Perhaps like many, or most of us, I’ve had a lot of fear and anxiety recently. A few weeks ago that stress was starting to express itself through my body. I wasn’t sleeping, I had no appetite, I was occasionally breaking out in hives, sometimes experiencing weird swelling in my lips.
On top of all that, my personality seemed different. All the ways I’d known myself to be in a crisis were changing. It was like I was meeting a new me, someone much more anxious, grasping for whatever control she could find, dealing with stress in new, unfamiliar ways. I doggedly employed all the old self-care strategies I’d known to help in the past. They helped in a surface way, for short periods of time, but they were paling in comparison to my need.
I knew I had to do something different. I needed to ground in the now, to meet myself anew. I gave myself a project. I promised that I'd start talking to one plant for a little while every day.
Talking to plants is something I've done since I was a child. As I matured and became an herbalist, I learned that the practice has a name, "plant communication," or "plant spirit communication." I learned more intentional ways of going about it, and I honed my skills in listening, not just talking. I started receiving information that never failed to surprise me. I always felt amazing after doing it, but to be honest it's not something I regularly made time for.
I chose to work with a particular Juniper tree close to my house, in the foothills of the San Juan Mountains. We live right above the elevation where Juniper/Piñon forests transition into Ponderosa forests. Our home is surrounded by Ponderosa Pines, Junipers are few and far between right here. This particular Juniper is not only an outlier, but a tall, statuesque, beautiful and healthy outlier. For this reason I have a special place for it in my heart, and I've left many offerings at its feet over the years.
That Juniper held me and wrapped me in an unconditional love, day after day. When I asked it what to do with my fear, its answer completely astounded me, and took me days to fully understand. I gradually reached a new place of acceptance, of release. My nervous system was regulated by the overwhelming sense of belonging I could find, sitting with my back against the trunk of that tree.
Now I feel wildly different. I’m writing about all of this in the past tense, but it’s not over. We're all continuing to go through this difficult time together. I don’t know how I’ll feel next week, or tomorrow, but I can say this project has carried me to a new place. A place not only of embodied resilience, but a bursting inspiration, and a renewed purpose. The plants asked me to create a course on plant communication. They asked me to share it with you, so that you might find some relief in relationship with them as well.
And so, the plants and I are here to offer you "Plant Communication: Connecting with the Botanical World." This mini-course will guide you through a step-by-step process for being in a meditative relationship with plants. It's a great first step for curious beginners, and it also provides specific prompts for seasoned plant communicators who might be craving a project. If you sign up, you'll hear the rest of my story about what the Juniper told me to do with my fear.
If this crisis has caused you to think about how and who you want to be moving forward, this course is for you. If you've been feeling called to get quiet and listen more, this course is for you. If you've been dreaming of ways to make a more cooperative, nourishing, and resilient world, this course is for you. If you feel drawn to plants, and you like meditating, or want to try meditating, you'll like this!
Enrollment is open now, and the course officially starts on May 7th. If you sign up before that date, you'll get 10% off with the coupon code EARLYBIRD at checkout.
Let the plants be your guides. Let them hold space for you in this transformative time.
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