TWIL (This Week I Learned)
This week I considered tropism. It’s a new word for me and I think it fits perfectly: It’s the way plants move in relation to gravity, light, the sun, water, and contact.
A perfect metaphor for remaining stable, curious, and flexible as you observe thoughts and feelings flowing through you.
I feel the zeitgeist of huge change while at the same time, nothing seems to change. Being able to (at least metaphorically) root into the ground while turning toward the sun, moving toward things that feed me and keep me stable…that’s what it’s all about, really.
"There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature - the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter."
― Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder
Keep Your Face Always Towards the Sunshine, and the Shadows Will Fall Behind You - Maori proverb
(I used quote investigator and the best, earliest reference I came up with is “Maori proverb”)
If you agree that there is truth in those two quotes above, perhaps you might be interested in my latest project?
I am creating a book that will flow along with a course which I have described this way:
Come, then, and let's walk in the woods together. Who knows what we might discover — a sense of wonder, assurance, beauty, healing, strength
As we walk, we’ll leave behind all that burdens us, impedes us, keeps us away from each other.
We’ll enter the woods together, learning from the forest how to be.
How to be among us.
How to be enough.
Each theme centers around a repeated refrain of nature and is paired with a selection of journal prompts, a body-centered grounding exercise to help reset your autonomic nervous system (Taken from Polyvagal Theory) mini-quests (healthy activities taken from empirically proven theories such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectic Behavior Therapy, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)
For each theme, as you move from individual self-care gently outward toward the give-and-take of community and back again, you will have the chance to set an intention, choose a playlist, read as much or as little as you like about the theme, and go outside!
The prompt for this week, which is also included in the book, begins humbly, noticing a mere seed as its roots are pulled down by gravity into the earth and its stem rises against gravity up into the air.
The question then is, what pulls you?
This week, like seeds sprouting, the quest is simple: Watch Your Thoughts
Find a comfortable place to sit. You'll want to stay alert but comfortable.
Close your eyes.
Notice your breathing. Notice breath coming in. Notice breath going out, a bit warmer. Notice pauses between breaths. Notice your chest, abdomen, lungs, diaphragm.
Continue noticing your breath — at some point, your mind will likely wander away from your breath.
When this happens, notice that as well!
Then continue to notice your breath.
Continue until you feel you have had a chance to notice the kinds of thoughts that show up.
5. Level-UP / Go Deeper
Once you have made a habit of noticing thoughts, see if you can find a way to continue that through your day, through your week.
You become a container that can hold all manner of thoughts and feelings that flow through you, as you remain still and unchanging.
9. Hero: Cicely Tyson — Icon
Why? She was a role model for us all.
10. Take Care of Yourself This Week and Share if you know someone who might like this. Please share with someone you think may enjoy this weekly.
Wild and Precious Podcast, the audio partner to 10 Things, is available everywhere you download podcasts.