Curiodyssey is a journey into the landscape of the remembrance of who we are, through creative exploration, opening up an opportunity for every human being to discover, embrace, and co-create a new template of living in the world.
Through our curiosity, Beryl, Liz and I wish to take you with us on a Curiodyssey. We are exploring wellness as a whole system response and awakening our natural sensitivities to restore our bond with the Earth. We are using movement, artistic expression, journaling/the consciousness templates and sound to play with developing our natural sensitivities.
According to Michael J. Cohen, in his book Reconnecting with Nature; Finding Wellness Through Restoring Your Bond with the Earth, nature-centered people use their natural sensitivities in their every day knowing, loving and creating to balance and restore their bond with the Earth. As someone who has been movement oriented my whole life, I want to invite you to awaken your sensitivities, to deepen your exploration of the consciousness templates and enjoy the life enhancing experiences with movement as your guide.
Recently, I awoke just before dawn, and heard the sense of knowing, reminding me how I interacted constantly with trees as a child. This story began to unfold in my mind, with one event after another bringing forth images to create the story. I just began to write down what I heard in my mind and saw through memories, body sensations and emotional connections. In the experience of this story coming to life in the moment, this blog becomes the story of my awakening remembrance of the deep bond that I share with my beloved trees.
In Relationship with Trees
Someone once told me that we as humans are one chromosome away from being a tree! I am not sure if that is scientifically true or not, but I definitely feel the connection! When I was a kid, going outside to play meant being outside for the whole day. So each day a new adventure in this connection to the natural world was created.
One day it would be making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which I would wrap up in a red bandana and make knots to loop over the end of a ‘stick’ and I would ‘run away’ from home for the day. I would run out the back door down the yard, and hop over the rock wall into the ditch. The minute I hopped over the wall, I entered my world of make believe. I was on a journey with my stick carrying my sustenance. I might either imagine I was like one of the boxcar children looking for a place to call home, or I was an explorer on the quest to discover new lands. Once I finished eating my sandwich, my ‘stick’ turned into a walking stick and the bandana wiped my brow during moments when I needed to rest. This stick was a partner on the journey! At the end of the journey when I climbed back out of the ditch and into my yard, I would leave my stick in the corner spot for the next pb&j adventure.
On another day it would be creating my own home outdoors. I had a favorite spot in the backyard that felt like I was creating my own little nest. I had the mulberry tree that created my roof top canopy and I had a mixture of honeysuckle and rose of sharon bushes that made wonderful walls. I spent half the day clearing the weeds, leaves and such from the earth and imagined I lived in the olden days when houses had dirt floors. I would find lawn chairs, boxes and stuff in the basement to create a kitchen in one area, with old dishes and pots and pans. A blanket would cover the ground to keep the creepy crawlies from disturbing me while I napped. My younger sister would be my visitor who shook the tree branch to symbolize knocking on the door, and lunch would be peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and water with mulberry juice squeezed into it. Dessert was honeysuckle stems! Just another day in the trees….
Then other days would be climbing the trees, hanging upside down from the limbs, and sometimes flipping off to the ground. Sometimes it would be constructing a swing from one limb to another with a piece of rope. I spent a lot of time in the neighbor’s fig tree and discovered the ‘magic’ of eating too many figs at one time!!
And of course in the fall, I jumped into every pile of leaves I had to rake up. I learned how to make fire from my brother with a magnifying glass, with the sun and leaves…..fortunately we did this one leaf at a time. Also, I loved to create leaf designs on paper by rubbing crayons on the paper that I laid over leaves. There were so many ways I interacted with trees as a kid.
This relationship naturally followed me through early adulthood by going camping and taking hikes in forested areas. This led up to the eventual decision to live surrounded by trees on the edge of the Hocking Hills State Forest. Now I take walks through the trees and interact with them. I have learned to ‘orient’ the trees to establish a deeper communication network among the trees. I connect to and imagine the possibilities of more expansive realms that exist within the trees. I listen for the swish of birds and land creatures that move through the trees. And I feel the trees are teaching me to have new registers for how they interact back with me…a swish of the wind through the leaves at times when I am thinking how much I appreciate how they shade me from the intense summer heat, or how they offer homes for the woodpeckers that I see and hear pounding into their bark. And ultimately, I give thanks to the trees that offer me the opportunity to fell and split them, that I might enjoy their savory smell as I burn them in the firebox for winter warmth.
I feel how the trees have followed me through the seasons of my life, and bring greater connection to how I am rooted in life because of them. I have even grounded my teachings of movement through yoga based on the image of a tree. I will be posting this image of the eightfold path of yoga from the vision of a tree at LOC-institute.com this month, so be sure to look for it.
After writing this blog, I recognize how I connect this lifelong thread into my yoga movement practice in daily living. I see the natural sensitivities and relationship I have with gravity, the sense of weight and balance. I see and feel this as I stretch and extend my body being into and away from the Earth. I can also explore my sense of motion, body movement sensations and creative sense of mobility as I explore how the body is in relationship with Earth, whether moving inwardly or outwardly. I even claimed my style of yoga based on this knowing, StillFlowingYoga.
So many ways to be connected with the Earth. I found my connection in relationship with trees. What is yours? Are you called to explore your innate relationship with gravity, weight and balance, and/or the sense of motion, body movement sensations and mobility? Join us in the first session of this five-part series to explore the Earth Element, as a gateway that supports restoring your natural sensitivities in moving towards your ‘being becoming’. Our first session will be on Sept 27, 2020. Join us!