Hugs and Trees

by Anna

Until a few years ago I didn’t even like to shake people’s hands but over the past years I have transformed from a reluctant hand-shaker into an all-encompassing hugger. This is a big development because hugging doesn’t come natural to everyone. A lot of people prefer to stay away from each other as far as they possibly can. However, hugging is good for us! It creates a bond between people and shows that we care about someone.

The first time I received a proper unconditional hug I didn’t know what to do and felt rather embarrassed about it. With this one person came more for whom hugging was the most natural way of greeting and departing or to simply say “Well done” or “It’s going to be alright”.

And after a while it was indeed alright. And so I carried forth what I had learned and became a more open and approachable person.

My next challenge was tree hugging. “Tree hugging? Are you serious?” I hear you say.

Well yes. Again, it all started with a lot of embarrassment for me. A friend had suggested it and up to that point I had always wondered why someone would want to do it but had rather left it to those spiritually minded “weirdos” and hippies with whom you would generally associate such activities. Who goes and hugs trees, for the love of God? Actually, for the love of God is quite a good reason really. Leaving all religion out of this, it is simply a connection with the earth we are living on and also with ourselves.

Lets face it, I am a weirdo. From early childhood I was repeatedly told that I was weird and it is still a trait of mine otherwise this word wouldn’t still be following me. But that is fine with me. I like to be exceptional and otherwise different from the general mainstream. But this really isn’t the only excuse to hug trees! What is yours?

My first tree hug was awkward, just like my first encounter with a human hug. Just that a tree is much rougher on the outside but so much more reassuring and calming. Unlike people, trees don’t comment. Unfortunately I was all too quickly pulled away from my first encounter of this new kind when I heard food steps approaching and I jumped out from behind the tree like a lunatic pretending to be doing something else which must have been far more suspicious than had I just stayed glued to the tree.

I am now developing a longing to go into the woods and hug a tree every now and again but I still run away as soon as I hear someone approaching because I am embarrassed of what they might think of me. I shouldn’t be! I know.

Different trees emanate different energetic vibrations. For example, I have come to the realisation that conifers seem to send energy from the earth up like an antenna whereas broadleaf trees appear to channel energy down into the earth. This is an interesting sensation. If you want to ground yourself and look for something calming hug a leafy tree, if you want to widen your horizon and be inspirational hug a conifer. Either way, hug whichever tree you feel drawn to!

Take a heart and go for it! Try it at least once before ridiculing it. Close your eyes and enjoy a silent meditation with the tree. Listen what it has to say. Feel what it emanates out to you. Trees are the best example for grounding so by holding on to them they will take on all the energies that don’t serve you anymore and ground them and while doing so they will replenish you with new energy, just like they filter the air we breathe. Notice how you feel afterwards.

I am intrigued to hear your experiences!