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Friday, September 19, 2008

tree hugger, for real


Just now I was looking up the meaning of "grounding meditation," a component of a treatment program for anxiety that of I'm considering for a referral.
I learned here that grounding is the act of becoming fully aware of physical sensations and being fully "present mentally and emotionally."

One of the exercises suggested for grounding was tree hugging. Not euphemistically speaking but actually wrapping one's arms around a tree.
Call me a conventional homebody who doesn't get out enough, but I thought tree hugging was a term used sarcastically by ditto heads to make fun of liberal, ecology minded, nature loving, granola-crunching types. Yes, I realize people actually do crunch granola (including moi) but I had not known people actually hug trees, for real, let alone that it's recommended as a therapeutic technique.

The webpage then goes on to describe the art of tree hugging:

"This exercise will require a nice looking tree that you wouldn't mind putting your arms around, as well as some privacy, if you're the type to feel self conscious hugging a tree in public."

Um, hello? Must you be a certain type? Don't most of us feel self concious hugging a tree in public?


Well, let's see. Take my poll:




Tree hugger photo borrowed from this website.

24 comments:

Heather said...

hm. well. I was just getting ready to write about how I was blue today. But now that you've given me an idea, I think I'm going to run outside right now and try this. I mean, you might feel goofy hugging a tree, but goofier than you'd feel walking down the street crying?

thanks for the link!

e.beck.artist said...

i LOVE that you have a poll ... how groovy is that .... we have a huggable tree in my backyard .....not as big as the one in your pic... but big ....it gets hugs just for the fun of it .... more for joy than for being grounded ....

Queers United said...

i like hugging trees i think they offer an enormous sense of energy and connection to earth

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I think I'd rather hug one of my kids, or maybe my husband or one of the dogs.

Vodka Mom said...

i hug trees, neighbors, friends, kids with runny noses and occasionally people I don't know. Does that count?

phd in yogurtry said...

heather -- sorry you're having a blue day. I hope the tree hugging helped.

e -- tree hugging for joy is equally healthy, I'm sure.

queers -- I love the energy I feel when I'm surrounded by trees. Now I will have to explore the energy of my arms surrounding a tree.

jenn -- Hugging humans and animals may be a grounding experience, too. Time for another poll.

vodka mom -- you score very high on the hug-ometer, I would say. must be all that vodka?

Madge said...

it sounds wonderful. but i really don't know when the last time was i hugged a tree.....

Lisa Milton said...

*I* don't regularly hug trees, but kids are all over them.

But we live in the Pacific NW, where tree hugging is passe.

:)

Minnesota Matron said...

I feel like I SHOULD hug trees, but I hate nature, so there's the problem. Give me espresso and a city sidewalk, any day.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Up here in Minnesota we will hug just about anything just to stay warm. My advice, stay away from the real pitchy pine trees:)

GoteeMan said...

wow... interesting... gave me a whole new perspective...

I do believe in grounding our energy from time to time, and being refilled and refreshed...

J/ (goteeman.blogspot.com)

Far Side of Fifty said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment!:)

phd in yogurtry said...

madge -- me either, if ever

lisa -- I'm green with envy over your trees up there. We have scrubby, short oaks. I want tall, lush, shade trees. I think I might hug those.

matron -- I love city life too but in a forced choice situation, give me .. um .. yow, I wouldn't want to give up the mental recharge of city life, but give me trees. Must have trees.

far side -- another beautiful, tall tree state. I saw my first birch trees in minnesota. I could have hugged those. beautiful state.

goteeman -- I'm definately refreshed by trees. they clear my head and "fill up my senses" as john denver sang.

dkuroiwa said...

okay...in your honor, as my youngest son and i were out looking for the bug-de jour, we came across an absolutely lovely tree with a huge, low branch (one that was needing a swing really badly!!). so i stood there, made sure no one was watching, and i just gave it a little hug...reaching up to that huge brance and....then youngest said, "mommy,is there a bug up there?". "no...i just thought there was." "are you going to swing?" "no, i'm just hugging the tree." "~~sigh~~ you're funny."

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

So . . . I use grounding meditations with Laura when she is needing strength, and trees are the perfect image for it. We imagine the roots going into the ground to keep her steady, the strong trunk give her daily support, and the branches reach to the skies to raise her spirits to all possibilities. Duck images bring her joy. Water images bring her peace. So, yes, I would hug a tree.

JCK said...

This is pretty fascinating, actually. I'm not sure that it would be self-conscious. If you throw your arms around a tree..well, you could be stretching or hugging a tree. Trees are powerful. I like this.

Grandy said...

That's too funny. It's almost like you are asking the tree out on a date.

Make sure it's good looking, and makes you feel comfortable.

But will it respect you in the morning? ;)

phd in yogurtry said...

dkuroiwa -- "made sure no one was watching" is key to the arguement, here, I think

cheri -- it's wonderful you are teaching this to your daughter. lucky girl, she is.

jck -- trees are a very powerful image. especially when they bend with the wind.

grandy -- I'm pretty sure they'd respect you in the morning. They're that strong and knowing.

AnnD said...

I will try it next time I'm alone around a tree that I feel particularly fond of. Hell, I'll try anything once! Trees deserve hugs dammit!

Health Psych said...

I'd try it but I'd be worried about what was on the tree (spiders) or in the tree (snakes). Hugging a person or a pet seems a safer option to me, although the cat doesn't always appreciate it.

Deb said...

I'd be happy as a clam for sure.

Mayberry said...

I had to go with "afraid for my life" because I DO know the politics of my nearest neighbor, and the fact the he packs a mean BB gun.

Reluctant Blogger said...

haha that's one heck of a tree!

I once bit a tree. I was out walking with someone or other and we got hideously lost and ended up wandering through brambles and my legs (I was very vain about my legs!) got all scratched. I knew it was no-one's fault but I needed to be angry so I stormed off and bumped into a tree and bit it. Boy did it hurt my jaw.

Nasty hard knobbly things, trees. Even men are more cuddly than trees.

phd in yogurtry said...

ann -- the key part of your reply "when I'm alone" and I'm with you on that

hp -- I think I could get into hugging a tree, so long as noone was around (or at least, noone who didn't know me) The sturdiness of it.

deb -- I agree, there's happiness to be found with a tree.

mayberry -- That would give me pause, too!

rb -- I will make note to remove biting trees from my anger management tool kit. Ouch!