I found this advance activity intellectually challenging and experienced some resistance while initially reading it. It asked me to experiment, to resonate with an attraction in nature that I knew had consented to let me play with it because it remained attractive. I was to resonate through my sense of sound and music, to hum a tone that seemed in tune with emotion or something I sensed from each natural attraction that I connected with.

After having the exercise in my psyche for a while I finally was attracted to taking a walk to the nearby beach to do the activity. I also thought that it would be great to connect with the area also seeing as I hadn’t done this since landing back in Spain.

Arriving at the beach I walked down the wet sand to sand mid-calf in the sea. Experiencing a strange initial burst of coldness as I entered the water, it soon changed to warmth and welcoming as my feet sank into the sand. I stood there looking at the view of the land on the other side, the trees, the birds in the sky and the clouds. I felt sad and strange that this was no longer the place that I called home.

Just as I was about to begin the exercise a man walking along the shoreline called out to me and began a conversation with me. Intrigued at what this might teach I complied with his request to sit and chat on the rocks for a while. The conversation was stilted and without any depth despite mentioning nature. I realized that within him was the same sad emotion and strangeness I was experiencing also. After a while it became apparent that he was merely interested in making advances so after his advance I excused myself and went back to the water to do the exercise.

I searched for a color that I was attracted to and finally came to rest on the soft brown of the sand. Asking permission the sand gave consent asking me why I’d waited for so long. Experimenting with sound I found that there was a song of the sand rather than merely a note although one note resonated more with the sand the sand than the others. From the experiment, I realized that this song was a combination of my feelings and the connection to the sand. Realizing this, I was attracted to the shells gathered together in the sand noticing their different colors and the way the water allowed them to dance in the sand. I moved closer to the sand and experimented with distance realizing that the closer advance I became to it, the more comfortable and supported I felt. It made me think of brown leaves and how both they and the sand provide a welcoming soft shelter for our bodies when we need it.

I dug my feet deep into the sand wanting to experience it with my sense of depth, crunching my toes into the sand I activated my sense of community to feel connected to it. Lifting my head, I felt my sense of compassion rise as I stared at the coast and the sky and knew that this was part of me.

As I left the water and prepared to end the exercise the strange man again appeared next to me as if he had been watching me. I recognized the loneliness within him but my sense of survival (and feeling like prey) had been activated. He had tried to kiss me (and properly) as I left him the first time and I felt the disconnection between us even more this time round. I was in love with nature, the green of the trees and the birds flying in the blue sky after undertaking this exercise, could feel the sadness lifting from me. I couldn’t chat, couldn’t connect to him feeling threatened by his attention, and nature was a language he didn’t understand. As I stopped to watch the silver flash of a fish near the rocks in the water he walked off, not seeing what I saw despite me mentioning the fish. My sense of compassion rose for him understanding through my own disconnection in the past what it felt like to be sad, not to be connected and to be so lonely but my sense of self-preservation told me not to allow this to sway me and put myself in a dangerous situation.

As I reached the exit of the beach he was there waiting in his car and he tooted his horn and indicated something. I pointed to another path with no car access and ran off filled with gratitude at the strange unexpected turn in this exercise. My sadness had gone.

What I learned from this experience is that we attract and are attracted to the things that resonate on the same level as ourselves. I received a powerful reminder about how tapping into nature can change powerful emotion and if we are disconnected from nature, we are disconnected from ourselves and others and this makes it harder to connect to them.

I discovered that when I watch a shell dance in the sand knowing that its fate is to merge fully with the sand, I realize that I am like that shell in a dance with nature to become fully connected to myself and the world.

I feel so alive when I connect into the full power of nature. My love for nature and her way of teaching allows a well of nature’s essence to spring forth from my heart and it sustains and nourishes me. If this experience was taken away from me, I would still be feeling sad and lonely.

Doing this exercise enhanced my sense of self-worth as it showed me that something I’ve always thought to be a weakness. My inability to connect with some people is actually a way of protecting myself from the disconnection they experience. I need to reflect on this more.

This experience re-educates the child in me that has been criticized for not being normal due to her connection to nature from those who were already disconnected. It shows her that she was right in a wrong world – if that makes sense to you. Understanding attraction through different senses strengthens and enhances the power of the attraction.

In my work I could use this activity as a way of helping people tap into hidden aspects of themselves and emotions and thoughts in relation to their loss. This would have to be an in-person activity through workshops rather than a tool used in online coaching as it resonates more with me in this aspect. I can see how using nature as a healing tool can create deep emotional change without needing to label in depth because we are experiencing a specific emotion.