I am reading an incredibly insightful book called ‘The Secret Teaching of Plants – The Intelligence of the Heart in the Direct Perception of Nature’ by Stephen Harrod Buhner.
In it, Buhner describes in eloquent detail how connecting with plants that are more than static living things can help us become more heart-centred.
Trees are an open window that can take us to the heart of who we are. They have the power to help us heal and really connect to ourselves and the world around in more profound and meaningful ways than the world wide web.
Recently I read a very interesting article entitled The Intelligent Plant, that describes the ‘wood wide web’ – that trees in a forest use to communicate with each other and send carbon, nitrogen and water to other trees in need in this network. It mentions how trees in a forest organise themselves into networks using the underground web of mycorrhizal fungi which connects the roots of the trees in the forest. They use this network to exchange goods as well as communicate with each other.
The same article describes how “mother trees” were using the network to nourish shaded seedlings, including their offspring—which the trees can apparently recognize as kin—until they’re tall enough to reach the light.”
Trees and our natural environment I believe hold the key to help us to re-connect to our heart. Heartfulness and not mindfulness is the key finding greater joy, wellness, appreciation and abundance in our lives. No need to ‘ration’ or ‘rationalise’ your thoughts. Listen to your heart. Be open to listening to your heart and through nature you will discover a new freedom.
Here are some ways to start practising ‘heartfulness’:
Don’t ‘over think’ things. Learn to be more spontaneous. Do something out of the ordinary. Go out after work, go to work a different way. Go for a walk somewhere you haven’t been before on a whim. Go to a new restaurant and try something different to eat.
Follow your heart:
Give your mind a rest, begin to listen to what your heart tells you. Your heart is about emotion. Follow your emotions. Some call following your heart ‘intuition’. It is an ‘inner knowing’ not clouded by thoughts. It is OK to be irrational. Some of the greatest moments stem out of being irrational.
Spend time in nature:
Simply by being in nature we start the heart opening like the beautiful opening of a flower. You don’t have to ‘try’ you just have to ‘be’. Nature will do the rest just like when spring arrives and plants know it is time to grow.
Lose your mind:
Simply be immersing yourself in nature you will become present to it. Your senses will begin to come alive as you take in the surrounding sights, smells, tastes and sounds. Feel the earth beneath your feet. Walk barefoot on a sandy beach. Dip your feet in the water and feel the cold embrace. Feel the energy and movement of the waves and the gritty sand underfoot. You will soon lose your mind and get lost in the sensual delight of nature caressing your body.
When you are in awe, it may be because you are standing on top of a mountain with incredible scenery or contemplating the beauty and intricate patterns of an orchid, it doesn’t take long for your heart to open up in gratitude. Gratitude is the recognition of the abundance in your world. It is the total opposite to rational thinking that rations everything by destroying it into small thoughts and reinforces scarcity in your world.
As you heart begins to open more and more you will really feel your heart felt connection not only to the natural world but to other people too. In a way, connecting with the earth not only opens your heart but brings out the kindness and compassion you feel to every living being.
You don’t have to go far to experience nature and the heart opening. Contemplating a bunch of flowers you have just purchased or picked, relaxing in a park with plants and trees is all that is needed. Even simply taking your dog for a walk. As you begin to open up you may begin to feel your mind shift too. You may begin to gain a greater appreciation of plants and trees and know within you that they hold the key to your heart.
If you would like find more connection in your life, nature provides an open door that can connect us to our heart that is more powerful and effective than human technology or social media. This weekend, go for a walk in nature. Be sure to leave your mobile phone behind or switched off to give you the opportunity to be on your own, to switch off from thoughts and to reconnect to the world around you. Having that time to disconnect from others and allowing nature to re-energise and refresh us will help you to connect with others when you return from the wild through your heart.
Authored by David Cuschieri of The Happiness Shop
Who is David?
Heidi and her husband David Cuschieri are best selling authors and founders of The Happiness Shop. Their vision is to connect people in meaningful ways through the words and inspiration that fill their books. They create products that appeal not only to your senses but to the part of you that is most important – your heart.
It seemed that David and Heidi were meant to come together as a formidable creative team. As a child growing up in Sydney, David had a fascination with exploring, creating and writing. After finishing his Fine Arts degree, David’s passion for adventure saw him at the age of twenty-one set off for an eighteen month long intrepid adventure, traveling the world to over thirty countries. His travels to places such as the Himalayas and Papua New Guinea exposed him to many new experiences that were not only to change the direction of his life, but inspired him greatly. He has since been running his own successful and award
winning interior design business.
Heidi grew up in Brisbane and after working in the corporate world, David and Heidi had a dream to undertake something creative together. Their passion for writing, design, books and animals, saw them in 2010 release their first publication, which became a national bestseller. Their inspirational books are distributed throughout Australia, USA, Canada and the UK.
David and Heidi are especially passionate about inspiring others what they believe happiness is from their own personal journeys. Happiness, they say, is achieved with so very little but for years we have been sold this idea we need more and more. David and Heidi believe through simple steps, a more enriching, connected and contented life can be achieved with less and by anyone who desires it.
As advocates of environmental protection and wildlife preservation, each book sold, plants a tree in Madagascar, a place David and Heidi are passionate about helping to reforest.