I recently came across the idea of going for an Earth Guidance or Medicine Walk from the wonderful Marcy Garrison Nelson creative and product coach to many. Marcy suggested this as an opportunity to receive guidance and inspiration from the natural world.
These types of walks are not new age! They have their roots in the practices of different tribes and indigenous communities all around the world, e.g.,
Australian aborigine’s go on walk about, Thai monks conduct prayer walks through the jungle, Native Americans fast on vision quests, and the ancient Celts walked the hills, staff in hand… People from all these different cultures found guidance, healing, inspiration, and connection with spirit on their walks. (Collaboratio Helvetica, Blog, 10/22/2019)
For you and I today, these walks are a great way to step out of the linear, logical, thinking mind and to allow intuition and inspired guidance to arise. And it can be such a deeply rewarding experience, even on just a short walk. As Mary Chase put it: “It’s quite possible to leave your home for a walk in the early morning air and return a different person – beguiled, enchanted.” What’s not to love?!
Follow the steps below to undertake your personal Earth Guidance or Medicine Walk. You can use this for any topic you want guidance about, whether it is personal or professional.
If you completed Radical Wellbeing with me recently, this could be a lovely way to deepen your awareness and identify next steps in any of the 4 dimensions of your wellbeing – physical, emotional, mental or spiritual.
My intention here is to make this a walk you could do in the coming week so the instructions below are designed for that and I’m providing Marcy’s guidance as I know it works for me!
At the same time, if you love structure and knowing the background to new to you concepts and ideas, know that typically a medicine walk would last anything between 1.5 and 12 hours! It is kind of a mini vision quest. Dress for the weather and be sure you have sufficient water with you for the duration. Some people like to fast on their medicine walk, but again, plan for what suits you and for the duration of your walk.
Outline for Your Earth Guidance or Medicine Walk:
- Find a place in nature for this walk. (it’s okay if it’s ‘urban’ nature.)
- Begin with an open-ended question – something you want guidance about. Set the intention of receiving guidance.
- Then walk. Hold the question lightly (meaning don’t dwell on it). Just notice what you notice. What catches your attention, what crosses your path? What do you see, smell, sense?
- When complete, sit for a bit and when ready journal about what you experienced and how it relates to your initial question.
Wishing you an enchanting medicine walk and deep resolution to whatever it is you are seeking guidance on. And remember, guidance can come to you in multiple forms: deeper clarity, more ease, a sense of support, new intriguing questions, flashes of insight, connections, heightened awareness…
For my own part, on a recent short walk, just 20 minutes, I decided to make it a medicine walk (simply by setting the intention for same!). I have been very busy of late, telling myself I could work “a bit” while also having guests around and wanting to have time and outings with them. Not a great recipe I have to admit and not one I recommend. As I was going on my walk, I simply asked for some guidance.
I was gifted with some acorns – a little branch with a ripening acorn and a few smaller ones that look like they are dying. You can see them here for yourself. What would you make of them?
For me, they provided quite profound insights. I chose to interpret this experience as a time for growth. I felt reminded that big oaks from little acorns grow. I have some projects in infancy and they can grow big with the right care and nurturing. I remembered that I have acorn parts in me and that they can grow to oak-ness also with my being more intentional about the results I’d love.
And I realise that there are some practices that I need to allow to die away – like trying to work when really I’m on holidays and vice versa! And it provided another reminder that I am the boss of my diary and it’s up to me to manage it in a way that I love and to stop what isn’t working and let that old habits die away.
To my mind, these insights are all gold dust and remarkable when you consider it was all achieved in just 20 minutes of a medicine walk!
I’d love to hear what shows up for you on your medicine walk and how it helps – do please share your experiences below or, if you prefer, email me at [email protected]