Updated: Mar 24, 2021
I hear the knock knock to get my attention. I answer sooner than I used to as I’m listening more. I feel like everything is a mountain and I can’t see through the fog and tears just run freely in my black and white world.
Every time I ignore the knock knock, my reservoir empties more. This self-care pendulum swings wildly from left to right as I learn to pace myself and avoid the rim of depletion. Depending on my inner weather I do okay for a while and as I run interference with deep emotions and uncover aha moments, my battery life lowers.
In this condition, I dragged myself to a virtual event on the weekend. Sagging in my chair facing my computer, I attended a virtual forest bath. My guide, Theresa is a Forest Bathing guide.
“Forest therapy is a practice for supporting healing and wellness through sensory immersion in forests and other natural environments. It is a pathway to health and wellbeing for both humans and the more than-human world of Nature by focusing on our relationship and the reciprocity therein. You can expect a guided sensory experience with invitations for you to explore your own connections.” – Theresa Lewis
“Forest bathing as a medicinal practice in Japan goes back to the 1980s when the government began to notice the adverse effects of the tech boom on Japanese city dwellers, such as depression, distraction and aches and pains.” - a Japanese travel guide
Of course, it’s meant to be in person surrounded by nature and yet my virtual experience was stunning powered by energy of the imagination.
Theresa led us on an hour and a half immersion into our hearts using the woods as a backdrop. I literally started the event having a hard time holding my head up. An hour and a half later, I was sitting forward, feeling relaxed and grounded having experienced a virtual bathing of my energy using intentional guidance to soothe me.
With a focus on my breath, and her guidance, I became aware of movement in my silence. Movement of my body in space, my busy mind, blood moving in my veins and lungs moving with my breath. Awareness of outward movement went to wind and clouds and leaves. I contemplated who I am in relationship to movement in nature.
I stood with the standing tall nation, trees communicating with each other, helping each other survive including us humans. I breathed in powerful, pulsing energy of trees.
She led me on a virtual journey in nature and slowly the wrinkles eased and energy flowed and my energy rose. Similar to a salt bath, I could feel a difference. I felt better and was able to stand upright and feel hope again within the walls of me. A jump-start to my center, I’m present and can more easily cope with decisions and worries and notice the mountains are hills again.
A Gaelic blessing to share:
On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.
And when your eyes
The grey window
And the ghost of loss
Gets in to you,
May a flock of colours,
Indigo, red, green,
And azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays
In the currach of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life.
I almost wasn’t going to come this morning. I was writing in my journal that I wanted to rededicate myself to my outdoor sit spot time. So instead, when you rang the bell, I went outside and did my meditation out there. I do some connection mentoring. The sit spot practice is a form of meditation similar to forest bathing but you really plug into all your senses and almost inhabit your animal nature in that way. Animals are fully in their senses, fully alert. It’s a wonderful form of meditation. It was lovely that you had the chance to have a visualization because you probably didn’t have a leaf blower going on in the background. That took me down the path, how we want the ideal nature situation. Here we are, there are noises over there and there, but that’s reality, to learn how and select, to learn how to find the center with all that stuff going on. Thank you for allowing me to find a way to combine the two.
That was great. I’m a transplant from the city and had to learn to weave noises in. What happened for me during the meditation seemed to come from left-field. I stayed with it since it came in. Prior to this session, I was pondering how much more self-care I do now and how I need it. The idea I had was to try to arrive to places early. Someone once said that I have one-more-thing-itis. I seem to cut time so closely and arrive at the appointed time. It never feels good when I’m a bit late. A gift to myself is to lower the stress, leaving ten or 15 minutes ahead of the time. It would show more respect to the other person. It would be both self-care and improving relationship quality. So I say yes to that odd message I got, and yes to the experience you had, and yes to John O’Donohue. Love it.
Thank you. That was so beautiful and so comforting. John O’Donohue’s poems are always so comforting, it’s like he’s rocking you in his arms saying this is going wrong but the Earth is cradling you. It connects to an article I read about the coast of Greenland changing because of the melting. And because of that, the currents of the ocean are changing, and how those changing currents are affecting everything. In the article, they show the currents, like blood vessels. It was like looking at our blood vessels. The currents of the ocean are like the currents in our bodies. I could see the overlapping of everything. (see Nasa videos on ocean currents and Greenland studies). I don’t get out enough. I think I’m getting agoraphobic. I don’t go out and sit. I’m going to look up these things, the forest bathing, the sit spot and be more aware that I am in the current.
