This exercise has three parts. Please read only the instructions for one part at a time.
Read the instructions for part one and do exercise one. Read the instructions for part two and then do exercise two. And so on. If you read ahead, the exercise will not be as powerful. Print this page and take it with you on your adventure. Please fold the page you can only see one part at a time.
Journal for 10 minutes on something in your life that feels knotted up. Something that you just can’t figure your way out of. Something that is an obstacle, mystery, burden, or sticking point. Write about it. What insight do you seek?
Take your journal and pen and go outside. Find a more-than-human being that grabs your attention. I suggest not using an animal since they move quickly. You can use a rock, stream, flower, tree, etc. Try not to plan which being you will choose. Allow yourself to be drawn in by nature. Let something pick you. Most importantly, follow a feeling of alignment- a “YES” to life, even if it makes no sense in your mind. Once you have chosen your more-than-human being, sit next to it and take it in. Take out your journal and record all your OBSERVATIONS about your being. Look at it very carefully. If it’s a plant, how does the leaf join the stem? What do the veins look like?. For the next ten minutes write down everything you observe about this being. We are focusing on using the left side of our brain here so please try to avoid waxing poetic on the beauty of nature – sometimes it’s hard. Remember, you are in observation mode. 10 minutes.
Hopefully you have not looked ahead at this part, but if you have it’s okay. Set a timer for 15 minutes. Address your being. (you can do this out loud or in your head) Tell it your name. Ask it for guidance on your dilemma, question, obstacle you expressed about in Part One. It might feel weird to talk with a non-human, but people have been doing this for a very long time. For the next 15 minutes please try to DISPEL DISBELIEF that a more-than-human can communicate with you. Write from the perspective of your being. Let yourself write whatever comes to mind; do not edit; do not filter. Just write. Try to keep your pen on the paper and keep writing. Don’t read over what you wrote until the timer runs out. Write from within the web of life.
If you have any feedback on this exercise or suggestions for improvement please feel free to email jolie “at” gowildinstitute.org