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chunking down with trees

Type of activity: Journal

Location: Outdoors near trees

Materials: Journal / pen

Length 30-45 minutes

Take a walk outdoors and find somewhere which has some trees nearby and would be suitable to sit down. You will need your journal or a piece of paper. As you are walking to your chosen location bring your awareness to your body. How does it feel as you take each step? How does it feel to make contact with the ground? Are your arms swinging? Can you feel the air move between your fingers? What is the temperature? What can you see, hear and smell? If you find your thoughts wandering gently bring them back to the present moment and awareness. Once you arrive at your destination you are ready to begin the activity.


  • Start to notice the trees around you, following your attention as it moves from one tree to another. Identify a tree which is standing out to you. It may feel more familiar, you may identify with it, it may make you feel calm and relaxed, or it may be intriguing.


  • Approach your chosen tree. Start to notice the details, scanning the tree from bottom to top. Notice the patterns and colour of the bark. How many branches does it have? Are there any leaves? What colour are they? Does it make a sound in the wind? What does it feel like?


  • Move around the tree and view it from different perspectives.


  • Now observe your emotional response to the tree. How does it make you feel and what does it represent for you?


  • As you feel more connected with your chosen tree, begin to see the tree as a non-judgemental representation of you as a person. Identify a goal you want to work towards and let the tree embody that goal so you can step back and view it objectively.


  • Take your journal and write your goal at the top of the page.


  • Make a rough sketch of your tree making sure to separate out each of the branches.


  • Start to break your goal down into smaller achievable chunks and write each chunk on a different branch of the tree. Add more branches if you need to.


  • Take some time to observe the tree you have created and develop an affirmation which you can return to when you feel you are losing sight of your goal. For example, ‘Like the tree which continues to grow upwards and outwards, each step I take towards my goal, no matter how small, is growth in the right direction’.



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