I am a tree hugger!

As part of my July Challenges – point 5 was to ‘spend time in nature’. After suffering with ‘imposter syndrome‘ for most of the day, an email I’d received from ‘Margaret Rushing‘ sang to me. In it she challenges the reader to go out into nature and ‘hug a tree’. 

I really couldn’t be arsed venturing back out after I’d got home. But……I knew if I didn’t I’d be annoyed with myself for the rest of the evening. So off I went – in search of a tree.

To my surprise there were more trees than I had ever recalled seeing in my built up neighbourhood. Further proving that when you focus on something you see signs everywhere! 

Looking suspicious and feeling more than a tad daft, I stepped onto the grass verge and embraced a tree. Quickly counting to 10 – okay, maybe 5 – for fear of being caught. I left feeling stupid, with no benefits to name.

I was prematurely feeling the embarrassment of someone seeing me……standing on my own……..with my arms wrapped around a tree!

I felt like I’d failed which actually made we want to do it. Well I am all about trying to be vulnerable and this was a perfect opportunity.

The second tree that got my attention faired a little better, as I half-heartedly placed my arms around the trunk. I looked so awkward. Arms outstretched, body not touching – teenage hugging if you will!

I quickly retreated as a car passed and a couple were heading towards me. 

“Oh shit. What if they saw me?” I thought. Shifting away, looking more suspect than ever.

“What would it matter if they did?” I answered. 

Yes. I do have full on conversations in my head, but that’s a post for another time………

Feeling more courageous, I decided that I wasn’t going to head home until I’d completed the challenge!

Third attempt! The chosen tree received the breadth of my arms, with my head resting on the bark. I felt like a child, getting an almighty hug from a grandad. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. I felt safe, loved, secure. As I counted to ten……..slowly, I forgot about the day. 

I needed this and I didn’t care who could see me. I couldn’t actually recall the last time I had a hug that lasted as long. After reading about the benefits of hugging some time ago, a friend and I used to make sure we hugged for at least 7 seconds. And here I was – stood in East London – with my arms wrapped around a tree, getting the same effect!

I was in awe of this tree, it looked so regal, standing tall and strong. I wondered how many decades it had stood there, generously giving out oxygen, helping to keep us alive!

I decided that if I am to feel like an imposter, it would be for this tree and for the wondrous world we live in. Nature, especially in our own backyard, gets so overlooked. Which is a shame as it’s bloody amazing!

As I walked home, my mind feeling clearer, I allowed myself to let go of the stories I was telling myself. That:

  • I don’t belong
  • I was not good enough
  • others were better than me

I replaced this with:

“Each day I am doing my best”

That evening I looked over some pictures from my time in New Zealand (which I haven’t seen in years). I laughed when I came across me getting up close and personal with…………trees! 

That is it confirmed. I AM a tree hugger! I had just lost my way! 

Tree Hugger 2 Tree Hugger 1

Emma x

Instagram: @emmalouhalliday
Twitter: @boomerhalliday

p.s. Fear is rumbling within me as I realise that I’m admitting to people that I hug trees! That I’m sharing a blog post about hugging trees! What the??? Oh well! It really happened. Plus I want to see what happens to my life when I start to take the filter off! 

p.p.s. If you’ve liked this or any of my other posts, I would be grateful if you could give them a share.