Ok. You sat. You pondered. What did the plant say?
Here, I'll go first.
Do you think this challenge is a ridiculous waste of time? Or did you read it and think, Oh that seems a lovely notion!, and go on with your day? I was like both of you, once.
The first time I did this exercise, in my first year of Herbal studies, I went into my teacher’s garden and sat by this shrubby thing. It wasn't a tree, exactly- there was no trunk, just a collection of bendy stems maybe 8 feet tall. There had been flowers earlier, and berries too, but now it was just leaves and coolly green. I got comfortable on the lawn in front of it.
And I waited.
I looked at its bark, the leaves, the ground it grew in.
I breathed, closed my eyes, opened them, lay down, sat straighter.
It felt absurd. I wasn’t having visions, or hearing voices. I was bored, and all I wanted to do was climb the silly thing. This flexible collection of overgrown branches looked so enticing I just wanted to crawl inside it and wrap myself around the stems. Which was of course unreasonable, it could never support me, so I trooped back inside with my classmates, annoyed.
And found out this shrub is Elderberry, literally the Elder of the garden, watching over everything. It has Grandmother energy, and I had wanted to give it a hug SO BAD that I almost cried. My own Grandmother had died tragically in a car accident only a few years before, my life was upside-down, and I had been feeling so alone and without the support that she would have given, in the form of a Dutch Apple cake and just saying nice things to me.
So when I challenge you to go sit with a plant, and you do it, don't "judge" or "assess" or "define" what happens. Because who knows what is happening?
This is how you begin forming connections, by not being in charge of the connecting. Let go, and see who or what introduces themselves, if you’re quiet enough to hear them.
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Fun Fact: I'm an herbalist and a movement coach. Not a doctor, or a pharmacist, and not pretending to be one on TV.
This is a public space, so my writing reflects my experiences and I try to stay general enough so it might relate to you. This does not constitute medical advice, and I encourage you to discuss concerns with your doctor. Remember, however, that the final say in your wellness decisions are always yours- you have the power to choose, you are the boss of you.
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This website is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not medical, mental health or healthcare advice. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose, treat, heal, cure or prevent any illness, medical condition or mental or emotional condition. Working with us is not a guarantee of any results. Paula Billig owns all copyrights to the materials presented here unless otherwise noted.