Your Nervous System and Plant Connection + Early Bird Reminder


connection-tree Hello plant loving friends,I’m just coming back from a week in the woods and still processing my experience.  I had some profound insights about the importance of nature connection in our health and our culture and how maintaining a deep connection with plants can play an important role in that.I thought I’d start sharing now because it relates to an upcoming weekend workshop I’m offering in Nelson on Sept. 24 & 25.  And the Early Bird Deadline for that workshop is Sunday, Sept. 11, by midnight..  (more on this after my insight).While I was in the woods, I was running an herbal first aid tent at a community gathering/workshopy event called Art of Mentoring.  It was an incredible event and I’ll have much to share as I process the experience.But for now, I want to keep it simple.Have you ever noticed what happens when you get out into more wild, green spaces for more than a few days?  Weekend camping is great, but there’s a special shift that happens within people after we’ve been out of the city, away from their regular lives, for extended periods of time.You’ve likely experienced this, there’s a shift that happens around day 3 or 4.  It happens to me and I got to see about 150 people go through this process at this event… Around the third day, most people feel kind of agitated and unsettled.  I experienced a whole day of angst.  I was bristly with my partner and kids.  It was rather unpleasant.connection-quote-brene-brownBut then something shifted within me.  On day 4, I was like a different person.  I found myself feeling quiet and relaxed.  My mental chatter slowed nearly to a halt, my back straightened more (I have a habit of slouching and my change in posture was noticeable to me).I felt peaceful and calm.  It wasn’t until later that I realized that under the peacefulness was actually a deep sense of connection.“Our nervous systems are hardwired for connection.”  Have you heard that before?milk-drunk-baby-2-at-breastI’ve heard it before, but only in the context of “attachment parenting,” as a reference to the parent-child bond.  It’s easy to see it too, looking at a baby cuddled up at mama’s breast.  You can see that our ability for connection is innate.  We’re born with it, right?But I’d never before considered that this connection also applied to Nature.  I mean, I’ve been teaching plant connection for a few years now, but I never really got that this isn’t just a skill for us to call upon but is actually how we’re designed to live.It’s not just that we have the capacity for connection, but that we’re meant to be living lives steeped in connection, with ourselves, our loved ones and the living world around us.  Including plants and animals, even water and soil!What does "nature connection" actually mean?We thrive and we heal when we nourish ourselves with connection.  And we wither and become ill when we remove connection.  This applies to every layer of our being, to our relationships with other people and with the living world around us.Fortunately, it’s fairly simple to either reconnect yourself or maintain your connection with Nature.Try doing a daily “sit spot”.  Just spend 10-20 minutes outside, someplace green every day. Make it somewhere close to your home or workplace, 2-5 minutes tops.  It doesn’t need to be “super wild,” but it helps if you can go back to the same place repeatedly.When you’re sitting there, notice everything you can.  Use all your senses, pay attention to birds, bugs, plants, the scent(s), the colours, the time of day, etc.Do this regularly and you’ll start to notice an inner shift within a week or two, maybe sooner.I know that many people have heard these ideas before.  You may already be doing some version of this.  If so, please share your experience with this practice so other folks can learn from you.  You can comment on this blog → here.How does this relate to plant connection, you may be asking?spider webWell, the plant connection work we practice in my classes is like a strong dose of Nature connection that’s focused on just one expression of Nature, a specific plant.  It’s a way of connecting very deeply with livingness of the world, to nourish and heal the deepest aspects of your being.And it’s a way of bringing that connection into your home and your daily life.  Every time you take a squirt of tincture, a spoon of herb-infused honey or by drinking a cup of tea.  When you develop a deep relationship with specific plants, just their taste of it recalls the connective experience.And if your interest is peaked and you’d like to learn more about nature and plant connection work, then I encourage you to check out …Healing with the Spirit of Herbs weekend workshop - Kootenay School of Herbal MedicineHealing with the Spirit of Herbs - A weekend workshop for those who want to deepen their spiritual connection to the healing power of medicinal herbsIt’s two days of recharging yourself with the wild wisdom of some wonderful Kootenay mountain plants.Sept. 24 & 25  from 10am - 6pm near Whitewater ski hill in Nelson, BC.You can read more about this weekend workshop here → Healing with the Spirit of HerbsAnd, as always, if you have any questions please send me an email.Strength & wisdom.garliqPS>  The Early Bird Deadline for this workshop was set for today, but life and computer troubles prevented me from sending this email as a fair reminder.  So I’m extending the Early Bird discounted price until Sunday night, Sept. 11.Here's the link again -->