The Healing Power of Trees
Trees are powerful. They are rooted into the earth through deep systems of roots, and yet reaching to the sky towards the sun & towards spiritual realms. The tree has figured out how to be both grounded yet open to the wisdom of the Universe. The very thing most of us are striving to do.
The trees have much experience and wisdom to offer us. I get the sense that trees are the wise old grandmothers of the earth that beckon us closer to tell stories of old. Because of their deep roots into Mother Gaia, trees are able to transmute worry, stress and overwhelm in a really healthy way. It does not hurt the trees and they are more than willing to help – if you ask.
But sadly, most of us aren’t asking. Most of the people in our world live in cities, and the spend the majority of their days inside.
Here’s the thing, dear ones, nature has a way of soothing minds, hearts and souls to peace. Numerous studies have shown the healing power of nature to calm us down. So park the cell phone and find the wild spaces, parks and magnificent green places that loom in your environment. Even if you live in the most urban of environments, the wild has a way of existing – you just have to look.
Here’s a few rituals for tapping into the healing power of trees & nature that I use:
Rituals for Grounding
- Walking a Trail: Mindfully walk a trail. Put on your observer glasses and see if you can notice 10 things along the trail that draw you in, or you are curious about. (If you have trouble with this, take small children with you because they miss nothing). Stop at each spot that you’re curious about and observe it. Marvel in it. Then continue on your way. Repeat daily!
- Walking Barefoot: In the warmth of spring or summer, kick off your shoes and walk barefoot on the earth. With each step, imagine your foot connecting to the Earth. Ask what tree or plant wants to help you today. Sit or kneel next to them and let your logical mind go. There’s much wisdom to listen to if you can calm your busy mind. (This can take some practice, however notice what feelings or sensations you get). Sit or kneel as long as you need to.
- Lie on the Cold White North: Suit up in full snow gear, and grab a flat sled (I have a foam sled that works well). Find a sunny spot and lay down on your sled. Connect your hands & feet to the earth and meditate. Listen for the nature sounds to follow with your busy mind. I often rely on the wind, birds, and happy children playing nearby to focus my mind. Relax your body and let the earth hold you.
- Communing with the Trees: Stand near a grove of trees and ask which one wants to help you today. You’ll get a sense on what tree that is. Lean in to the tree in the best way you can. This can be hugging it and leaning your weight into it. Or sitting in a nook between 2 trees, or sitting with your back on the trees, or perhaps just sitting under it. Sit still with the tree wisdom, and let it flow. You’ll know when you reach the end because your physical body will relax and sink into the earth.
Tree & Plant Meanings
After you commune with nature through one of these activities, I recommend you come in and write down your observations in a journal. This is the point where you can also dive into further research about the spiritual meaning of that tree, plant or animal. Add to your notes anything that pop out from the written works.
Do you find solace in nature like I do? What’s your favourite nature ritual? What tree or plant have you learned a lot about lately?