Natural health, beauty and fashion

15 Easy Tips to Connect to Plants

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Communicating with plants is like building a relationship with people who speak a completely different language. It takes some work to tune into their subtle forms of interacting with us – but there are countless wonders at the end of that rainbow.

Aristotle and Goethe both claim that plants have souls. Every day, scientists discover more details about how they communicate with their environment; how they experience the weather, the movements of the moon and other planets, and their peculiar reactions to human beings. Not only do plants provide us with food, oxygen and medicine, the mere smell of a forest floor is an aphrodisiac to us, triggering all the pleasure zones in the brain.

Sage sprouting
Image by Ricky Kharawala

“The woods and stones will teach you what you cannot learn from other masters.”
– Clairvaux

I connect to plants daily to relax, to jump-start my creative flow, and to help me when I’m feeling unresourceful, sad, or tired. They feel like my wise, chummy little grandmothers. Start interacting with them, and I promise your life will change. It’s like first putting one toe in the ocean, then suddenly leaping in to discover the wonders waiting just beneath the surface.

So let your inner child take your busy adult self by the hand, and we can explore life with these new friends together.

 

Botany Book
Image by Matt Montgomery

Here are some ideas to get you started.

  1. Stand barefoot in the mud. Even better, lie down on the ground. If you want to choose just one, pick grounding yourself. Here’s why.
  2. Plant local flowers the bees love. They really need our help, and you’ll have the bonus of a beautiful garden.
  3. Grow cooking herbs and food from kitchen scraps. It’s fun, and the pride from each small harvest is addictive.
  4. Leave behind friends and gadgets and spend a few hours walking in the fields/park/lake/woods.
  5. Build an altar or nature table somewhere you’ll see it often: a little treasure pile of stones, seashells, pretty leaves and flowers. Renew it at least once a season with fresh findings.
  6. Heartily welcome a new plant into your home. My roommate came home with a bouquet of roses one day, and she gave me three of them. I marvelled aloud at their beauty. I painted them. I greeted them morning and night. After three weeks, they were still peachy, while in my roommate’s vase, every single one of their sisters had long since wilted. Intention is everything.

    Holding a plant by the roots
    Image by Benjamin Combs
  7. Make art with a plant: play music to them. Read them poetry, dance with them. Watch their reaction!
  8. Learn the properties of 3 plants you see every single day. Here’s an example of all the clever tricks up the sleeve of the dandelion.
  9. Consider including seasonal, locally grown fruit and veg in your diet (and how about gathering some with your own two hands?). The most powerful medicines come from plants that grow close to us, and these are often along our hedgerows. Just make sure you know what you’re doing!
  10. Treat yourself to a couple of essential oils: at least one you need, and one you love. For example, I use lavender as an antiseptic in my recipe for homemade Vaseline, and carry around jasmine for the raving sensual pleasure of the scent. You might just get stuck in a shop, sniffing hundreds of bottles with intriguing names. Enjoy!
  11. Like a plant? Look up its history in local legends. I met a tree in full sweet-smelling bloom in January, and learned this was Daphne – a Greek nymph, who turned into a tree to escape the unwanted attention of the God of love. I’ve known the tale since childhood. To finally meet – and smell – Daphne felt like suddenly recognizing the face of an old friend in a crowd.
  12. Gift a beautiful plant to someone for no special reason at all.
  13. Hang out with a plant as if youd never seen it before. Explore it with all your five senses : give your full attention to the textures, the shades of colours, the taste and the sounds it produces. What emotions arise? What memories? Write down what comes up – and go read the full version of this exercise in the book Writing Wild.
  14. Meditate on the nature of a plant, or with a plant nearby.
  15. Have you had the chance to hear a plant sing?
Winter evergreen
Image by Alex Loup

Further reading :
The Secret Life of Plants – Peter Tomkins
Plant Spirit Medecine – Eliot Cowan
Writing Wild – Tina Welling

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