The Solo Mirror Walk – A Gratitude Practice to Awaken our Nature
by Jolie Elan
(Adapted from Mirror Walk by Werner Brandt)
The Mirror Walk awakens sensory awareness and a fresh sense of gratitude for life. Excellent training for the ecological self, it helps people experience the world as their larger body.
The original Mirror Walk practice was developed as a guided experience for pairs. In a pandemic, not everyone has access to a partner, so I have adapted it to a self-guided experience. It’s best to do this in an open setting with growing things, but even in a city, we find seedlings cracking through asphalt and street trees with rustling leaves mirroring aspects of our own nature.
The solo mirror walk is a sensual experience. Take yourself on lovely outing guided by your love of life. Breathe in the air. Move freely as is natural. Take time to fully register your senses. Notice the breeze on your skin. Go in any direction you wish. Allow the more-than-human world be your muse. If you feel pulled toward a tree – go there. Feel the bark, smell the bark. Look at the tree as if you have never seen it before. Say to yourself “I am looking in the mirror” and deeply look (smell or touch) for 20 seconds or so. Continue to move through the world naturally. When your heart calls you to explore a smell, sound, sight, allow yourself to drop deeply into that sensation say to yourself “I am looking in the mirror”. Can you see yourself in the tenacious plants emerging from the sidewalk? In the new leaf buds of spring? A pebble?
After fifteen minutes, find a comfortable spot to sit, maybe with your back to a tree. Journal about your experience. What did you notice?” “What surprised you?” “What feelings came up, in guiding or being guided?”