The Oldest Practice for Restoring Peace to our Hearts

As women we engage with many weaves of connection as we tend to family, community, and to other aspects of the world that we love. The ancient practice of the Sit Spot or Sacred Spot invites us to open to the natural world outside of us and within us to rebalance and nourish our whole selves, and help restore inner peace.

The process is simple! Just step outside and take in the nature around you with all your senses. I encourage you to find that nature within you, through sensation or your imagination.

That cloud above? How and where do experience that cloud within your physical body? How about in your sensations, or in the thoughts that arise?

The ivy climbing that wall? Where does that plant make its home within you — where is it literally “climbing the wall” in your thoughts? Is this an “edgy” notion to consider? If so, how might this expression of nature feel supportive of you instead? How might you even find replenishment from it?

Return to that same spot at different times of the day or night. Return to it and pause there daily, if possible. What do you notice? How might you expand your awareness each time you return? What new thing might you notice and how is it part of you–physically, emotionally, spiritually? As you return, notice, and engage with passing time and seasons (don’t let the rain stop you!), how do you find that this Sacred Spot mirrors your own unique, sacred nature?

Have you ever had a secret place outside that you returned to again and again? What gifts did you receive from that place during that time?

You can layer many threads into a Sit Spot practice, but at the heart of it is the reminder, and felt realization and understanding, that we women are indeed nature woven. We can take rest and nourishment from that awareness and your experience of it!

I hope you enjoy this short video. Please share your stories, musings, and reflections in the comment box below!

Posted by Jane Valencia

On Being Organ-ic

Digital Illustration by Igor Morski
Digital Illustration by Igor Morski

Organs. Our life depends upon them: our heart pumps our blood; our stomach helps digest the food we eat; our lungs help us breathe (just to name a few!).

Yet, surely, we are more than our anatomy and physiology suggest. Through her groundbreaking work called Body-Mind Centering® (BMC), somatics pioneer Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen invites us to deeply learn the language of our own bodymind. BMC presumes that we are inherently conscious beings, able to connect with the wisdom of our cellular experiences.  Transformation is possible through an embodied journey.

At Women’s Nature Ways we explore the nature of our organs so we may begin to feel a sense of inner volume and organic authenticity. From this place, we can encounter our emotions, aspirations, and memories of our inner reactions to our personal histories with greater presence. Our personal story unfolds in new, integrated ways when we begin to experience the living consciousness of our organ-ic selves. And our engagement with life deepens as we bring our inner fullness to greet the world.

Here’s a simple exercise to to explore, called Brain as an Organ:

  • Find a comfortable place to lie on the floor. Close your eyes.
  • Feel the weight of your head releasing into gravity. Let your brain release inside your skull.
  • Very slowly rotate your head to the right. Feel your brain floating inside your skull.
  • Very slowly rotate your head to the left. Feel your brain floating inside your skull.
  • Bring your head back to center. Take a deep breath. Rest your brain. Feel your body from this new state.
  • When you are ready, open your eyes and receive the light, colors, textures and shapes.
  • Roll up to sitting, and eventually standing.
  • Release your exploration with a simple gratitude, physical movement, or sound.

How do you feel in your body now? What qualities of movement, mind, emotion, or sensation did you experience? Did any memories emerge? Any visions? How do you perceive your world from this different relationship with your brain?

We’d love to hear about your experience! Please share below!

Post by Stacey Hinden

 

If You Were Sculpted of Flowers

Welcome to Women’s Nature Ways. We’re delighted you dropped by! For our first post, please enjoy some amazing art Stacey discovered of human organs sculpted from flowers, as well as a bit of fanciful imagining.

Lungs - by Camila Carlow, Eye Heart Spleen project
Lungs – by Camila Carlow, Eye Heart Spleen project
Uterus - art by Camila Carlow, Eye Heart Spleen project
Uterus – art by Camila Carlow, Eye Heart Spleen project

Artist Camila Carlow created a series of 13 images of human organs made from flowers and other plant material, of which those on this page are three. Read more about Camila Carlow and her Eye Heart Spleen project here.

In Women’s Nature Ways we celebrate the beauty and awesome mystery that exists within and around us — particularly by way of our own bodies, and of the plants. These images provide a lovely inner landscape for beginning that journey.

Leafy women (greenwomen) and women made of flowers are archetypes found in art and folklore. In a medieval Welsh tale, for example, the character Blodeuwedd is a woman made of oak, broom, and meadowsweet flowers.

Imagine that your lungs, heart, and uterus are made of flowers, berries, vines, seeds, leaves? Which plants are where inside you? Settle into that imagining.

Resting within your leafy, flower-filled self, what do you smell? What do you feel? Taste? Touch? Hear?  Cradle the notion that the plants and flowers in this imagining are both you and not you (but part of you). What might they have to communicate with you? Open your mind and heart. Receive whatever comes your way in the dreaming.

Heart - art by Camila Carlow, Eye Heart Spleen project
Heart – art by Camila Carlow, Eye Heart Spleen project

… Then, with a thank you to your flowery, leafy self, come back to who you are in the here-and-now (or think you are!)

We each have lungs, a heart, a uterus. Perhaps our organs are not flower-and-leaf filled, but they are certainly nourished physically, in part, by plants.

What are your organs to you? Do you regard them as you, not-you, something else altogether, or not at all? What might they be communicating to you? Rest into the possibility that your organs  (as well as many other aspects of yourself) might be talking with you all the time. What might they be saying? And are those words/fancies/feelings different from before, when they were plant-sculpted lungs, heart, or uterus?

With a thank you to your organ-ic self (forgive the word play!), come back to your usual orientation of self.

Has anything shifted in your perception of you?

Share any of your thoughts and musings below!

Post by Jane Valencia