Self-Care Exercise: The Giant Tree

Self-Care Exercise: The Giant Tree
November 22, 2015 Alene Nitzky

IMG_6650Admiring a work of nature such as the skybound limbs and deep bark ridges in this massive, ancient cottonwood tree, can be both an invigorating and calming activity on a winter day.

When you think about the tree, start from the roots spreading out on the ground, and look up the trunk, the colors, shadows, textures and markings on the thick bark, to where the branches first split to create giant limbs. Follow the branches as they divide further until they become tiny twigs against the sky.

Think about the work over many years that went into creating this marvel. Look at the sunny and shady sides of the trunk and limbs, observe the light and shadows in the cracks and the patterns in the bark. Take a mental picture, or take photos if you want to.

Spend some time looking at the details until you have taken it all in, as many details as you can absorb, lying down on the ground if you want to, to get a different view as it reaches for the sky. Feel the strength this tree has weathered in living its life, season after season.

When you’re done, walk slowly away from the tree, stopping every so often to look back from a distance.

Next time you feel upset or stressed, return to the tree. If you can’t physically go to it, go back to that moment in your mind and remember the details, taking deep, slow breaths.

 

 

 

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