THE ART & SCIENCE OF CONNECTING TO THE EARTH.
REWILDING | Eco Therapy
- No matter where you are, close your eyes. Place your hand over your heart. Feel your heartbeat. Feel your breath. Slow down. Know that your heartbeat, your breath, are part of the intricate expression of nature. You are separate, but connected. Always.
- If you can, take a few moments to look at the sky. That’s all. Just look at the sky. Take a few breaths. Look at the sky some more.
- Take yourself to any body of water. Spend a few moments observing the water’s surface and its fluctuations.
- As you walk by bushes and trees, touch them. Touch leaves. Touch bark. Feel the unique pulsation of life in each cell you touch.
- Place your hands on the trunk of a tree, close your eyes, and breathe deeply. Feel the power it contains, going back decades and decades of its life. Some trees are thousands of years old. Imagine the power in their trunks.
- If you can, go to the beach, or any body of moving water, fresh or salty. Take off your shoes. Walk down to the shore, and let the water kiss your feet. Kneel down, and touch the palms of your hands to the tidal coming and going of the water. As you exhale, release stress and concern into the water, and let the tide wash it away.
- If you can, make a point to take off your shoes and get your feet in the dirt somewhere. Let your body know there’s an earth out there, and you are a part of it.
- If you can, find a small piece of land to touch with your hands. Perhaps lie down on the earth. Let your body absorb strength from the ever-nurturing land beneath.
- If it’s sunny out, spend a few moments outside with your eyes closed, breathing in the warmth and power of the sun.
- If it’s raining, spend a few moments outside letting the rain touch your skin, breathing in the sweetness of nature’s renewal.
- If you can, watch the sunset, sunrise, moonrise, or moonset. Breathe. Bask in the beauty.
- At night, go outside and look at the moon. Consider your place in the milky way, the universe, the cosmos.
Have you ever heard of compassion? Simply put, compassion means that you treat yourself with care and concern when confronted with your own mistakes, failures and shortcomings. It has 3 different components: Kindness – you are gentle and understanding with yourself rather than being harshly critical and judgmental. Sense of common humanity – feeling connected with others in the experience of life rather than feeling isolated and alienated by your suffering.” Mindfulness – You hold our experience in balanced awareness, rather than ignoring your pain or exaggerating it. A letter to yourself Start with choosing an aspect of yourself that you dislike and criticize. It may be appearance, career, relationships, health, etc. Write in detail about how this perceived inadequacy makes you feel. What thoughts, images, emotions, or stories come up when you think about it? Next, imagine someone who is unconditionally loving, accepting, and supportive. This friend sees your strengths and opportunities for growth, including the negative aspects about you. The friend accepts and forgives, embracing you kindly just as you are. Now write a letter to yourself from the perspective of this kind friend. What does he or she say to you? How does this friend encourage and support you in taking steps to change? Let the words flow and don’t stress about structure or phrasing. After fully drafting the letter, put it aside for fifteen minutes. Then return to the letter and reread it. Let the words sink in. Feel the encouragement, support, compassion, and acceptance. Review the letter whenever you are feeling down about this aspect and remember that accepting yourself is the first step to change.
Sometimes you can become stuck in a negative cycle of feeling or thinking. Imagine you receive a bad feedback (from a situation). An immediate result of this news is a feeling of sadness or frustration (feeling or emotion). Often, you automatically start thinking. Your thoughts may concern a feeling ‘this is no good, I don’t want this, this must stop’ or a situation ‘how could this ever happen?’ or the self ‘ maybe I just not good enough’. These thoughts can cause feelings or emotions, which can lead to thoughts again, creating a cycle. You can get caught in a cycle of thinking and feeling for a very long time. Because you are so identified with the content of your thoughts, you lose awareness of what is happening: you are caught in a game of feelings and thoughts. This is an example of how you sometimes easily get lost in worrying or ruminating (repetitive and negative thinking about the past). Goal This practice can help you to become aware of the impact of thoughts on emotions. Thoughts have the power to shape how you feel, both positively and negatively. By becoming aware of their impact on your emotions, you can learn to disrupt a negative cycle or initiate a positive spiral of thinking and feeling. Advice Do this exercise on a daily basis. It can be helpful to use your journal to record what is experienced in a given moment. Although it is also possible to complete the exercise at the end of the day, it is better to complete the exercise in real time, because the dynamics of the thought-feeling cycle is captured better.
Self-reflection can be defined as self exploration of yourself, you can use self-reflection as a powerful tool to help you grow, get more in touch with how you’re feeling, and create a better self-image and life. You will develop compassion, inner peace, self awareness, better meditation, trust and self care, The practice is, in its simplest form, thinking about or reflecting on what you do. Learning from experience, what you think about, what you did, and what happened, then deciding from there what you would do differently in the future. Some tips to get you started Read; around the topics you are learning about or want to learn and develop Ask – people about the way they do things and why Watch – what is going on around you Feel – pay attention to your emotions, what prompts them, and how you deal with negative ones Talk – share your views and experiences with others Think – learn to value time spent thinking about your process Enhance Yourself Personally and Professionally By developing self-reflection as a daily practice, you can develop both on a personal level and on a professional level. Through self-examination, you can evaluate where you are in your life, ask yourself: What is my current personal situation? Where am I in my life and how do I feel about it? What is my current professional situation? Am I happy with my chosen profession? Do I wish to advance in my field of work in some way? As you ask these questions, take time to really be intentional about answering them, you will become more aware of yourself and how you’re feeling. Take the answers to these questions and allow them to guide you as you move throughout your life. Use self-reflection as a guiding tool to help you to realise new things about yourself and your life that you had previously been unaware of. This is a true practice of living a heart centred life and creating your experiences.