When I Am Among the Trees

This morning’s schedule change allowed me to have a long walk along a tree lined creek. I am certainly most grateful on these unexpected days where I have time to connect and be with myself and nature. Days like today are just one of the many benefits of being self employed. There certainly are some downsides to being your own boss, but time to get outside is a huge bonus! As I spent time watching hawks fly and bunnies hop, I found myself reciting this favorite poem of mine. Trees and time to commune with them often is something that is a must for me. I feel more connected, more energized and way more alive.

When I Am Among the Trees

When I am among the trees,

especially the willows and the honey locust,

equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,

they give off such hints of gladness.

I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,

in which I have goodness, and discernment,

and never hurry through the world

but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves

and call out, “Stay awhile.”

The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,

“and you too have come

into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled

with light, and to shine.”

~Mary Oliver

Follow me for more goodness.

Hugging (and Kissing) A Tree

“Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.” ~ Herman Hesse

If hugging a tree is good for you, imagine what kissing a tree can do?

Seriously, did you know that hugging a tree increases levels of hormone oxytocin? This hormone is responsible for feeling calm and emotional bonding. When hugging a tree, the hormones serotonin and dopamine make you feel happier. Trees give us hope and insight, and courage to persevere – even in the harshest conditions. They also teach us to stay rooted while soaring to great heights. Trees remind us that letting go is a cycle that must happen in order to make space for the next cycle. A tree teaches us that longing for the previous season or competing with the other trees is a silly and wasteful way to spend our days.

For many years I felt I was I told a story that I was too busy to slow down and soak in the moment. I created a life that was minute to minute chaos. Now, I crave stillness and the result of a calm mind. I long for the smell of leaves that have fallen or the sweet whisper of a breeze along my face. I chose to walk away from the constant hum of a busy and demanding life for a the chance to take long, deep breaths and feel the connection to all that is.

Connecting with nature

By taking the time for my soul to connect with nature, I find myself better prepared to take on the struggles that can come from being alive. I know I am a better human being for choosing to step off the hamster wheel of constant striving and instead step into myself. There used to be something so revered about being busy, when in truth, it was all just a distraction to the inner work that needed to happen.

The tendency to create a busy life still crops up from time to time, but a quick stroll outside reminds me of the happiness that is inside of me. The home that is peaceful and calm.

I get to the feel the benefits of being close to a tree and I like to think that the tree smiles down when she gets a hug and kiss, too.