This is bringing up so much. Since I started studying climate change, I’ve seen how the Earth system is a body, it’s a living body, with currents like blood vessels. There is communication of everything throughout the Earth. It’s scary what is happening now as the Earth’s body is changing. I attended a workshop at Rowe Conference Center run by Jon Young who wrote What The Robin Knows. It’s a great book for learning how to sit in a sit spot and project awareness into nature around you. Thank you so much.
I was cleaning up the garage and found my hanging chair that I used to sit in. I’m getting it out today.
Thank you. What came to me during the meditation, I was reminded of a dear friend I had as a child. It was a tree in my front yard. When I was going through early puberty, it was hard for me and scary. I was worried that I was changing. I remember spending a lot of time that summer in this tree, up high, as high as I could go. I’d bring my lunch up there and spend hours in this tree that summer. It helped me through the transition. It was wonderful remembering my friend.
This wonderful wisdom, to know you are at the edge, or rim, of depletion. I started wondering about the difference between a rim and an edge. Rim implies circularity. An edge is more of a precipitous drop. I’m not sure what to make of a rim. To know you are at that place to find whatever you need to back away from, whether it’s being quiet, or going for a walk, or talking to a friend. Or doing nothing and saying I’m not producing right now.
It’s why I use the term pendulum swinging wildly because I’m finding my rim a little late. I have to change that so that I’m not panting and exhausted at the edge of the rim.
I too am having to replenish. I had my second Covid shot two days ago. After I left CVS, there was a nursery a few blocks away. I wanted to buy a rose bush in acknowledgement of this moment coming out of the pandemic. I walked up and down the huge array of rose bushes looking. I bought a very old rose, called Peace. When I got home, I had symptoms and wasn’t able to plant it until late yesterday. When I was outside in the sunshine, I took it out of its container and opened the roots to spread them and cut them open. It was like a shot of energy that replenished me with the fresh green leaves of that rose bush. Planting it in an ideal spot knowing that every time I look at that, I will realize we come through times like this. To be so present during that moment, it was special. Your reading took me to that memory. Thank you. More replenishment for all of us to come.
I am grateful I live near a state park with bald cypresses and lakes. I can have the worst day possible and it’s my go-to place. The weather can be misty or drizzly, and if I go there and spend even ten or fifteen minutes there, it makes the most amazing difference. I feel so much more uplifted than when I walked in. I’ve been learning Qi Gong from Youtube videos. I love the idea of gathering up nature, the biosphere, from the Earth, from the heavens, and bringing it into myself. That has been so healing for me and I am grateful for the practice.
I’m picturing the bald cypresses. I’m beaming myself there right now. I loved the idea of sitting up in a tree. I think there are treehouse vacation places. Wouldn’t that be lovely to live up in a tree. I’ve been trying to get up earlier because I think it’s better for me. But I got up late. Outside, this morning, there were doves out on a tree. I’m going to let go of thinking I’m staying in bed too late. I had a dove bath this morning, listening to those beautiful doves.
I was on a Zoom meeting a little while ago and we were asked to picture the most beautiful place we’ve been in and what it was like to be there. We were invited to share that place. I chose my yard and my woods because I spend so much time there. Anyone who has a special place is fortunate because we can be there a lot.
I was reminded of years ago at the Rowe Conference Center, I attended a workshop with Kevin Ryerson, a famous channel. I spent a long weekend with him. I never forgot him saying that the Earth is a metaphor for our bodies. The Nile River has temples on it that align with the chakras of the human body. As we think about the Earth, we get replenished by it because we are standing in the purity of what holds truth. He told me about the cat hair being crystals. When cat hair is floating around in your house, they are tiny crystals and blessings in our lives.
Thank you for joining us. Thank you for listening. I’m asking people to submit questions and I will use them as fodder for what I channel. The questions cannot be so personal that they aren’t appropriate for everyone. Send me your questions. That will help me remove the feeling of expectation in writing every day. I need to change that so that I can keep fresh and encouraging. I hope you all have a gentle day. And if you get a chance to get out in nature even for five minutes, a sit spot can be standing on the earth, focusing on breath, grounding in awareness, and opening up ears to life around you. It’s very replenishing. I hope you have a gentle day.