Receiving from the plant world
In this exercise, you are going to combine some of the other skills that you’ve been building over the last weeks. And to do that, you’re going to go out into the world and sit with some plants.
At the end of this booklet, there’s an extra exercise for picking and forging a connection with a place, and you can do that first. Or you can just pick a random spot, and use that.
But, pick a spot. Where the spot is doesn’t matter so much— it doesn’t need to be pristine wilderness, but somewhere that you won’t be disturbed, and somewhere that you feel you have a connection, and can come back to again and again. And there should be plants there. A variety if possible, but even if its just one plant, it’ll work.
Now, start by closing your eyes, and connecting to the earth: breathe and feel your body and where your body touches the ground underneath you. If you’re stressed about something, or worried about something, set that aside for a minute— you can pick it up again as soon as you’re done. Breathe and feel for areas of tension in your body, be it neck, jaw, belly, shoulders, or pelvic floor. Pick one, and start to tense it, slowly at first, increasing in tension until you’re shaking with it. And when you’re ready, once you feel like you’ve had enough, drop it all. And breathe, let the energy flow through your body.
Now, feel for where you connect with the earth, and do the same: tense the part of yourself that holds the earth away, and then release it. And let the earth into your body.
Now, touch one of the plants near you. You might know its name, or you might not— its name is irrelevant right now. You might actually know a lot about it, but for right now, you can set all that knowledge aside with the stress and worries, and approach this plant as if it were a stranger, or a coloured piece of paper.
Touch it. Feel into the plant like you felt the paper, and felt the glasses of liquid. Feel for its qualities, or any sensations that you feel in your body as a result of feeling it.
And once you’ve explored this plant for a while, let its energy into your body. Let it touch you. Let it be an active part of this relationship you’re developing.
And receive it. Ask if it has anything to show you, or to tell you, and use the part of yourself that you’ve been developing to receive: it could be sensations, or it could be colours, or it could be a different emotional state. It could be nothing more than a subtle pressure somewhere in your body. Or it could be a mind-blowing dream-like-sequence. Sit with this plant for as long as you feel is necessary, and then if you aren’t too spaced out, move onto another one and try the same. When you feel done, thank the plant, and carry on with your day.