Weekly Practice 40

 

Every week we profile one of the “Reflect to Create! “ practices from my book, they are chosen at random from a jar on my desk.  My invitation is for you to try it out if it speaks to you in some way.

 

Photo by Ashley Bean on Unsplash

 

This week we are profiling Practice 71: Opening to Nature’s Wisdom  (from page 132 of my book). 

Practice 71 is one of the dance steps in The Opening’s Relating to the Whole. 

Relating to the Whole invites us to relate and sense from the interconnected whole. Working wholeheartedly means embracing the heart’s natural intelligence and innate human capacities for relationship, connection and compassion. I chose this practice this week to encourage us to find inspiration, support, guidance and solace in nature during our lock downs with the Coronavirus.  Allowing ourselves the time and space to reconnect through mindful gardening, walking or sitting in nature opens us up to both a precious companionship and the wisdom of a bigger perspective. As Frank Lloyd Wright advises¹

 

‘Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.’

 

There are many ways that we can bring this practice alive for ourselves. Here are just a few examples. 

  • Take time to notice the daily changes in plants, shrubs and flowers in your garden. Start a photo journal to capture the subtle and dramatic changes over the course of a year
  • Feeling the soil in your hands as you garden
  • Sit on a bench or picnic blanket admiring a view. Reflect on the geology and enduring presence of what you see as it also changes with the seasons, changing light and weather
  • Walk slowly and barefoot feeling the ground, grass or sand beneath your feet. Feel the different sensations in different parts of your feet as you walk

 

My particular favourite is Sitting with Trees. For this: 

 

  • Sit or stand with your back against a tree. 
  • Breathe deeply. 
  • Start to connect with the tree as a living being both with its roots beneath you and its branches up above you reaching into the sky. 
  • In your imagination start to trace the reach of the roots spreading widely and deeply into the soil fetching water and nutrients essential for the trees survival. 
  • Travel deep into the earths crust imaging the different geological layers from the molten core, which support you and the tree today. 
  • Then travel back up to where your spine connects with the trunk. 
  • Breathe deeply. 
  • Now in your imagination travel up to the branches, twigs and leaves radiating out to the clouds and sky and then to the stars beyond. 
  • Then travel back to your body
  • Sit and enjoy this expanded and relaxed awareness of you in the world.

 

For Rainier Maria Rilke²

 

‘If we surrendered to earth’s intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees.’

 

Have a go! 

Start with small steps.

Reflect on what you are noticing.

Please do share your stories so we can all learn together.

Join us on our “Reflect to Create!” Facebook group page.

 

References

[1] Downloaded 26th June 2017 from http://www.greatest-inspirational-quotes.com/inspirational-quotes-nature.html

[2] Downloaded 26th June 2017 from http://quotegarden.com/seasons.html

 

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