If you could hear the trees speak, what would they be saying? What would their secrets be? How often do you stop and listen, practising connectedness?
Today, I’d like to discuss 3 quick and easy ways that we can practice daily connectedness with our environment and especially our incredible trees. Research indicates that “exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones” (University of Minnesota).
“Let us take our hearts for a walk in the woods and listen to the magic whispers of the old trees” – annon
As a Badimaya (Aboriginal) woman, this connectedness takes on a deep spiritual dimension for me as well.
Number 1 – start the day with Connectedness
As you all know, we have five senses: smell, touch, taste, see and hear. How often are we consciously and fully aware of each of them? Consider using at least two of these senses within 30 mins of waking – and I’m not talking about sleepily walking to the kettle or plodding to the shower! We all have the same amount of hours in each day, some of us just fill them differently. This morning, I woke, threw on a sarong and walked out to a beautiful tree on my property (the one in the photo). I was consciously aware of:
* sight – taking in the beauty and strength of the tree, with all the colours of the bark and leaves. Wondering of the scenes that this tree has seen through it’s life.
* touch – feeling the bark beneath my hands, the smoothness and rough parts, the age of the tree.
* sound – listening to the slight breeze between the leaves, brought me back to the stories of the trees talking in Enid Blyton’s “Far Away Tree” and the magical Grandfather Gumtree in Frank Dalby Davidson 1936 classic.
Number 2 – Connect with trees through Grounding
It’s one thing to use our five senses, but what about if we took it a step further? Consider grounding through the earth and connecting with the tree that way. Really connect with them being to being, creation to creation, energy source to energy source – whatever your spiritual inclination may or not be. Connect with the earth and trees through this and start a conversation on a subconscious, subtle non-verbal level. Breathe into this connection. Spend at least 5-10 minutes doing this, being fully present in the connection.
Number 3 – Connect with ancient trees
“……it might have happened in any place where the grass still grows and gum-trees stand. …..the Spirits of the Bush are still with us; the Spirits of the Billabong, of the Mountain Gullies and of the plains. Grandfather Gumtree is still to be found, if you look for him, by river, creek and mountainside …..” – Frank Dalby Davidson (1936)
Finally, spend some time connecting with ancient trees. Those I love to call Grandfather or Grandmother Gumtrees. Find the places where these ancient trees still stand – conservation parks, your home, the botanic gardens – even in city areas. Find these trees and acknowledge them. Cherish them. These living beings have kept watch for hundreds, sometimes thousands of years. They are the keepers of history, if we’d only stop our fast paced lives for a little while and listen with more than our ears. Try it. You may feel a bit silly at first, but my guess is that the more you persist, the less self-conscious you will feel – in the end coming to value this time.
Let me know how you go!