Free associating in nature


The other day when on my morning woodland walk I felt this beautiful soft inner peace, which felt like a feather against my senses. The air was perfectly still and my surroundings gently soothed every corner of my being. I spent time watching a squirrel collect, carry and eat conker nut, which soothed me even more and transported me into a place within me, which was in connection with everything around me. What a skillful animal. I love being so close to animals and enjoy watching them going about their days. I sat on a tree, which hugged me from all sides like I was in a safe, nurturing womb within a tree and it felt the absolute best place for me to be in that moment. I felt no fear, resistance, anxiety or any pull to do anything else. This feeling is rare and precious and over the years I have become aware of just how precious these moments are when I feel in no hurry to do, feel, think anything or be anything in particular other than present. In that moment, as I was gently running my hands up and down the smooth bark of the beech I was sitting on I saw under my fingers two letter clearly carved in the bark. H M

I became curious what led me to the woods this morning, to this particular place, why I took the left turning rather than right, which I would normally, what pulled me to sit on the tree I was sitting and what might these letters mean? I felt excitement and curiosity stir in me. Not having come up with any immediate links with the letters I decided to free associate and see what comes and here are the words that came up:


Isn’t it wonderful? With each word coming into my awareness I felt I touched on a part of myself, some conscious, some unconscious. Free association is a technique to bring something into consciousness, which one might not be aware of, but something that seeks knowing and wanting to be seen. It is a Freudian technique (see his famous coach in his house in London).


Once you come up with words that should freely flow out of you, you can then begin to unpick their meaning one by one. What does it mean to you, not in general, but to you personally? It is a process of when abstract images, symbols, smells and colours become meaningful and unfold something within that seeks light and attention.

As I went about my day I kept on coming up with more and more words and more meanings associated with each and I somewhat felt lighter, more knowing and in touch with myself. It all made complete sense to me. The tree wanted me to go within in that moment when I was sitting on it, it pulled out codes of what represented my inner world and my sense of self and reflected it back to me.

When invitation comes accept willingly, when a door opens step through it with curiosity, as you never know you might find out valuable information about yourself, which is around to facilitate your growth or simply enrich your life and awareness.

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