One of the most powerful ways to connect with nature for me so far has been Sit Spot.
Sit Spot is a path, a journey. One that will lead you from the known into the unknown and back with unforeseen treasures. It will change the way you look at both your outer and inner worlds.
Our native hunter-gatherer ancestors relied upon their ability to follow and read the messages written upon the earth. The meaning of a change in wind direction; the language of the birds for our survival; an animal movement that leads to water. Tracking these things allowed them to live and thrive by observing and questioning. Since we no longer need our ancestral tracking abilities for our daily survival, we use them less and less, and often fail to see how all things are interrelated.
“When we tug at a single thing in nature we find it attached to the rest of the world” – John Muir
How to do a Sit Spot
Sit Spot is the simple act of finding a particular place outdoors where you sit quietly and observe. Do what feels right. Breathe, look around, close your eyes, listen. Be present with all your senses.
You need at least 20 minutes and a place nearby your home to visit as often as you can. The longer you sit and the more frequently you go, the more effective it will be. Experience the rhythms of nature vary with the time of day and time of the year.
As a city-dweller with no access to a garden, I actually have three Sit Spots.
My primary Sit Spot is on my tiny balcony from where I can notice not only my balcony plants (and opposite neighbours), but also three huge trees changing during the seasons, green chatty parakeets chilling on the waving tree branches, like surfers waiting for their next wave, seagulls, bees, butterflies, the wind, sunshine, rain drops, snowflakes, the moon and stars.
My second Sit Spot is in the nearby Sarphatipark. By now, I got to know most of the trees there, various ducks, geese, and other park inhabitants, as well as its regular human visitors. Visiting the place is starting to feel like catching up with a dear friend.
My third Sit Spot is in front of our caravan in a forest, where I spend most of my weekends. Robins are starting to greet me there, butterflies sit on my shoulder, a fox regularly walks by. As if by really slowing down, my surroundings are relaxing about my presence, too. Each and every time I discover more new little details about the same place.
You can sit in whatever way you like, either on the earth for the connection, or on a chair. The power lies in really getting to know one place very well, so do not change Sit Spot from day to day. By taking yourself out of your regular daily routine and reconnecting with the rhythms of the natural world, you begin to recalibrate and reconnect with your own true nature. By spending time outside in this way, and by consciously practicing your ability to observe, you will strengthen your awareness.
“What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of the buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and
loses itself in the sunset.”
Blackfoot Warrior and Orator 1830 – 1890
In case you want to read more about Sit Spot, I would recommend the book ‘Sit Spot and the Art of Inner Tracking. A 30-Day Challenge to Develop Your Relationship to Self, Earth, Others, and the Wisdom of the Ancestors’ by R. Michael Trotta.
Happy sitting! Marjolein