to remember, you are learning the plant’s ways. So, if you want to pluck, or taste, or touch, ask permission and then feel free to do so.
Remember this list:
- What all can I sense in terms of touch? What can it sense in terms of touch?
- Do the leaves/flowers/any other parts have an aroma? What does the air around it smell like?
- Have human beings identified a use for your friend in their lives? How do you and the plant feel about this?
- What about sound? What can you hear around you?
- Do you think the plant has a name that it likes being called?
- Have a conversation with the plant. Tell it something that you are happy about, or something you are struggling with. It can be in your head or out loud. Just talk to the plant and listen for a response. (Hint: it will be non-verbal 🙂 )
- Do you feel drawn to sketch or write about it? Or maybe take a leaf or bark impression? If so, please do.
- For a few moments stand up and watch how the plant is rooted. Then, imagine you are the plant and allow your feet to root themselves. Feel your body slowly becoming the plant’s. From the bottom up, mimic how the plant stands, watch how the plant watches and for a moment, simply be the plant.
When you are ready, say goodbye in whatever way feels right. Take a small walk around before returning to human civilization. When you do this, observe how your relationship to the plants changed or is changing. Also, pick up one small thing that you would like to gift another human being. Something natural found on or near your plant. When you get back, give it to someone and tell them your story.
We wish with all our heart, that you make yourself a wonderful memory today.
Two Helpful Hints:
1. You could jot down the steps and suggestions above so as to follow them without the strain of doubting if you remembered right. It will also help you achieve the full potential of this exercise.
2. Don’t rush or get worried about the “asking for permission” part. I have found, for myself, it helps to close your eyes and just wish yourself, the surroundings and the tree or plant well before starting. It clears your mind and brings you to a peaceful place. Remember, if you mean harm to the place or plant, or if it is harmful to you to be there, you will not get permission.
3. These are only guides or suggestions. If there comes a point when you want to take the gist of the activity and simply go with the flow, please do that!
PS. If you haven’t already, remember to register for the eCourse. It will enable us to send you the next part.