After completing a lengthy visualization exercise, my Hoffman Process (www.hoffmaninstitute.org) class was instructed to remain in silence and take a half-hour walk outside.
It was an aimless, wandering yet purposeful walk, during which we were given the simultaneously clear and vague assignment to “simply notice” what we observe.
When we gathered to share our observations, it never failed that after each person described their discovery, the other sixteen students let out a genuine, collective “Ahhh” accompanied by lots of head nodding.
Indeed, our experience proved that with just a bit of focus on her, Mother Nature reflected back to us some very useful and powerful messages.
I’m thinking that the effects of that particular visualization have endured since late April, because I continue to notice awe-inspiring sights in nature, specifically in trees.
What’s more, my observations in trees consistently emphasize ideas that are foundational elements of supporting others, which is what I do for people who have experienced a loss of some kind.
Although the classic saying goes, “If only these walls could talk…,” I’m revamping the phrase from the perspective of “my” expressive trees (pictured below).
They seem to be communicating, “If only these humans could listen [to us!]”
Here’s what they want us to hear:
"Lean into one another"
"Expose your heart"
"Nurture your young (within)"
"Find beauty in the rot"
"Offer an embrace"
Having developed a deeper appreciation for the power of focusing the mind with visualization and applying it to the natural world, I urge you to seize opportunities to wander in nature.
With any luck, your quiet time there will be accented by expressive trees and your own voice saying “Ahhhh.”