Nature has a way of grounding me and connecting me to something bigger than myself. Trees, in particular, have meaning. The way they cling to the side of a mountain, roots exposed, yet leaves flourishing. The impossible – yet possible – way they grow out of what looks like solid rock.
There is so much strength, adaptability and flexibility in trees. When the wind whips at their fragile branches, the trunk sways but rarely breaks, held solid by roots that reach deeply into the earth and hang on. The spindly branch bows under the weight of a squirrel, yet has the flexibility and resiliency to bounce back.
It was while doing a tree pose in yoga, that I began to visualize myself as a tree: my soul as roots, my body the tree trunk, and my mind as flexible branches waving in the wind. Similar to other grounding exercises, it helped me feel strong and solid, but this time it also did something else. It left me feeling connected: mind, body and soul.
I have tried to recreate it for you, in the following visualization exercise. It is 7 minutes long, so sit back, make yourself comfortable, turn up the volume on your computer, and let yourself go on a short journey.
For my fellow nature and tree lovers:
“Trees are Earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.” – Rabindranath Tagore
“There is always music amongst the trees in the garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it.” — Minnie Aumonier
“Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a giant tree, in the midst of them all.” – Buddha
“I said to the almond tree, “Friend, speak to me of God,” and the almond tree blossomed.” — Nikos Kazantzakis
“If you look closely at a tree you’ll notice it’s knots and dead branches, just like our bodies. What we learn is that beauty and imperfection go together wonderfully.” – Matthew Fox
“The meaning of life is not to be discovered only after death in some hidden, mysterious realm; on the contrary, it can be found by eating the succulent fruit of the Tree of Life and by living in the here and now as fully and creatively as we can.” – Paul Kurtz
“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” — Nelson Henderson