Explore Life Coaching, Patti Phillips

Walking in a Metaforest

Have you ever learned a profound lesson while in nature?  I am constantly looking for insights and life lessons that are available in the natural environment that help me reflect on what’s going on for me at a particular moment.

This last week, I had the pleasure of guiding a small group of women on a Hooky Day Adventure to the Whiteshell Provincial Park in Manitoba. During the drive, I asked each person to set an intention for the day and mine was to be open to a “lesson” by “walking in a metaforest”.

Many years ago, I was introduced to this activity called “Walk in a Metaforest”. The general idea is to find a quiet spot to sit alone outdoors and simply be mindful of the things around you. If you pay attention, something may come into focus that becomes a metaphor for life. For me, this has become a form a meditation for me; my link to my subconscious mind. As with a meditation practice, the more you do it, the easier it becomes to get into an open state for meaningful messages to come your way.

So with my intention at the forefront and a very beautiful natural place available to me at Pinepoint Rapids, I was open. In moments, the metaphor came. At the rapids, the water was, for the most part, flowing smoothly over flat, Canadian Shield rock. It was much like water flowing down a water slide. There were other places, however, where the water was much more turbulent, with white water and waves. It was easy to assume that there was something hazardous under the water that was causing the turbulence. It felt dangerous and I really didn’t want to approach it, but I was curious. And, as I got into the white water, cautiously and slowing inching my feet along the rock as to not ram my toes into anything, my feet simply kept on moving forward. There was no obstruction and no obstacle; simply a minor alteration in the rock’s surface.

Pine Point Rapids

So here was my lesson. Sometimes I am afraid of moving forward because what’s on the surface looks scary and I don’t even have the courage to take a step in the direction I want to go. If I do dare to move forward and explore, I may even find that what I assumed to be an obstacle or barrier, doesn’t even exist. I want to continue to look beyond the surface, to face my fears and keep moving forward.

I love the “walk in a metaforest” activity and strongly recommend it to anyone who is feeling stuck or lost. Get out into nature, pay attention, and be open. I would also love to hear about any lessons that you receive.

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