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Power In Pine Cones (and Community)

Today I had the honor of co-hosting a yoga retreat. One of the first sessions was a Mindful Nature Experience. Typically I would lead this outdoors, but I brought a large assortment of collected pieces of nature indoors due to the weather. (I was more than ok with the extra hikes and time that it took to collect everything.)

To get ready for our "walk", we moved our bodies with a gentle joint rotation practice called Dasha Chalana. Once we were warmed up and ready to go, we took a slow meander among tables filled with bits of nature - birch bark, sycamore leaves, milkweed pods, grass plants, acorns, pine branches, and more. Everyone was encouraged to take their time and get curious about what they were seeing.

After a short nature meditation where each participant sat with one item from the tables, we came together again. A small and unassuming pine cone served as our "talking stick", and participants were able to share (or not share) what came up for them during their nature experience. It was incredibly moving.

Each person brings their own unique experiences and perspectives to the activity. So the responses were just as unique and beautiful ... as well as moving. This often brings out feelings of curiosity, wonder, nostalgia, and so much more. We honored each person whether they chose to share part of their experience or if they simple wished to let it be their own. All was welcome.

It is such a gift to lead experiences like this for others because I know how powerful it has been for me to reconnect with nature. This simple act of focusing on an object from nature allows people to become fully present. It can spark awe, it can fill someone with gratitude, and it can reframe a perspective. It is immensely powerful. Yet so simple.

I invite you to slow down the next time you are outside. Take a moment to pause and notice something (a plant, a leaf, a stone, ... ) as if for the first time. Approach it with the curiosity of a child and the awe of someone having a sensory experience with the object for the first time.

What is the texture? Is it heavy? Does it smell? How did it get there? What kind of energy does it hold? How old is it? Does it have any unique markings?

Happy connecting. :)


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