Ground me down & power me up! Tree Breathing Time

Tree Breathing Time with Christine Ashton, Breathwork Healing Catalyst

We’ve lived a long list of autumns; every year we mourn a little as the sun gets paler and we clutch our coat collars tighter over scarves in bright colours, warding off the approaching winter chill. Going within, inside our warm coats, closing the windows and retreating inside our homes.

Some may use the time to pick up dropped crafts that suit dark evenings, and some may find a way to grow through gentle reflection. But others will long for the lingering evening sun and miss the friends and families picnicking in the parks and strolling along the paths. Rainy days and gloomy evenings steal the joy of heading out. Many succumb to listlessness, low mood and loneliness as they hibernate inside, longing for spring.

But the trees are still out there, tall and strong, waving goodbye to their glorious leaves.  For them too, it’s a season of change, of death and rebirth as their green leaves take on showy hues, curl up and fall to the ground for us to scrunch through as we pass under their swaying branches. The resilience of trees in autumn inspires us, reminds us that even when the world seems to buffet us with far too many challenges, even when the weather strips us of our healthy glow and turns our cold skin pale and rough, even when all seems cold, dark and gloomy, we can find the power to come back; we have the inner strength to grow, no matter how tough things get.

The trees are always there, waiting for us in the woodlands and forests. When we go to the trees and stay awhile in their company, we feel stronger, more vital and more hopeful. So, I invite you to visit the trees and let them help you. Take a friend if they are suffering and find your connection to this resilience of trees. Call it tree breathing time if you wish. If you can’t get to the trees, let them come to you in this gentle visualisation I am sharing here.

A Gentle Visualisation. Take a moment now to go within and bring to mind a woodland you have met with joy. Recall the changes of the seasons within this woodland. Take an autumn stroll there now. Feel the breath of fresh, crisp air, smell the scrunching, mulching leaves, take in the view of waving branches and falling foliage, listen for the redwing and the robin, the waxwing and the fieldfare, hear the brook’s chilly waters over the shining stones. And remember that we are more powerful than we know. We have an inner strength that feeds us. Take the time now to nourish and cherish that inner strength; that life force that runs through our bodies and through all the trees as well. I invite you to find your special tree and spread out your imaginary blanket over its roots. Lie here and imagine your spine growing roots that mingle with the earth and with the roots of this tree. Tap into that life force of the breath and that vital energy of the earth now as you begin to breathe in what you need to sustain you and to release what does not serve you. Breathe in vitality and breathe out stagnation. Breathe in joy and breathe out sadness. Breathe in connection and breathe out loneliness. Keep the breath connected, breathing in for the same length of time as you breathe out. Breathe through nose. Feel the coherence and tap into your inner strength. Know that you have the power to rise up and shine your light in this world. Stay here and breathe awhile. Let the trees power you up with their ancient wisdom. They have seen so many troubles come and go. They have suffered many setbacks and grown back stronger. They are here anytime you want to come back and breathe with them. And when you are ready, simply sit up with your back to the tree and let the autumn woodland wrap its beauty around you. And then fold up your imaginary blanket and walk back down the woodland path, ready to be you in all your power.

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