For today´s class, we reflected on how nature can help us practice self-care and self-love. I believe in the philosophy of
when in doubt, go outside
Because nature is our first and natural habitat – I don´t only believe in it as a place to call home but also as a wise and ancient teacher and healer. If we pay attention if we make time to go and consult with her.
We started by giving our thanks giving:
I thank the women before me
I thank the women around me
In the spirit of Ubuntu:
I am because we all are
My growth is our growth
My pain is our pain
My healing and joy
Is our healing and joy
And after that, we shared what comes up for us when we say the words we say during our thanksgiving. We shared how the line – My pain is our pain – in the beginning, was/could be triggering but how it had formed a new meaning later on. A meaning of community, gratitude and ancestry, a connection in our pain – that we are not alone.
Earlier on, there were some reflections shared concerning yesterday´s class and assignment, regarding the question; what the most pressing issue was on our healing journey; How that had brought up a theme of decolonization, especially concerning religion, being a good person, female purity and delayed gratification. This then spilt into a conversation on the over-identification with struggle and the damaging results of girls raised to be “good girls” in a way that doesn´t teach them about boundaries and self-care but also how we have (and sometimes are) women in our lives that are driven by fear and struggle rather than passion and ease.
We then proceeded towards the subject of the day, concerning the 7 ways we can use nature to learn about self-care and self-love:
- Embrace your uniqueness
When we look at nature closely, whether a flower or butterfly, nothing is ever completely repeated. Nature is a testimony of the creative force that is life, constantly expressing itself uniquely and abundantly. There is just as much room for a straight tall tree as there is for a bent stump tree. We seldom look at nature and the imperfection it shows up with and criticize it – wishing more of this or less of that. We can apply that to ourselves too and even beyond that – to see our imperfections as part of our unique stories and contribution to a life of diverse expressions and experiences.
2. Show up and shine your light
A shy flower with closed petals doesn´t welcome pollinators. Instead, flowers instinctively shine bright, show up wide, take space and send their unique fragrances out. They open up for life to create more abundance. And as they show up, stand tall and present, they welcome their blessings/pollinators which in return helps them create abundance, helps them bear fruit. We too can be inspired by that: To simply show up and shine brightly. I always say, “never be afraid to take up your spot under the sun, there is more than enough room” ;). Something that I too constantly need to remember.
3. Trust your existence
When a seed is planted, it often has within it all that it needs to bloom – it is created complete and while it sprouts in the beginning, nature ensured that it is created fully packed with all it needs for the beginning of its life. It comes with no life insurance or plan, just instinct. We too can draw on that trust as children of nature – that we are born complete, knowing within and capable of the things we are drawn to. To trust ourselves, our process and our calling, that we are able to achieve our goals. It is written in our making.
4. Fertile soil and the right conditions are everything
A cactus needs water only a few times a week (once), needs lots of sun and drained soil, while a Lilly loves water, moist and the shade. If you treat them the same way, one of them will die. Since we are unique, we need to remember the unique conditions we need to thrive – and the best way for us to be able to know those conditions is to get to know who we really are. Because often, there is nothing wrong with the plant, just the conditions it has been placed in and when you adjust those, it is almost impossible for it not to thrive.
5. Adapt and keep hope and faith
In the seasons with abundant rain, a growing papaya tree will often keep its roots close to the surface but in seasons of less water, the tree will sink its roots deeper in the soil to find water. It will shed some leaves, slow its growth rate but it will keep seeking the sun, keep looking for water. In good times it thrives and grows more leaves, bears fruit and in hard times, it adapts. Since the seasons are constantly changing, the ability to adapt is a great strength. We too can learn from that; in challenging moments, grow your grounding even stronger, stripe down to the necessary but never lose hope that better times always return eventually. Be ready to bloom and bear fruit when the rain returns.
6. Always seek the light
There is nothing more fascinating than a wildflower that has pierced through the cracks of concrete in a concrete jungle, nothing more life-affirming. The plant is drawn to the light and regardless of how small a glimpse of light, it follows it, because it knows that where there is light, it will find its life force – we too need to be diligent in not only finding the light in our lives but also what feels lighter – feel within and be aware of when things turn you on, when things draw you closer because often, that is where you will find your strength and your passion. Especially when you feel worn down by concrete.
7. You are only as strong as your roots.
Before shooting above the soil, a plant will often establish its roots firmly, instinctively. The roots are very important because they determine how well and strong a plant will grow and how capable it will be to withstand challenging conditions. The roots are what feeds it strong and give it grounding to grow taller and reach its full potential. Roots for us mean our history, our identity and our self-awareness. If we don´t have a stronghold of who we are or where we are from, it is hard for us to have the strength to grow towards our highest potential. When we feel grounded and rooted, we move in the world with a different confidence and understanding, one of pride and trust that our roots/self-knowledge have/has our back. Always. And in times of hardships, we can draw from that self-awareness and knowing that is embedded in our roots.
We then ended our circle with our affirmations:
I am capable of contribution
I am worthy of the love that surrounds me
I have guidance whenever I am in doubt
I practice self-love and self-care
I have people that love and care for me
I share love and care for others
I am bold, courageous and I make things happen
We also shared a little about where we find resources/places on our current path of healing, something that we could perhaps all benefit from sharing with one another 🙂 The places/ methods shared were; time in nature, meditation, visualisation, reading, writing, community and sharing with one another, as well as listening to podcasts! ( please feel free to add yours)
That is all I have to share with you today, but it would be wonderful if something comes up for you while reflecting on this post or past posts in this series, that you share your reflection below 🙂 Or perhaps what nature has taught you about self-care and self-love :).
May it be of benefit and may life find you in the conditions needed to bloom wherever you are!