Trees reflect a special beauty and resilience in the winter. They stand tall, wear snow like a beautiful coat, glisten in the moonlight. They call out to us with silent majesty. We stop and notice. When we are present we pay attention and sometimes stop just to look.
In our first winter Tai Chi classes this week, I told students we would focus on being present, being in the moment. After busy holidays with lots of to-do lists, it’s time to let go, of busyness, of deadlines, of self-pressure, of always putting others first before ourselves. Be in the moment. Breathe. Move in gentle ways that relax. Breathe.
We start Tai Chi in a relaxed standing position, visualize our legs and feet like a tree, with roots deep in the earth, feeling the rich, nutritious soil, which nourishes and energizes us. Connecting that visual in our mind with the body helps us start to relax and be in the moment.
The trees look silent yet are active in the winter as they connect with their lifeblood, the soil and nutrients that feed them. Birds, squirrels and other little creatures find protection and rest in the trees.Trees are active and always pay attention to their roots.
In just a few minutes of class, all of us being like a tree changes all the energy in the room. The issues and thoughts we had coming into the room fade away. In these present moments we relax, stress decreases and we are energized.
During these winter days, even without leaves, stop to look and enjoy the beauty of the trees. Feel their good energy and take it in.
(photos from northern Minnesota, Twig and Sandstone)